Teresa Hatchell 2005

This Wednesday's column being the last one before we celebrate Christmas, I thought I would share with you a most wonderful, true saying and recipe from a reader I have corresponded with through the years.

“I believe anything is possible. Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open, so enjoy the blessings of each day … be happy!” That was the way Sandra Whetstone of Norway concluded an email to me back in 2007. It was a letter in which Sandra noted that her granddaughter was getting married and that Sandra was handwriting her granddaughter a little cookbook with family recipes, and recipes that readers and I have shared that she has tried and enjoyed. What a wonderful wedding gift or a special gift for someone you hold dear … a handwritten cookbook … a gift from the heart.

In the email original email, Sandra shared a most wonderful recipe that she inherited from her grandmother – Sweet ‘Potatoer’ Pound Cake -- a perfect recipe for Christmas dessert tables everywhere.

A few Saturdays later, Brenda Stroman emailed me for a “pineapple pie made for a salad.” She remembered that I had run such a recipe in The T&D at some point. Then last week, I got an email from Linda Williams who wrote: "You had a recipe in The T&D years ago -- sweet potato pound cake. I lost the recipe. Could you please send it to me? It was the best!" those emails, finding the recipes, I decided to rerun that cake recipe and two pineapple recipes this week so that you all may consider serving them with your holiday feast.

Sweet ‘Potater’ pound cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

2-1/2 sweet ‘potaters’, cooked and mashed

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup grated coconut (thawed from frozen)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional) 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter well in a large bowl, then add the sugar slowly, beating well after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine and sift the dry ingredients twice. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well after each addition. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon, mixing well.

Grease a 10-inch tube pan and spoon the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. When the cake is done, cool it on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a cake plate and cool completely. This cake really needs no frosting. If frosting is desired, make a cream cheese frosting.

Pineapple Casserole (Pie)

2 (15-1/2 ounce) cans chunk pineapple, drain, save the juice

1 cup sugar

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1/3 cup self-rising flour

2 cups medium or mild Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 stack of Ritz crackers

Mix the pineapple juice, sugar and flour together and then add the pineapple. Pour this mixture into a lightly buttered 12-inch casserole dish and sprinkle cheese on top. Saute the crushed Ritze crackers in the melted butter and then sprinkle on top of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This recipe serves six or eight. This recipe is great with any type of meat.

Creamy Orange-Pineapple Salad

8-1/2 ounce can crushed pineapple

3-ounce package cream cheese

1 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup grated carrot

3-ounce package orange Jell-O

Drain the pineapple and save the juice. Add water to the juice to make one cup. In the microwave or a saucepan, bring this pineapple juice/water to a boil. Add Jell-O and soft cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally. Whip the whipping cream and fold it into the cooled gelatin. Also, fold in the carrots and pineapple. Chill until firm. This recipe serves eight.

Email writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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