News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Former 4-H members Kathy Lindsey, left, and Carol Holladay talk about their days in 4-H and the new county 4-H cookbook over some of their favorite dishes: from left, Fried Green Tomatoes, Pistachio Salad, Chicken Salad with grapes (back), Cornbread Salad, Bite-Size Cherry Cheese Cakes and Lemon Squares.
DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Former 4-H members Kathy Lindsey, left, and Carol Holladay talk about their days in 4-H and the new county 4-H cookbook over some of their favorite dishes: from left, Fried Green Tomatoes, Pistachio Salad, Chicken Salad with grapes (back), Cornbread Salad, Bite-Size Cherry Cheese Cakes and Lemon Squares.

4-H favorites
Cookbook includes recipes from former members, club photos

By Patrice Stewart
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2446

Morgan County's newest cookbook is more than a heaping helping of good recipes — it's a slice of 4-H memories.

Old photos for the 4-H cookbook came from scrapbooks such as this one, with pages showing calf shows and bread demonstrations. In the photo clipping at right, Kathy Warren Lindsey, Carol Hogan Holladay and the 4-H band members wear red capes like this one while singing 'Rock and Roll Waltz' on television.
DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Old photos for the 4-H cookbook came from scrapbooks such as this one, with pages showing calf shows and bread demonstrations. In the photo clipping at right, Kathy Warren Lindsey, Carol Hogan Holladay and the 4-H band members wear red capes like this one while singing "Rock and Roll Waltz" on television.
"Celebrating 4-H: Past, Present and Future" includes recipes from former Morgan County 4-H members, families, friends and volunteers. Then there are old photos of 4-H'ers at calf shows, bread and baking competitions, talent contests, fish and wildlife camp, beef cook-off and 4-H Congress.

Morgan County Extension agent Julie Dutton helped coordinate the cookbook, which includes recipes by some Extension employees who are former 4-H members.

Extension Administrative Assistant Kathy Warren Lindsey and her 4-H days friend at Massey Elementary School, Carol Hogan Holladay, reminisced as they prepared favorite dishes from the cookbook.

A look through the pages shows an old photo of them and other children as the Redbirds band, wearing their red capes and matching hats while singing "Rock and Roll Waltz" on a TV show.

They joined 4-H in about 1954. "Back then, 4-H was all we had," said Lindsey, who graduated from Hartselle High School and still lives there. Her mother, Margie Warren, was their 4-H leader.

"It seems like half the recipes in this book are Carol's," said Lindsey, who typed most of the recipes.

Holladay, who graduated from Falkville High and lives in Danville, said the cookbook, which has a built-in stand that helps while cooking, is full of favorite recipes that are good for all types of occasions.

Her Fresh Coconut Cake is one example, along with Lemon Squares, Bite-size Cherry Cheese Cakes and Chocolate Morsel Cookies.

"If I go anywhere — it doesn't matter what season — I've gotta carry my Fresh Coconut Cake," Holladay said. "And Lemon Squares are always a good choice, too." She uses a muffin tin with liners to make her Cherry Cheese Cakes.

Holladay also included her favorite recipes for Chicken Salad and Taco Salad Pie, as well as her 90-year-old mother-in-law Ona Holladay's Fruit Cake. "This one can't be beat, and it lasts forever. It was one of the items we fought over when we played 'Dirty Santa' last Christmas," she said.

Lindsey submitted her sister-in-law Wanda Warren Lindsey's favorite Chocolate Pie (the first of several in the cookbook) because it's easy to make. The former 4-H'er also submitted a simple Crock Pot Chicken and Dressing recipe, and she likes the Baked Chicken Reuben by Willie Monroe, another 4-H'er who is pictured in a clothing contest and turned in many recipes for the book.

"The Pasta Salad by former Extension worker Allyn Crane is really good, too, and makes a pretty dish to take somewhere," she said. And at this time of year, Fried Green Tomatoes make a good accompaniment for many meals, she said.

The cookbook also includes recipes their families request often, such as fried pies for Holladay's son and Chicken Divan that is a favorite of Lindsey's son Justin. Ham and cheese rolls, bacon quiche and even Edith Harvey's rolls from the Massey School cafeteria are included, too.

The cookbook highlights former members' memories, such as Mildred Stephenson's recollections of attending 4-H camp near Vinemont and riding to the state convention at Auburn on a train. Sue Maddox Humphrey recalled her blistered feet after parading down Second Avenue in Decatur as part of a 4-H rally.

Historical information about 4-H tells about how Boys' Corn Clubs and Tomato Canning Clubs were started to teach the sons and daughters of farmers new methods to take home. They later joined as 4- Clubs, using as the logo the four-leaf clover representing head, heart, hands and health. Today the projects reach beyond the farm.

The $20 cookbook is available at the Extension office, 3120 Highway 36 West, 773-2549 (call if you need it mailed for an additional $3).

Other locations with the cookbook include Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cheerleaders by Tish (through Aug. 25 in shopping center near Jimmy Smith Jewelers) and Burl Slaten in office of Decatur/Morgan County Farmers Market; Morgan County Farmers Coop and Slate & Son Gallery in Hartselle; Snack Shack in Florette; and the library in Eva.

Here are some of Lindsey's and Holladay's favorite recipes:

Cornbread Salad

1 cups sour cream

1 cups mayonnaise

1-ounce package ranch salad dressing mix

1 small pan Mexican cornbread

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped

2 16-ounce cans pinto beans, drained

2 11-ounce cans whole kernel corn, drained

10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

2 cups Cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise and ranch dressing mix until smooth; set aside.

Make cornbread. You can make the Mexican-style recipe that follows, or simply add jalapenos to your favorite cornbread recipe.

Crumble half of the cornbread in bottom of large serving bowl. Mix corn, tomatoes and bell pepper together. Layer one can of pintos, half of the corn, tomato and bell pepper mixture, half the cheese, half the bacon and half the ranch mixture.

Repeat layers, ending with cornbread, dressing mixture and cheese.

Mexican Cornbread

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream (or substitute buttermilk)

1/4 cup oil

1 cup cream-style corn or whole kernel corn

1 cups corn meal mix

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped green peppers

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

1 cup grated cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion

Mix all ingredients. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dressing

1 large hen, stewed, deboned and cut into pieces

1 can cream of chicken soup


1 large skillet of cornbread

2 tablespoons sage

1 medium onion, chopped

2 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped

1 stick margarine, melted

1 can cream of chicken soup 3 to 4 cups chicken broth

Mix all dressing ingredients together. Layer in the Crock Pot: 1/2 can of chicken soup, 1/2 dressing, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 dressing, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 soup. Cover and slow-cook on low for 3 hours. Serve while hot. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pistachio Salad

1 medium can crushed pineapple

1 package pistachio instant pudding

1/2 to 1 cup pecans

3/4 cup miniature marshmallows

1 large container whipped topping

Drain pineapple. Combine juice and instant pudding and mix together. Add rest of ingredients and mix well.

Chicken Divan

8-ounce package frozen broccoli, cooked

3 whole chicken breasts, cooked

1 cups shredded sharp cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Dash of curry powder

Snack crackers, crushed

Place cooked broccoli in shallow baking dish. Top with sliced chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.

Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder and pour this mixture over chicken. Sprinkle crackers on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Taco Salad Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust


1 pound lean ground beef

15-ounce can spicy chili beans, undrained

1/2 cup salsa

1 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives, if desired

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1 green onion, sliced

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup chopped lettuce

1 package taco seasoning mix

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare and bake pie crust according to package directions. Unfold pie crust; place in 9-inch pie pan. Prick bottom and sides with fork. For fluted edge, cut 13 2-inch triangle pieces from remaining crust and place around edge. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool.

In large skillet, brown ground beef; drain. Add chili beans, salsa and 1 cup of the cheese; mix well. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until beans are heated and cheese is melted. Spoon into cooled, baked pie shell. Top with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup cheese, tomato, onion, sour cream and olives. Serve immediately.

Chicken Salad I

4 cups cubed, cooked chicken breasts

1 cup halved seedless green grapes

1 package slivered almonds or 1 cup toasted pecans

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

Combine ingredients and add mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix thoroughly and chill.

Lemon Squares

1 stick margarine

1 egg, beaten

1 box lemon cake mix

8 ounces cream cheese

1 box powdered sugar

2 eggs

Mix margarine, egg and cake mix with fork until crumbly. Beat egg and cream cheese, then add powdered sugar. Place first mixture in 10x14-inch pan; pour egg, cream cheese and powdered sugar over top of other mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool; then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Bite-size Cherry Cheese Cakes 16 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs, beaten

12 vanilla wafers

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cherry pie filling, chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake liners in regular-size muffin pans.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Place one vanilla wafer into each lined cup, flat side down. Pour cream cheese mixture over wafer.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until firm but not brown. Cheese cakes can be wrapped and frozen for up to one month. Before serving, top with teaspoon of cherry pie filling.

Chocolate Morsel Cookies I

21/4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cutter

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

2 eggs

1 cup white chocolate morsels

1 cup milk chocolate morsels

3 milk chocolate English toffee candy bars, crushed

1 cup broken pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in chips, candy bars and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 100 2-inch cookies.

Fresh Coconut Cake

1 white cake mix with pudding

4 egg yolks (reserve whites)

11/4 cups fresh coconut milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Follow baking directions on the cake box.

Fresh Coconut Frosting:

4 unbeaten egg whites

Dash of salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cups sugar

1 freshly grated coconut

1/3 cup cold water

Place all ingredients except vanilla and coconut in top of a double boiler; beat 1 minute with electric mixer to blend.

Place over boiling water and cook, beating constantly, until frosting forms stiff peaks (about 7 minutes; don't overcook). Remove from heat and add vanilla; beat 2 minutes.

Frost bottom cake layer, then cover with freshly grated coconut. Add second layer and frost, then cover top and sides with coconut.

Chocolate Pie I

Make in a black skillet:

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 eggs, separated

1 pinch salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix cocoa, sugar, salt and flour. Add milk and put in black skillet. Cook on medium heat until thickened. Beat egg yolks and add a little of the hot mixture to them in a bowl. Put egg yolks and hot mixture in skillet. Add butter and vanilla.

Pour into a baked pie crust. Mix egg whites into a meringue. Place meringue on top of pie and brown in a preheated 350-degree oven until brown, about 10 minutes.

Fruit Cake

1 cups shortening

6 eggs

1/2 pound dates 1/2 pound raisins

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup strong coffee

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup grape juice

1 pounds candied cherries

1 pounds candied pineapple

1/2 cup syrup

8 cups nuts

1 teaspoon cloves

4 cups sifted flour

Cut up fruit and nuts; dredge in flour. Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Sift the remainder of flour with other ingredients.

Mix juice, coffee and syrup. Add to cake batter alternately with dry ingredients. Add nuts and fruits.

Pour in tube pan and bake in moderate oven at 225 degrees for approximately 4 hours. Makes 2 cakes.

Baked Chicken Reuben

4 whole broiler/fryer chicken breasts, halved and boned

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

16-ounce can sauerkraut, drained

4 slices natural Swiss cheese

11/4 cup bottled Thousand Island salad dressing

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

In a greased baking pan, place chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place sauerkraut over chicken; top with Swiss cheese. Pour dressing evenly over cheese.

Cover with foil and bake in 325-degree oven for about 1 hours or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Pasta Salad

12-ounce package Vermicelli pasta, cooked

4 tablespoons salad oil

4 teaspoons lemon juice

4 teaspoons Accent seasoning

1 pint mayonnaise

1 cups chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup stuffed olives, sliced

1 cup ripe olives, sliced

1 medium jar pimento, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta 6 minutes and drain. Add oil, lemon juice and Accent to pasta and marinate overnight. The next day, mix in the remaining ingredients and serve.

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