Happy Birthday, Aunt Rose Ella! Today is the birthday of one of my all-time favorite aunts and people, my mom’s sister, Rose Ella Kugler Latshaw.
very best sandwich ever in the whole wide world: whole wheat stone ground bread, mayo, a slice of cheese, onion, and still-warm tomatoes fresh out of the garden. It was Aunt Rose Ella who introduced me to applesauce making, although I’ve never achieved a texture as fine as hers. And it was Aunt Rose Ella who introduced the entire Parker Ford area to “Pink Salad,” (Also known as Pink Fluff.)
The story of Pink Fluff is a classic tale of why church ladies don’t share their recipes. I’m not sure how Aunt Rose Ella discovered it, but the first time she made it, it was a H-U-G-E hit. So much so, that multiple requests were made for the recipe. Aunt Rose Ella complied and on the occasion of the next covered dish dinner at the church…you guessed it. There were six different bowls of Pink Fluff! Aunt Rose Ella did not lose heart, and she has continued to make it for every carry-in and every family get-together since. No one ever has to ask, “Who made the Pink Salad?”
Aunt Rose Ella is an amazing encourager. It is doubtful that I would have ever come out of my shell as a child if it weren’t for people like her. She was a big part of encouraging me to go into the ministry. She continues to encourage everyone as they use their gifts, and she has been there almost every Tuesday night during the Alpha Course, encouraging those of us who are preparing the meals.
She was there this past week as we served up a truckload of chili. Wow! 10 pounds of ground beef, 12 cans of beans, 6 cans of diced tomatoes, and a huge can (96 oz.) of crushed tomatoes. And then there were the fresh vegetables: onions, celery, and green pepper. Thank goodness I got a food processor for my birthday! It really came in handy. In addition to using it for the chili, I grated two and a half heads of cabbage and 2 pounds of carrots for some of Alpha’s “Everlasting Slaw,” (recipe follows, below). We also served some homemade Alpha cornbread, (two recipes follow). It was a banner week, and I think I’m in love with my food processor!
|"Babysitting" the chili. There's another pan on the rack below.|
This week’s chili recipe is reduced to easily serve 8-10 people. If you want to serve more, just double or triple it. It’s very mild, but is quickly “heated up” with a little Tabasco or other favorite hot sauce.
1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1¼ teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Brown the ground beef with the minced garlic. (You can add the chopped onions to the raw ground beef and cook them together if you like.) Drain excess fat and remove to a large pot. Sauté the celery, onion, and green pepper in a little olive oil, until they begin to get tender. The celery will take longer, so start sautéing that while you prepare the onions and green pepper. If things starts to dry out, add some of the crushed the crushed tomatoes. Add the sautéed vegetables to the beef.
Next add the beans, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. It is not necessary to drain the beans before adding them. Finally, add the spices and cook the chili on medium low heat for at least an hour, allowing all of the flavors to permeate. As you can tell from the picture above, you can also allow the chili to cook in the oven. We used large aluminum foil chafing dish inserts and they worked well. A crock pot would also work.
Swedish mashed along with buttered whole kernel corn, and some folks topped their chili with the corn. I prefer shredded cheddar cheese. It's great served over rice, too. Recipes for other sides to complement the chili are provided below.
This recipe is from the Alpha Course cookbook. It’s a different type of slaw with an oil, brown sugar, and vinegar dressing. I wondered about the name, thinking it might have a religious connotation. Not so. It keeps “forever” in the refrigerator! (At least a week, anyway.) It is best if made at least a day ahead. The new food processor came in handy for this recipe, too!
1 small or ½ large sweet onion, grated
½ large head of green cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola or olive oil
½ teaspoon salt (I used a little less)
½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate in the refrigerator. Toss several times while it’s marinating and again just before serving.
I’m providing two cornbread recipes to go along with this week’s chili. The first is also from the Alpha Course cookbook, and it’s called “Johnny Cake Cornbread.” It’s very smooth in texture, fairly moist, and as thick as the layer of a cake.
JOHNNY CAKE CORNBREAD
½ cup sugar
2 cups yogurt (Don’t go by ounces on container. Measure.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 350°.
Beat eggs, sugar, and yogurt until smooth. Combine the remaining dry ingredients, adding the melted butter last. Do not over mix. Pour batter into a greased 10”x15” pan, if you have one. You can use a 9”x13” pan, but it will be very full and may take longer to bake.
The recipe calls for baking the cornbread at 425° for 20-25 minutes. I opted to go with a lower temperature, baking it for 35-40 minutes. Remember, the worst way to bake is using a timer. It’s done when the middle springs back when lightly touched or when a cake tester comes out clean.
My daughter-in-law shared this recipe with me, and highly recommended it. It contains two cans of corn; one whole kernel and one creamed. I was skeptical about that much corn content, asking her if it would be “mainline” enough for the Tuesday night crowd. She assured me that it would, but unfortunately, I ran out of time. I was anxious to try it and made this recipe a couple of days later. I have to tell you, the smell of it baking was incredible. In my opinion it takes “cornbread” to a whole new level. It is so moist and flavorful. It could almost be a meal by itself.
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1½ sticks butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix all ingredients together, adding the melted butter last. Pour batter into a 9”x13” greased pan. (I used two 8”x8” pans, and they worked fine.) Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, again until the center springs back when lightly touched. Let cornbread cool completely before cutting and serving.