October 5, 2010

A Trip North to Husker Nation


So while we travel to a new state, I'm reorganizing my pantry after I heard a clatter two nights ago.

Three shelves were starting to fall and I knew I was in need of new support for my dishes and plastics and kitchen appliances. For six years this built-in shelving system helped me stay fairly organized. But for some time, one of the long boards would start to slip and I'd have to heave it back up on it's wall and two bar supports. With three shelves slanting precariously, I knew it was time to change up the pantry before all four shelves ended up on the ground. So my kitchen is quite the mess (I mean WORSE than it normally is.) More updates on the pantry later this week.

Let's check out Nebraska, shall we? If you're seeking recipes from the Great State of Nebraska, you can purchase a copy of "Inspired Recipes from Nebraska" that states on their web site:

Proceeds from sales will provide funds for educational materials about the history of the Governor’s residence given to grade schools and for updates to the residence. 

And at $36.05 a copy, I hope that the Governor's Residence (placed on the National Registry this year) is getting some really great window treatments. The First Lady of Nebraska Sally Ganem mentions in her letter on the site that the cookbook proves that "politicians eat more than rubber chicken."

I won't be asking for any rubber chicken recipes for this project. But we will explore the proper way to make a Husker Burger before heading to a NU football game, bring to light a few Kool-Aid recipes since it was invented in Hastings, Neb., and explore some bierocks (Runza was started in Nebraska) and kolache recipes from a state food culture influenced by German and Eastern European cultures, says Dr. Georgia Jones, of the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

But today my friend Alyson Burnett Rawitch shares two of her favorites recipes from her family cookbook titled "Mostly on Your Mother's Side." I love that title!

Alyson writes: "My mom and dad grew up in Omaha and Lincoln respectively. Below is one of my mom's recipes. I prefer it with frozen corn and Ritz Crackers."

Sally Burnett's Baked Corn
From Alyson's family cookbook: "Mostly on Your Mother's Side"
A prairie recipe from the 1967 Nebraska Centennial Cookbook

Mix with an egg beater:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half and
1 egg
Add 2 cans kernel corn (drained) and
1 can creamed corn
Add 2 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
Add salt & pepper to taste
Mix in 24 to 36 crushed crackers
Top with more cracker crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.

And for dessert, a simple but delightful dessert. You can tell we're moving up the longitude latitude (I always confuse those terms) and the cooks can make meringue desserts without worrying about the humidity of the south. Here's Alyson's grandmother's recipe.

Alyson says, "My aunt, Katie Dailey Hopper wrote: "I can remember these piled on a
round silver tray and served at piano recitals at our house."  My kids LOVE them."

Mildred Jane Dailey's Meringue Kisses

Beat until stiff:
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
Add slowly:
1 cup sugar
Stir in:
Chocolate chips (12 oz package) (I use mini's)
Drop by spoonfuls on a (sprayed with Pam) cookie sheet. Lift to a peak
with back of spoon. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

Check back later this week for more Nebraska recipes. Feel free to submit your favorites in comments.

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