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I’ve just been reminded that it was 25 years ago this month that Cooks’ Exchange was launched with me in command. While shaking my head in disbelief about how quickly time flies, the smile on my face widens by the second. There have been so many great pleasures I’ve experienced along the way while responding to your requests, and it is time to thank you so much for becoming such loyal readers and good friends.

So, while I’m proudly popping my buttons, I digest the glory of spring while filling today’s column with a vegetable of prominence during the fall season, which also happens to be one of many great joys of residing in a four season location. Instead of planting basil and Italian parsley, or giving thoughts to rhubarb pies, here is a squash recipe requested last November by Valerie Hoch, shared later by Sharon Clark, of Lodi, who had copied it from a 2003 State Journal.

Squash biscuits

1 cup mashed squash

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted shortening, vegetable oil, or butter

¾ cup scalded milk

1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoon)

¼ cup warm water

4 cups flour (approximately)

Mix together squash, sugar, salt, shortening, and milk. Dissolve yeast in warm water, then add to first mixture and mix well. Mix in 2 cups of flour. Add remaining flour and knead 8-10 minutes until smooth and satiny. Cover and let rise until double, about one hour. Roll out on lightly floured board and cut or shape into biscuits or rolls. Place on greased cookie sheets or in muffin tins. Cover and let rise until double in size. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Another response for a squash soup recipe requested by Elks #410 Past Exalted Ruler Richard Olson, has been shared by Carol Rohde, an active Elks member who happens to be my next door neighbor.

Corn and squash soup

12 bacon strips, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 can (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth

6 cups mashed cooked butternut squash

2 can (8 ¾ ounces each) cream-style corn

2 cups half-and-half cream

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Sour cream, optional

In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute onion and celery until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the squash, corn, cream, parsley, salt, pepper and bacon. Cook and stir until heated through. Garnish with sour cream, if desired. Yield: 8 servings (2 ½ quarts).

During the past 25 years, there’s rarely been a response equaling the meatloaf recipes that arrived to feature in two consecutive columns. The first of the remaining three begin with retired teacher Isabel Hubbard’s favorite from Betty Crocker’s “Dinner for Two” cookbook she received many years ago as a shower gift from a kindergarten student when she was teaching in Kenosha.

Meatloaf

½ pound ground beef or veal

¼ pound ground lean pork

1 ½ slices of soft bread, torn in pieces and ½ cup milk, or ½ cup dry bread crumbs and ½ cup milk

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons grated onions

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each of pepper, dry mustard, celery salt & garlic salt

1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and place in shallow baking pan. Spread with ketchup or favorite BBQ sauce

Bake 1 hour until done.

Can also be served cold on sandwiches.

Louise Brockman, of Platteville, shared her favorite meatloaf described as being the “best of all” she’s tried in the past. She also mentioned using tomato soup once when she didn’t have tomato sauce on hand and that it was still delicious.

Meatloaf

1 cup dry bread crumbs

½ cup milk

8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

½ cup chopped onion

Combine all ingredients except hamburger. Mix well. Add hamburger and combine gently. Use a 9x13-inch pan prepared with Pam or other type of coating. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Hang in there for one last meatloaf recipe from a Better Homes & Gardens September 1993 issue that “boasts a crunchy green pepper filling.”

Burger in the round

1 ½ pounds ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Dash of pepper

¾ cup soft bread crumbs

¾ cup milk

1 slightly beaten egg

1 garlic clove

1 cup coarsely chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup bottled barbecue sauce

Combine meat with next 7 ingredients; pat half the mixture into a shallow 8-inch round baking dish. Cook garlic and green pepper in butter until almost tender; spread over meat. Top green pepper mixture with remaining meat mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Pour barbecue sauce over meat and garnish with green pepper triangles; bake 10 minutes more. Cut in wedges.

Makes 6 servings.

Because it’s time for dessert, Bette Kowalske, of Monona, mentioned how much she loves pecan pie, but wondered if there’s a recipe for one using walnuts instead, I happened to find a recipe in my “Blue Ribbon” cookbook that took first place honors two different times for Sue Jones, in Springfield, Missouri.

Missouri walnut pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unbleached or all-purpose flour

1 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pastry for a single crust 9-inch pie

1 ½ cups black walnuts or regular walnuts, broken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Blend well. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry and pour in the filling. Arrange walnuts on top. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes longer, or until center appears set. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

8 servings

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at greenbush4@aol.com.

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