Community Cookbooks

Posted Tue, 12/07/10


Celebrity cookbooks with fancy presentation are all fine and dandy, but I prefer localized community cookbooks. I find interesting and reliable recipes within homegrown publications, which stands to reason as most of the dishes have likely been handed down for generations.


Like most people, I've amassed quite a collection of local books over the years. This includes church-generated and charitable endeavor varieties, along with work-related cookbooks assembled by employees. While most of them don't have glossy pictures or star-crossed titillation, they offer tried and true recipes with simple preparation methods.


The following recipe comes from Food Therapy Cooking, which was published by St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington:


Russian Scalloped Potatoes

2 small onions, chopped

4 TBS butter or margarine

1 TBS flour

1/2 C consommé

1/2 C sour cream

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 drops Tabasco sauce

1 can (16 oz.) new white potatoes

2 C pre-cooked ham, cut into thin strips

2 small dill pickles

Parmesan cheese, grated


Simmer the onions in half the butter in a skillet until soft, but not brown. Add the flour; cook for five minutes. Add the consommé, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Continue cooking for another ten minutes over low heat. Slice potatoes thin and sauté in remaining butter for about five minutes. Trim fat from the ham and cut into thin strips, about 1x1/2" thick. Peel the pickles and slice very thin. Mix all ingredients with the onion sauce carefully, using a fork. Place all together in a 9x9" baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350-degrees F for about twenty to thirty minutes. Serve.

The recipe was credited to Linda Tracy, from the Food Service Department at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute.


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