Lately I — along with more than 4,000 other people with ties to Worthington — have become engrossed in a Facebook social networking site, “Growing Up in Worthington, Minnesota, What Do You Remember?”
The site quickly gathered a large following of both current and former Worthington residents, who largely use it as an opportunity to reminisce about their hometown.
I’ve been busy writing a story about the Facebook site for the Daily Globe’s big annual report section, slated to come out on March 22 with a theme of “A Sense of Community.” I would urge you to check out the March 22 paper if you’re interested in the Worthington community or its history.
As a local native, I have easily gotten sidetracked by remembrances of people and places that I remember from my youth: The State Theater, Fred’s Café, Michael’s Steakhouse, Taco Towne, the old junior high building that was connected to Memorial Auditorium, the former courthouse building, Log Cabin Grocery, the popcorn wagon …
And among those reflections of the past have come up many recollections of foods, particularly items served in the school cafeterias. A few such recipes have come across my desk — or I inherited them from DotMom —so I have also shared them on the site. When someone gave me a big bag of Daily Globe clippings recently, I also found an article I had written in 2000 that con-tained a couple other beloved District 518 dishes.
So for those who have a hankering for the dishes of their school days, here are a few of those cafeteria recipes. The chili recipe is also in the “Mixing & Musing Cookbook.” The pizza burger recipe, which has been printed here before, was provided by Amy Moritz, who suggested using shredded cheese instead of running it through the meat grinder.
District 518 Chili
1 pound ground beef
½ cup water
One 15-ounce can Hormel chili without beans
One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
One 15½-ounce can Finest red beans (not kidney beans) and sauce
6 ounce can tomato paste
16-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
Place beef in large pan with the ½ cup water. Cook over very low heat; do not allow to brown, just steam.
Add remaining ingredients. Before adding the whole tomatoes, place them in a blender or force through a sieve to mash large pulp pieces. Simmer about 1 hour, adding water if it seems too thick. Note this recipe contains no onions.
School Pizza Burgers
Brown 1 pound ground beef; drain. Grind ½ pound bologna in a meat grinder.
Combine meats with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon oregano, one 14-ounce can pizza sauce and ½ pound diced or shredded Velveeta; mix well. Split hamburger buns and spread mixture on each bun half.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.
Lunchroom Chocolate Cake
1½ cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon vinegar
1½ cups water
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon oil
½ tablespoon vanilla ex-tract
Mix together sugar and cocoa powder.
Separately mix flour, baking soda and salt. Combine all dry ingredients.
With mixer on low speed, add to the dry ingredients the vinegar, water, oil and vanilla, scraping bowl often. Do not overmix.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Do not overbake.
Makes 20 portions.