MELBA'S SWAP SHOP
MAKE EASY MINESTRONE
DEAR MELBA: A church friend asked me for recipes prepared in a slow cooker. Forgotten Minestrone, slow-cooker style, is one I chose, and I think readers will like it, too, not just because of flavor but also convenience. The original came from Martha and Les Gilliam, of Ponca City.
1 pound lean beef stew meat
6 cups water
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
1 beef bouillon cube
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced dried parsley
11/2 teaspoons salt, approximately
11/2 teaspoons ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup uncooked small elbow or shell macaroni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• In slow cooker, combine beef, water, tomatoes, bouillon cube, onion, parsley, salt, thyme and pepper. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until meat is tender. Add zucchini, cabbage, beans and macaroni. Cover and cook on high 30 to 45 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle individual servings with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 servings.
DAVE FARRINGTON, Midwest City
DEAR MELBA: I'm trying to get information on craft shows that will be held throughout the year. I'm especially interested in the smaller ones held at schools or churches, where the booth rent is lower.
I would really appreciate your help, so I can plan my year.
PAT DACUS, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: In the late 1960s, my mom made a Big Ben Cake. I don't recall anything about it except it was a layer cake. When she died in 1972, we were not able to locate the recipe. Please ask readers if anyone remembers this recipe and will share.
PHYLLIS MCDOUGAL, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: Crescent Market used to have the best Meatloaf Mix on the planet. I believe it was a blend of beef, pork and veal. I've tried to reproduce it, but nothing comes out as tender and tasty. Please ask if someone can help me.
MRS. PAT GUINN, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: Thank you so much for putting our request for Box Tops for Education for the Edmond Central Middle School in your column. We received many. I sent thank-you notes to all that had return addresses.
However, there were several with no return address. In the event you have enough space, please say “thanks” to those who did not receive a thank-you note from us.
CANDACE GIDEO, Edmond
DEAR MELBA: I love this quote: The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
KAYE MERRIAM, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: Here's one of my favorite quotes: Sorrow looks back, fear looks around, faith looks up.
LORI CHRESTMAN, Wilburton
DEAR MELBA: I thought you might like to know what the Golden Years are. The Golden Years are when you're between the ages of 16 and 20. You know everything in the world, and somebody else is paying the bills.
PATSY OSTRANDER, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: I enjoyed the “English made easy” list you published recently. Here's one more: Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
DEAR READERS: I must have been having trouble getting started last week when I gave you Caroline Medlinger's email address. The one I gave you was wrong. If you want to visit with her about her Amish Bread Starter, her real address is email@example.com. Sorry.
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.