The Times-Gazette Reporter and
Salt Magazine Writer
My family got this recipe from a family friend a couple years ago. It was a hit, and is now a Christmas tradition. It breaks up the overload of holiday sweets with just a little bit of salty. Plus, it’s quick, easy and perfect for parties.
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups pretzels
1 pound M&Ms (plain or peanut)
1 pound white chocolate
Mix together the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Cheerios, pretzels and M&Ms. Melt the white chocolate, pour on top of the rest, and mix together. Pour on wax paper as thin as possible. Let dry.
Salt Magazine Writer
Growing up in Atlanta means that Southern pecans are used in countless recipes.
Each Thanksgiving, we gathered pecans on my great Uncle Bud’s farm in south Georgia. The next week, we knew it was Christmastime when we saw the pecans, dates and a can of coconut on the kitchen counter.
Mom was searching for the time to work on the Date Balls and also searching for some of us to help her! We loved rolling the balls in coconut.
They were always eaten quickly, so Mom bought the ingredients several times during the Christmas season.
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar
1 stick margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 can coconut
Combine eggs with sugar, margarine, vanilla and dates in saucepan. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring vigorously. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies and pecans. Drop from teaspoon and roll in coconut. Makes 50 bite-sized date balls. Easy to freeze.
The Times-Gazette Media Sales Director
My mother was a wonderful baker. She was especially known for her pies.
When I was a child, we didn’t have store-bought cookies or very little store-bought sweets. Mother made everything from milk, flour, eggs and a little magic.
On the days she made pies, there was always leftover dough. Mother would roll out the dough and put butter, sugar and cinnamon on top. I would cut the strips and put them in the oven.
They looked like legs so I called them “Jimmy Legs.” When I got married and had a son, I made them for him. Now, he has a son, Colby, and I make the great Jimmy Legs.
Hopefully, these sweet treats will be handed down to the next generation.
Leftover pie dough
Roll out the dough. Put the butter, sugar and cinnamon on top. Cut them into strips. Bake at 425 degrees until browned. Serve warm.
Salt Magazine Writer
My maternal grandmother, Effie McCoy Smith, was a legendary pie baker in and around Pike County, Ohio. This recipe for lemon chess pie (short for pie chest) has been in her family for as long as anyone can remember.
It likely came from Virginia or western Tennessee, where many other chess pie recipes originated, but no one knows for sure because Grandma’s family was living in southern Ohio long before the Civil War.
This lemon chess pie recipe was never written down. My mother, who was also a master at pie baking, always just “knew” how to make it, using a “lump of butter the size of a thumb” and other colloquial kitchen-isms.
Because I am not certain how much a “thumb of butter” really is, I asked my mother to write the recipe down, using more precise measurements.
Here it is for everyone to enjoy.
Lemon Chess Pie
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon yellow corn meal
4 unbeaten eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons grated lemon rind
Toss together in a bowl the sugar, flour and cornmeal.
Add the eggs, milk, lemon juice, butter and lemon rind.
Beat with a rotary mixer until all ingredients are smooth and well blended. Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie’s center “shakes like JELLO.”
Wilmington News Journal Media Sales Director
This recipe feeds a crowd — or a family of 10 kids.
Nanny’s Potato Salad
10 pounds potatoes, cut into eighths longways, to make spears (these don’t fall apart as bad, or get mushy)
2 large yellow onions, diced
5 stalks of celery, diced
1 jar of sliced green olives
1 jar of sweet midgets (whole), coarsely diced
Salt and pepper to flavor potatoes when still warm
Whole jar mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
Dab of mustard
Cut potatoes and place them in water to cover, barely salted so they won’t stick.
While they are cooking, mix the onions, celery, olives and pickles (reserve the liquid from the pickles and some of the liquid from the olives) together and let the flavors marry.
Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain them and place in a very large bowl, season with salt and pepper while still hot.
Pour the pickle juice over them while they are warm, so the flavor soaks in.
While they are barely warm, mix the other vegetables in with them (the potatoes will break into pieces but will not mush up as you mix them).
Once all of the vegetables are mixed well, add mayo (my mom always used a whole jar, but the consistency is up to you.)
Taste the mixture and add mustard sparingly, to taste. I like mine less tart.
It’s really important to add the seasonings and the juice before the potatoes cool completely. This adds flavor you will really notice and it enhances the salad so much.
Salt Magazine Writer
Maya Angelou suggested that all women should have the recipes for a meal to make their guests feel honored.
For me, that meal includes this stress-free, slow cooker pork loin with an apricot glaze, a simple but savory white corn casserole, spiced carrots, roasted potatoes and a salad of mixed greens sprinkled with pecans, dried cranberries and a raspberry vinaigrette.
The ladies of my craft club have come to expect this for our Christmas meeting.
10.5-ounce can chicken broth
18-ounce jar apricot preserves
1 large onion, thinly sliced or chopped
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pork loin, about 4 pounds
Mix broth, preserves and onion together. Place pork loin in slow cooker. Pour mix over pork. Cover and cook 6 hours on low heat. (Exchange chicken broth with lemon-lime soda for a lighter dish.)
White Corn Casserole
1 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
20-24 ounces frozen white corn
Brown onion in butter. Transfer to casserole dish. Stir in cream cheese. Stir in corn. Bake uncovered 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
New potatoes, quartered
Whatever else you have on hand
Roast in the oven until ready.
2 pounds miniature carrots
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups water
Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, celery seed, mustard, salt and onions in a container with a cover and set aside.
In a pot, bring water to a boil, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup used.
Add carrots, return to a boil and cook 10 minutes.
Drain carrots and add to vinegar/oil mix. Cover and shake gently. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours, turning or shaking container occasionally.
Serve chilled on a Romaine leaf, with most onion slices removed before serving.