"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

October 2006



See Me

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?

Are you thinking, when you look at me --

A crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,

When you say in a loud voice -- "I do wish you'd try."

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,

And forever is losing a stocking or shoe,

Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you're thinking, is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse, you're looking at ME . . .

I'll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still;

As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters, who love one another,

A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet.

Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet;

A bride soon at twenty -- my heat gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep;

At twenty-five now I have young of my own,

Who need me to build a secure, happy home;

A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,

Bound to each other with ties that should last;

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,

But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;

At fifty once more babies play 'round my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,

I look at the future, I shudder with dread,

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years and the love that I've known;

I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel -- 

'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone where once I had a heart,

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,

And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

And I'm loving and living life over again,

I think of the years, all too few -- gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last --

So I open your eyes, nurses, open and see,

Not a crabby old woman, look closer, nurses -- see ME!

(This poem was found among the possessions of an elderly lady who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital.  No other information is available.)

I have great respect for that bent, old tree that I see everyday on my way to work.  It leans heavy to one side in the lawn of its owners and many of its branches have been cut away to make room for the electric lines that run above it.  It could be considered an eyesore, but that would be an insult.  This tree bears precious butternuts by the bushels, year after year.  A Springville Journal reader in Florida read my article last month about my grandsons helping me crack Carpathian Walnuts.  Patty Church, a former West Valley resident, called her parents in West Valley to tell them I might be interested in some of their extra butternuts.  I was.  Ralph Church had 3 barrels of dried butternuts from previous years and many bushels of nuts besides.  I bought three bushels of nuts; two bushels dried, and one from this year.  I can now appreciate the saying, "you're a tough nut to crack."  Ralph has extra butternuts to sell at $2 a bushel if anyone is interested.  I'll be cracking nuts come winter and looking for good butternut recipes.  

Dennis Sullivan caught me buying a spice cake mix at the store this weekend.  He jokingly asked me if I didn't cook from scratch.  I told him I was buying the cake mix to try a recipe I just got.  The easy pumpkin spice cake mix was provided by Carol Black and doesn't contain any eggs.  

Cara Zosh and Missy Hogenmiller provide us this month with delicious breakfast or brunch recipes.  Both recipes will need to be made the night before.  So, plan ahead and you'll be rewarded with a quick-to-fix meal in the morning.

Mary Jane Scouten raves about her husband's meatloaf.  She likes it because it doesn't fall apart like some meatloaves.  She says it's good in sandwiches and also makes great meatballs with a little Parmesan cheese added to the recipe.

My good friend Kathy Ford made the best corn and potato chowder when she worked at the Rainbow Pizzeria in West Valley.  I've tried to recreate and downsize the recipe with some tips from her.  Kathy's in Fiddler's Green Nursing Home now, so if you get a chance, I'd know she'd love to see you.  Let's never forget to visit the good folks we know that are in the Nursing Homes.  The days get mighty long for them, waiting for a visit from a loved one or friend.

Some other good recipes come from church and work friends.  I hosted a Healthy Table at the Harvest Luncheon Dinner this year at work.  Toni Sawyer's Italian table was popular.  I've included her Baked Ziti III.  It makes a ton, so be sure to have a slew of pasta lovers to help you eat it.  Marge Codd and her daughter Kim Gerwitz were willing to share their Scalloped Potatoes and Corn Casserole, respectively.  I made both recipes today to have with my pork roast and Pumpkin Spice Cake.  Bonnie Spencer said her Blueberry Streusel Cobbler is to die for.  I agree.  The cinnamon and nut topping is perfect and the touch of lemon zest is a special surprise taste in the batter.  Don't cook the blueberries in the sauce and they'll stay whole, but looked cooked.

Corn and Potato Chowder
(Kathy Ford)

1/2 pound thin-sliced bacon, fried, crumbled
2 1/2 cups cooked corn kernels
2 1/2 cups cooked, small-diced potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons white flour
2 cups milk (use half and half for richer flavor)

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Prepare bacon, potatoes, and corn.  Set aside.  To make cream sauce, melt butter in large skillet and sauté onion until translucent, but not brown.  Stir in flour and cook and stir for 4 minutes to remove flour taste.  Slowly stir in milk or half and half.  Add salt and garlic powder, stirring with a whisk to remove all lumps until smooth.  Do not boil.  Add bacon, potatoes, and corn.  If desired, stir in additional milk or half and half.  Heat through and serve hot.  Makes 2 quarts.

Corn Casserole (Double Batch)
Kim Gerwitz)

Note:  This makes a large batch, so cut recipe in half unless you have a gang to feed.

1/2 cup butter, melted
8-oz. sour cream
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 (14.5-oz.) cans corn, undrained
2 (14.5-oz.) cans creamed corn
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

Melt butter, cool slightly.  Add sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, sugar, sweet corn, and creamed corn into muffin mix.  Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish and bake at 375 for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Serve hot.

Brunch Enchiladas
(Cara Zosh)

Note: (I liked served with raw diced green peppers on side and sour cream). Cara's family doesn't like onions, so she substitutes with green peppers in enchiladas. Easy to make recipe - serves 10; serve with home fries, bacon or sausage for complete breakfast or brunch for a gang. Prepare night before. Remember to grease the pan as this recipe will stick.

1 lb. finely cubed diced ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
8-oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoons white flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium-size bowl, combine the ham and onions.  Place 1/3 of a cup of mixture down the middle of each tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons of Cheddar cheese. Roll up, leaving ends open. Place tortillas seam-side down in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, use a wire whisk to beat together the flour, cream, eggs, and salt. Pour over tortillas. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator half an hour before baking. Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned (if desired).

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
(Marge Codd)

6 cups peeled and sliced potatoes
1 ham steak, already cooked, cubed
1 onion, diced
4 tablespoons white flour
10 3/4-oz. can cream of celery soup
10 3/4-oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk

Place 3 cups sliced potatoes in a large baking dish, sprinkle with 1/2 ham pieces, 1/2 onion pieces, and 2 tablespoons white flour.  Mix together the celery soup, chicken soup, and milk.  Pour 1/2 of soup mixture over potatoes and ham.  Repeat layer using rest of ingredients.  Cover dish and bake in 350 degree oven for 2 hours, or until potatoes are tender.

Country Brunch
(Missy Hogenmiller)

Note:  If Missy anticipates having any leftovers, she does not put the cornflake topping on as it gets soggy in reheating.  This recipe needs to be refrigerated overnight before baking.

16 slices firm white bread (Italian or French)
1 lb. cooked ham, cubed
8-oz. shredded Cheddar Cheese
8-oz. shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
6 large eggs
3 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

3 cups uncrushed cornflakes
1/2 cup butter, melted

Trim crust from bread.  Cut slices in half.  Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and layer as follows:  Cover bottom of pan with half of bread, half of ham, half of each of the cheeses and 1/2 of onion and green pepper.  Repeat layer.  Combine eggs, half and half and mustard.  Pour over layers.  Refrigerate overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  For Topping:  Combine cornflakes and butter.  Sprinkle over casserole.  Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.  Serves 12 to 15.

Tim's Meatloaf
(Tim Scouten)

Note:  Make extra meatloaf mix and add Parmesan cheese to make great meatballs.

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 1/2 pounds ground round
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
Ketchup or chili sauce for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except ketchup/chili sauce together with your hands.  Place in a baking dish (glass, Pyrex etc. not metal, as meatloaf tends to burn around the edges and gets too hard in a metal dish).  Pack meat into pan, shaping a nice loaf shape, leaving 1/2-inch lip between meatloaf mixture and top of pan.  Cover with ketchup or chili sauce and tent with tinfoil (make sure foil does not touch loaf or it will stick to the top).  Place pan in middle of foil covered cookie sheet to catch spills.  Place in oven and bake for one hour.  Remove to safe surface, slide a spatula under each end of the mixture to drain grease, let sit for 5 minutes.  Pour off grease, place loaf pan back in oven and cook for 15 more minutes without foil on top.  Remove and let rest covered with old foil to stay hot until you cut it.

Spice Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Carol Black)

1 lb. 2.25-oz. box Spice Cake Mix
15-oz. can pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

Mix together spice cake mix, pumpkin, and milk.  Place in greased 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking pan.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting (Marcella):
3-oz. cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Mix in the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Frost cake.

Blueberry Streusel Cobbler
(Bonnie Spencer)

2 cups blueberries
14-oz. can EagleŽ Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix

1/2 cup biscuit mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Blueberry Sauce:
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh blueberries

Cake:  In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon peel.  In another bowl, cut butter into biscuit mix until crumbly.  Add blueberry mixture and spread in greased 9-inch square baking pan.  Topping:  In a small bowl, mix together biscuit mix, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly.  Add nuts and sprinkle over cake batter.  Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes in 325 degree oven.  Serve warm with blueberry sauce and ice cream.  Blueberry Sauce:  in small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in water.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Stir in 2 cups blueberries, cook until heated through (or just stir into hot sauce and take off heat - berries will remain whole and have a bit of a crunch).      

Baked Ziti III
(Toni Sawyer)

Note: Toni said you could cooks this is a crock pot for 4 hours on high.

1-lb. ziti pasta
1-lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (28-oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
6-oz. sliced Provolone Cheese
6-oz. sliced Mozzarella Cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 

Prepare ziti according to package directions.  In a large skillet, brown ground beef, add onions and sauté until tender.  Drain off fat and add spaghetti sauce.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Place half of the pasta in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.  Top with a layer of 1/2 Provolone Cheese and 1/2 Mozzarella cheese.  Spread on a layer of half the spaghetti sauce mixture and all of the sour cream.  Cover with rest of pasta, cheese, and sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese and sauce is bubbly.

I'm always looking for new recipes.  Mail your family's favorite recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or to marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  "Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood."  Visit http://www.cellascookbook.com for more great recipes and archived newsletters.