Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 21, 2008

Grandma's Kitchen: Shared holiday recipes


It's stormy outside but cozy and cheery inside. The smell of turkey soup is spreading through the house. I'll be ready for a bowl when I finish here. I'm carrying on the Christmas spirit with a Mannheim Steamroller CD going. This is not something I would have chosen but my niece gave it to me last year and I really like it. My favorite piece is "Catching Snowflakes on your Tongue." The album a compilation of sacred and secular music and adds a little variety to what I've listened to for years.

Since this is the last column of our "Christmas Caper," I really want to say a big thank you to all who took the time to share their favorite recipes. It has been fun for me, and I hope for you. I've enjoyed all of your mail and phone calls. I think we need to get together someday for a potluck.

Since your time and my space are limited, I'll get right to the recipes you sent. Each one is a tradition in your homes and it's our privilege to share them.

The first one is from the Rev. Marvin Rosa and his wife Annette who do the wonderful hymn sings all over the area. This is on their dessert table every Christmas. Annette learned to love it at her Grandmother Ruth Hartman's home, so now it's a Rosa tradition.

Steamed Christmas Pudding

1 c. ground suet (can be bought at Oleson's; lard or Crisco can be substituted)

1 c. ground raisins

1 c. Karo syrup

1 c. buttermilk (with 1 t. soda dissolved)

Add about 3 cups of flour, just enough to make a stiff dough. Steam 2 hours in a double boiler. Serve with cinnamon sauce.

Cinnamon Sauce:

1&1/2 c. sugar

3 T. cornstarch

1&1/2 t. cinnamon

6 T. butter

3 c. water

Blend sugar,cornstarch and cinnamon in a saucepan with the water. Cook and stir over medium heat until it thickens. Add the butter, mix well and serve warm over pudding. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


This is Paula Brousseau's favorite Christmas recipe because it can be made ahead of time. She makes it up in Bellaire every Christmas, and it really sounds festive.

Strawberry Coconut Rice Delight

3 c. cooked rice (not instant)

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature, divided

1 21-oz. can strawberry pie filling

1 c. powdered sugar

1 13-oz. carton whipped topping, thawed

1 6-oz. pkg. coconut instant pudding

3 c. milk

1 c. flaked toasted coconut

After rice has cooked, remove it from heat and add chopped nuts and a third of the cream cheese, stirring with fork until it is blended.

Spread the rice mixture in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Refrigerate until chilled, then spread strawberry pie filling over this. Chill again.

Blend the remaining cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth, then blend with half the whipped topping. Spread this mixture over the strawberries and rice layers. Refrigerate.

Mix the instant pudding with milk and let thicken. Spread the pudding over the last layer and refrigerate another 45 minutes. Spread the remaining half of the whipped topping over the pudding and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Makes 12-14 servings.

Thank you Paula!


Last but certainly not least, this comes from a dear friend, Berniece Gonder. For many years she and her husband John supplied us with wonderful garden goodies. Now John is at Tendercare and Berniece has bought a condo close by so they can be together every day. This recipe was handed down from her mother, and now Berniece says she has made it for 50 years!

Memories ...

Honey Goodies

1/2 c. butter, melted

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. chopped dates

1 egg

2&1/2 c. Rice Krispies

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chopped nut meats

Blend butter, sugar, dates and egg and and cook slowly for 10 minutes.

Add Rice Krispies. Cool this mixture until it can be handled. Shape into ball the size of small walnuts. Roll in flaked coconut and refrigerate in airtight container

with waxed paper or parchment between layers. Makes about two dozen cookies.

Again, my thanks to all who made this so much fun!

Parting Shot: Christmas reminds us once again that miracles happen in the most unexpected places. Oh, that our hearts could be the manger.

Edna Shaffer is a local mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who writes about cooking from the perspective of an older adult. She can be reached via the Record-Eagle at 120 W. Front, Traverse City, Mi 49685; or by sending e-mail to: