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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Make It Special for National Grandparents Day

By Sherrie Norris

It hasn’t quite caught on like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and a few other important holidays we celebrate, but for the last 42 years, Grandparents Day has been acknowledged on the first Sunday after Labor Day, proclaimed as such by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

The idea for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia, whose primary motivation was to champion
the cause of lonely elderly persons in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap into the priceless wisdom and heritage their grandparents have to share.

On Sunday, September 13, if you haven’t already, you have the opportunity to begin a new family tradition as you treat the grandparents to a great meal, letting them know how much you love and appreciate them.

Let’s look at a few time-honored ideas to make the day a huge success, geared toward the senior population whose Sunday dinners might have included one of the following recipes in earlier years:


Mom’s Sunday Stewed Chicken

4- 5 pound chicken (cut in serving pieces)

½ cup flour

Salt and pepper to tasted

¼ cup oil

2 medium onions, chopped

½ green pepper

2 cups tomatoes

1 cup sliced carrots

1 can mushrooms or ½ pound fresh

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or brown paper bag. Drop chicken, a piece or two at a time, into flour mixture. Place in skillet in hot oil and brown on both sides
for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove chicken to plate; add onion,
peppers and mushrooms to oil and cook 5 minutes. Place chicken back in pan and add tomatoes. Add water to cover and place lid on pan; cook for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Take about 2 tablespoons of flour mixture and mix with ¼ cold water. Bring chicken back to boil and add flour/water mixture to stew gradually, stirring. Turn
off heat and let set for 5 minutes.


Fried Apple Pies

2 cups self-rising flour

¼ cup shortening

1 cup milk


4 apples

½ stick butter or margarine

1 tsp . cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ cup brown sugar

Powdered sugar

Combine flour, shortening and milk; mix well. Roll into balls the size of a walnut (should make 12). Flatten each with a rolling pin. Peel and chop apples.

Cook apples, margarine, spices, and brown sugar until apples are tender. Place 1 Tbsp. of this apple mixture in the center of each flattened ball of dough. Fold corners and press edges with fork. Fry in shortening until golden brown on each side. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Simple Cream of Chicken Soup

6 Tbsp. butter

1/3 cup flour

½ cup milk

½ cup light cream

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup finely chopped chicken

Melt butter in pan, blend in flour. Add milk, cream and broth. Cook and stir until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat. Stir in chicken and a dash of pepper. Serves 2-3.

(Double as needed to feed more.)


Old-Timey Rice Pudding

2 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 qt. milk; scalded

Tsp.1 vanilla extract

1/3 cup  rice; uncooked

½ cup seedless raisins

1 tsp. nutmeg; to taste

Beat lightly the eggs, sugar and salt. Add milk, vanilla, rice and
raisins. Pour into 1-quart casserole and set in pan of water (1-inch deep). Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 2-2 ½ hours in a “slow oven” at 250-300 degrees F, stirring three times in the first hour. Bake until a knife thrust into custard comes out clean. Immediately remove from heat. Serves 6. **Watch carefully during the last half hour; cover lightly with foil if it browns too quickly.


Tea Cakes

3 ½ cups self-rising flour

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ to ¾ cup shortening

Mix all ingredients together and knead until sugar does not feel grainy on hands. Work dough well; roll small pinches in hand. Lay on lightly sprayed cookie sheet, patting out to form a thin “cake.” Bake 10 minutes in preheated oven at 375.