Supper’s ready and waiting with planning

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Today’s Special

These cold winter nights call for warm and nourishing suppers to make you feel good all over. So, this week I’m sharing three of my mother’s favorite supper dishes. She believed in having a family-seated-around-the-table supper every night with good food and conversation that was just as nourishing for our hearts and souls as the food was for our bodies.

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Momma was ahead of the curve when it came to meal planning. She told me more than once that what she missed the most about being in assisted living was cooking. And when she could, carefully and kindly, she made suggestions to the kitchen staff, usually by way of saying she sure would enjoy having a certain dish or meal like she would have prepared at home. And most often, according to her, when they took her suggestion and tried it, everyone loved it.

Her weekly menu always included a meatless meal, too. Her favorite was pinto beans, slaw, cornbread and stuffed eggs served with a slab of fresh sliced white onion. There may have been a small piece of fatback in the beans for flavor… but not much.

She loved trying new recipes from friends, Good Housekeeping and, especially, Southern Living magazines.  My sister and I found the current issues of both in her room last week.  She never grew tired of thinking about recipes and tasty combinations. She’d want you to try these recipes for your family and call everyone to the table for supper and conversation.

Hamburger Casserole

Comfort food at its finest…

1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 large white onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil

15-ounce can meatless spaghetti sauce

1 cup celery, diced (optional)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 15-ounce can drained green peas or whole kernel corn

1 4-ounce package egg noodles or your favorite pasta shape

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

In large skillet brown meat with onion, bell pepper in butter or oil. Cook pasta, drain.  Add cooked pasta and remaining ingredients to meat mixture. Cook over medium low heat until casserole cooks down slightly. Place in casserole dish and cover with cheese.  Bake about 30 minutes in 325-degree oven.  Serve with a green vegetable and toasted French bread.

Ranch Round Steak

*Substitute canola or olive oil for the shortening for a healthier version

3 pounds beef round steak, about ½ inch thick cut in 6 serving sized pieces

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup shortening*

½ cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Trim fat from beef, slash edges to prevent curling. Combine flour and seasonings, then use to coat meat pieces. Reserve remaining flour mixture. In skillet brown meat, half at a time on both sides in hot shortening (or oil). Push meat to one side, stir in reserved flour mixture. Combine water and Worcestershire sauce, stir into skillet mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours on low heat until meat is tender. Remove meat to warmed platter. Skim excess fat from gravy, drizzle over meat.  Serve with creamed potatoes or rice and cooked cabbage.

Baked Pork Chops

Serve with wild rice, sweet potatoes, and turnip greens. Can you say yum!

Cook 2 sliced onions in ⅛ stick of margarine or butter in skillet then line bottom of lightly greased casserole dish with the cooked onion. Salt and pepper 4 – 6 meaty pork chops, brown in another ⅛ stick of oleo. Place on top of onion in casserole. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar over chops. Mix 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon prepared chili sauce, and 1 cup ginger ale; pour mixture over pork chops and onions. Cover and bake 1 hour in 350-degree oven.