Summer is the season when many folks gather together to share a potluck meal. Block parties, pool parties, family or class reunions, church picnicsany one of these occasions might be the time you need to pull together something to take for the meal which is sure to please a hungry crowd. While driving through your favorite restaurant to pick up chicken or stopping at the local deli counter to grab potato salad is a great last-minute solution, bringing something homemade is likely to garner extra brownie points from your table mates. Fort Dodge Today scoured some local church cookbooks (a great source of tried-and-true recipes) and came up with a variety of dishes sure to satisfy.
Who doesn't like a slice of homemade bread with their meal? The cooks at First Covenant contributed several recipes for Swedish Rye bread to the church's centennial cookbook of 1996 titled Recipes and Remembrances. What follows is Lois Anderson's Rye Bread recipe.
Calico Beans are a favorite potluck dish. Photo by Regina Smith.
Scald 2 cups of milk with one stick of butter. Can use potato water. Put 2 cups cold water in bowl. Add 3 full cups of rye flour. Add 2 to 3 Tbs. Instant dry yeast. Add hot milk mixture to water and beat until yeast dissolves. Liquid can by a little warmer with instant yeast. Can use other yeast and dissolve in water before adding. Add c. brown sugar, 1 c. molasses, 3/4 c. white sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Can use anise flavoring or caraway. Add about 8 c. white flour. Knead. May take 1 or 2 cups more flour. Place in oiled bowl. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down, then turn over in bowl. Let rise about 30 minutes. Form into loaves and let rise. Cover with towel and keep warm. When 1 inch over top of pan, it is ready to bake. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Loaves should be brown and slip out of pans easily. Recipe makes 4 large loaves, or 5 medium or 6 small.
Ovens vary. Small loaves may be done in less time. Larger loaves may take 1 hour.
Another Swedish recipe that is great for potluck occasions is Swedish Meatballs. First Covenant's Recipes and Remembrances contains several recipes for the savory meatballs. This is Florence H. Anderson's recipe.
3/4 lb. lean ground beef1 egg
3/4 lb. lean ground pork1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 c. soft bread crumbs1 tsp. salt
1 c. condensed milk1 tsp. ginger
c. finely chopped onionDash of pepper
3 Tbs. butterDash of nutmeg
Mix all ingredients and beat mixture. Roll in size of walnuts and brown on all sides. Mix 1 cup beef bouillon, 1 cup water, 2 Tbs. flour and tsp. instant coffee. Make like a gravy. Pour over meatballs. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
From St. Olaf Lutheran's 1993 cookbook, From Our House To Yours, comes another favorite main dish: Betty Pepples' recipe for Calico Beans.
1 lb. hamburger
1 med. onion, chopped
1 can lima or butter beans (drained)
1 can red beans (drained)
1 can pork & beans
1 c. catsup
1 tsp. mustard
c. brown sugar
c. white sugar
1/4 tsp. vinegar
Brown the hamburger and onion. Remove fat drippings. Put in 2 qt. casserole. Add beans, sugar, catsup, mustard and vinegar. Stir well. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Also from the 1993 St. Olaf Lutheran cookbook, a coleslaw recipe that travels well because there is no mayonnaise involved. The recipe was contributed by Sue Seltz.
Oriental Slaw Salad
1 med. to large head cabbage, shredded
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
c. toasted almonds
1 pkg. Top Ramen Oriental-flavored noodles
3 Tbs. red vinegar
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Dry seasoning packet from the noodles
c. light olive oil
Mix all salad ingredients except noodles which should be set aside until serving time. Dressing: Mix dressing ingredients; shake and pour over salad. Break apart dry, uncooked noodles and add shortly before serving. (Editor's note: I have made this salad many times and successfully substituted 2 bags pre-shredded coleslaw mix from bagged salad section of grocery store in place of the cabbage.)
First Congregational United Church of Christ put together their church cookbook, A Taste of Heaven, in 2007. (The church still has copies of the cookbook available for $3 in the church office.) Two great take-along desserts from the book include Kim Bodholt's Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake and Heather Dutcher's Hillbilly Pie.
Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
3 c. sliced, fresh rhubarb
1 c. sugar
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, melted
2/3 c. milk
Sprinkle rhubarb in greased 10" heavy (oven proof) skillet. Combine sugar, flour, and nutmeg; sprinkle over rhubarb. Drizzle with butter. For batter: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in mixing bowl. Add butter, milk and egg. Beat until smooth. Spread over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Loosen edges immediately and invert onto serving dish. Serve warm topped with whipped cream if desired. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
3/4 c. light corn syrup
3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. rolled oats
1 (9") unbaked pie crust
Mix together corn syrup, sugar, eggs, margarine and vanilla. Stir in oatmeal. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.