The Braille Monitor                                                                                               __May 1997

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This month's recipes are contributed by the members of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia.

Hickory Nut Cake
by Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald is the President of the NFB of West Virginia. He says, "This McDonald family recipe goes back at least as far as my great-grandmother. On the farm where my grandparents and great-grandparents lived in Headsville, West Virginia, there is still a big old hickory tree. Every two years this tree bears an abundant crop of nuts. As a kid I remember helping my family gather these nuts off the ground and remove the thick outer shell. They were an important ingredient for a lot of fall and Christmas baking, including my birthday cake. I suppose some other type of nuts could be substituted in this recipe, but the hickory nuts give the cake its distinctive, even unique flavor. Hickory nuts may be hard to find nowadays, but they are worth looking for."

1 cup broken hickory nut meats
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites

Method: Cream butter, add sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together. Mix a small amount of the flour with nuts. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk. Mix after each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in nuts. Beat the egg whites until they are very stiff and carefully fold them into the batter. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake one hour at 325 degrees. Remove cake from the oven when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place cake on cooling rack and allow it to cool ten minutes before removing from the pan.

Baked Frankfurter Potato Salad
by Ed McDonald

In 1970 this recipe was included in the Centennial Cookbook, collected and published by the Alumni Association of the West Virginia School for the Blind. It was submitted by J.J. Ambler, an Episcopal minister who, at the time, also taught math and science at the school. (He is now a public school teacher in Virginia.) Mr. Ambler was one of those teachers who had an impact on me that extended beyond the content of the course he taught. When I went off to college and began doing some cooking for myself, this is one of the first real recipes I tried--partly because it sounded good and partly because it came from Mr. Ambler. Karen and I still enjoy it.

4 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup salad dressing (I use Miracle Whip)
6 medium-sized potatoes, peeled, cooked, and diced
1 box frozen cut green beans, cooked
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound frankfurters, cut in 1/4-inch slices

Method: Melt margarine in saucepan. Remove 1 tablespoon and mix with crumbs. Set aside. Blend flour and seasonings into remaining melted margarine. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and blend in salad dressing. Reserve 1/4 cup of this sauce for topping, and fold potatoes, green beans, and chopped onion into mixture. Add all but six slices of frankfurter and spoon into shallow baking dish. Garnish with reserved frankfurter slices and top with reserved sauce. Sprinkle surface with crumbs. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, for thirty to forty minutes. Serve hot or cold. (Serves six.)

Taco Chili
by Karen McDonald

Karen and Ed McDonald were married at the West Virginia convention last summer. Karen is a former president of the Morgantown-Kingwood Chapter. A talented musician herself, she has become increasingly involved in promoting the awareness and availability of Braille music. Karen modified this recipe from a winning recipe in a Texas chili cook-off. It can be served in a bowl as traditional chili, but she prefers to serve it as the main ingredient for tacos or taco salads. It has been a long-time favorite of her four children. If you can't take the heat, this recipe is not for you.

2 tablespoons salad oil
4 pounds lean ground beef
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon red pepper or Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 12-ounce can beer

Method: In large saucepan or Dutch oven heat oil over medium high heat. Add beef and cook until browned. Stir in tomato sauce, onions, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low; cover, and simmer thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer one hour. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Reheat over medium low heat. Taco accompaniments: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped red onions, jalapeno peppers, taco shells, tortilla chips or taco salad shells, and salsa--whatever kind you like.

Spanish Stew
by Victor Gonzalez

Victor Gonzalez is a long-time leader of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia. He is a member of the Clarksburg chapter, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in February. Throughout those forty years Victor has represented the chapter on the NFB of West Virginia Board of Directors. He also established the committee of Federationists which meets three times each year with representatives of state agencies that provide services to the blind. He has chaired these meetings since the early 1960's. His wife Joyce currently serves as treasurer of the West Virginia affiliate. Victor is the son of Spanish immigrants who settled in central West Virginia during the early part of the century. There are still folks in the area who make what they call Spanish sausage--a sort of link sausage containing a variety of spices. About this recipe Victor writes, "During the Depression we had a lot of one-pot meals. Joyce and I have this meal once a week. I prefer less water than she does."

2 sticks of Spanish sausage, sliced (if unavailable,
substitute 2 six- to eight-inch sticks of pepperoni, sliced)
4 large potatoes or 8 small ones, diced
2 15-ounce cans chopped kale greens
1 or 2 15-ounce cans great northern beans

Method: Place sausage, kale, and beans in a medium to large sauce pan or dutch oven. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Cook for fifteen minutes. Add potatoes and cook for an additional half hour or until potatoes are fully cooked. This recipe will serve two meals to four people. A small head of cabbage may be substituted for the kale. The amount of water will depend upon how much liquid you like in your stew. Just make sure you use enough to insure that the ingredients do not burn or stick to the pan.

[PHOTO/CAPTION: Abby Hensley]

Mexican Corn Bread
by Abby Hensley

Abby Hensley has been treasurer of the Huntington Chapter for nearly forty years. She and her late husband Guy Sebert became active sighted members early in the history of the Huntington Chapter. Now, in her early 80's, Abby continues to lead the chapter's fundraising efforts. At state conventions she often shares with us an interesting recollection about a person or event from the early days of the affiliate.

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sweet milk
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 cup cheese, grated
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 or 4 hot peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced

Method: Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, oil, and milk. Place half of mixture in bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the corn, cheese, onion, and peppers over the cornmeal mixture. Spread remaining cornmeal mixture on top. Bake at 425 degrees for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until done. (You may wish to add a little more cheese. Also cornmeal mixture may be increased to make a larger pan of bread.)

by Barbara Olive

James and Barbara Olive are active members of the Charleston Chapter. Barbara is chapter secretary, and James has become increasingly active in support of the NFB of West Virginia's Braille literacy legislation. Both are veteran employees of Bell Atlantic in West Virginia. Barbara is a fine cook, and the following are some of their favorite recipes.

2 cups dry pasta (trio package)
1 large onion chopped
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large can mushrooms
1 large package pepperoni, thinly sliced
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 pound sausage
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

Method: Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Brown the ground meat and sausage until cooked and drain well. Saute onions, peppers, and mushrooms in a little of the drippings or in oil. Combine vegetables, meat mixture, pepperoni, pasta, and spaghetti sauce and place in a 9-by-13-inch pan or four-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake thirty-five to forty minutes at 350 degrees. You may add other pizza toppings if you like.

Mexican Casserole
by Barbara Olive

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 cup thawed frozen corn
3/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 package taco sauce
1 12-ounce jar chunky salsa
1 cup taco chips, lightly crushed
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Colby)

Method: Mix together all ingredients except cheese and taco or corn chips. In baking dish layer half of meat mixture, half the broken taco chips, and half the cheese. Repeat these three layers. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes.

Basic Salmon Loaf
by Barbara Olive

1 15 1/2-ounce can salmon
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
dash pepper
2 tablespoons reserved salmon liquid

Method: Drain and flake salmon, reserving two tablespoons liquid. Combine all ingredients, including
reserved salmon liquid, and shape into a loaf. Place in a well-greased loaf pan or on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes. Makes four to six servings.