Today I’m going to take you on a trip back in time. Our first stop isn’t that far back, just to the beginning of the year, about seven weeks ago, when I received an email from Barb Atchison:
Today is New Year’s Day 2014, and I am doing, of all things, cleaning! Decided to start the new year by cleaning my home office because my husband Rich is off ice fishing up north and I have nothing to do. I found a long lost memory — some correspondence I had years ago with your mom, Dorthy.
Attached to the email was a scanned copy of Mom’s Mixing & Musing column. This is where we travel back a bit further, to Oct. 24, 1988. Barb had submitted some recipes that she thought might be “too easy” to print — kid-friendly fare.
The newspaper column was stuck in a box that I sorted through. This is probably the first set of recipes I ever sent to Dorthy, and the references are to all her columns about her grandkids (Gretchen and Ingrid) hating those “green things” aka, things like zucchini, that Dorthy loved to add to many recipes!
Yes, DotMom did take some perverse delight in sneaking zucchini and other things considered “icky” by both her children and grandchildren into some of her concoctions. Niece Gretchen (to this day still the pickiest eater in the family, her dad Marty being a close second) often recalls the care package she received from Grandma Dot as a young adult living in Texas and the telltale specks of green she found in the enclosed brownies.
Barb’s recipe submissions in 1988 didn’t contain any surreptitious zucchini, but DotMom definitely found such “kid-pleasin’ stuff” worth printing, and I think they are worth a repeat. Not only are these recipes ones that should appeal to even the pickiest of eaters, they also offer an opportunity to get kids cooking in the kitchen. They can help by crushing up Rice Krispies, stirring the Jell-O, buttering the garlic bread and many other culinary tasks.
What I found interesting is that I haven’t made the Better Than Mc’s Nuggets and Red Hot Jell-O for years … probably since my kids grew up and left home. The next time my grandkids, Paul, Blake and Adam, are here (ages 5, 4 and 2), this is going to be our menu! We’ll see if their dad, my son Alan, remembers it!
Better Than Mc’s Nuggets
Cut 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Melt 1 stick margarine. Pour over cut-up chicken.
Place 4 cups Rice Krispies in a plastic bag; crush with rolling pin. Add Lawry’s seasoning salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Add chicken/margarine mixture. Shake until well-coated.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange chicken pieces on foil. Bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes. Serve with warm honey, barbecue sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
Red Hot Jell-O
Mix 6 ounces raspberry Jell-O and 2/3 cup cinnamon candies (red-hots) with 2 cups boiling water until dissolved. Add 2 cups unsweetened applesauce.
Pour into mold or 9- by 13-inch pan. Chill until firm.
Use day-old bread, burger or hotdog buns. Lay bread slices on foil-lined cookie sheet or split the buns and place on sheet. Spread with margarine. Sprinkle with Lawry’s Garlic Sprinkle or garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 250 degrees until lightly browned, or done to your liking.
Super Chewy Rice Krispie Bars
In saucepan combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup white corn syrup, 1 cup peanut butter and 1 stick margarine. Cook and blend until hot and bubbly. Add 6 to 7 cups Rice Krispies. Spread in buttered 9- by 13-inch pan. Cool and cut into squares. “I like this recipe because the bars do not get hard nor dry. Also, peanut butter is nutritious.”