MELBA’S SWAP SHOP
BE INDEPENDENT ON JULY 4
DEAR READERS: July Fourth is just around the corner, and it’s time to start making plans.
Shopping, cooking and cleaning up can keep you in the kitchen more than a day,
What are your time-saving tricks and recipes? Want to share so we can enjoy Independence Day more?
Let’s begin with organization. I like to start my menu in advance with grocery list attached. My family will probably picnic, so what shall I make?
It’s absolutely necessary to have desserts.
Here’s a good idea from Theresa Lovelace. One nice thing, it can be made ahead. If taking it on a picnic, you will need to pack it in an ice chest or a cold bag.
DEAR MELBA: This recipe for Lemon Cheese Pie was part of a cooking project in my eighth-grade home economics class in Yucaipa, Calif., in 1966. I’ve made it many times over the years.
Sugar-free pudding works well. Lower-fat content in the milk and-or cream cheese results in a softer set pudding, and one of my friends prefers using chocolate pudding mix. I’ve even served it with unfrosted cake or cookies instead of as pie.
LEMON CHEESE PIE
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
11/2 cups cold milk
1 small package instant lemon pudding mix
In large bowl of electric mixer, blend cream cheese with small amount of milk. Add pudding mix gradually with remaining milk. Continue beating slowly until pudding thickens. Pour into your choice of piecrust. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
— Theresa Lovelace, Tuttle
DEAR MELBA: Phyllis Ross gave me this recipe. It would be a great picnic item.
1 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
In medium mixing bowl, mix all ingredients and roll into bite-size balls. Put on a sheet pan and put in refrigerator to set. Makes about 21/2 dozen.
— Helen Rector, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: We may have to start a new dictionary when we realize that the noun calories means: Tiny creatures that live inside your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.
Thinking along the line of things of weighty matter, a new government study found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
Also, my fitness coach told me to bend down and touch my toes. I told him, "I don’t have that kind of relationship with my feet. Can I just wave?"
— Carol Jackson, North Carolina
DEAR MELBA: A quick cooking tip: When making cookies, leave the butter out of the refrigerator the night before. It’ll be easy to mix into the cookie dough when you are ready to start.
— Laura Lee Means, Moore
DEAR MELBA: I have a friend who is looking for a recipe for caramel icing. Please ask if anyone can help.
— Geni Thomas, Oklahoma City
I’m sure others will share, but here is Caramel Icing from several years ago.
Be sure to use cream or evaporated milk in this recipe. And use this icing only on one-layer cakes or Bundt cakes. It hardens too quickly to use on layered cakes.
11/2 cups brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
5 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
In large saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and cream to boil. Stir in confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt. Remove from heat and beat until thick enough to spread over cake while warm, working quickly.
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you’d like to share, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Melba’s Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.