I've spent a lifetime with home economists and their recipes. Not only recipes for cooking, but recipes for management, balance and organization.
Recipes of quality and dependability.If I traced the roots, I suppose I should credit Effie Warnick for the beginning of home economics ideas in my life.
Not that I ever knew Miss Warnick, but she taught my mother at BYU and indirectly shared a body of knowledge with me.
Many of Warnick's ideas appeared in the oft-used pages of a blue cookbook - the basic recipes of my childhood. Basic recipes that included cooking and canning, and other home arts as well.
I learned to pull up a gathering thread from my 4-H-teaching mom but never learned to make cinnamon bubble bread like my next
4-H teacher, Loeen Whiting.
My first public school home economics teacher was Althea Wilson, who pushed me through three years of junior high studies. Her lessons were precise, her recipes memorable. I still have purple, ditto-machine copies in my file box - a file box that grew to unwieldy proportions when I selected a college major in home economics.
Among the valuable contents of that color-coded file were three volumes entitled "Best Recipes of Home Economists." Triplicate cookbooks covering casseroles, meats and desserts contained all the information a green-horn teacher needed in only three books. If I cooked with the advice of my newly discovered colleagues, I'd survive any kitchen assignment.
After all, home economists seem to have all the right answers.
Current Utah home economists answer many kitchen questions with the publication of a pair of cookbooks.
"The Utah Connection" boasts a selection of favorite recipes from local home economics teachers, extension personnel and others aligned with the field.
Compiled by committee members Chloe Merrill, Gene Ann Parsons, Diane Pusieski, Brenda Scofield, Stacy Turner and Karen Tuttle, the collection features unusual chapter headings.
Sections include "Children Can Cook," "Teenage Favorites" and "Old Time Family Favorites" as well as a group of quantity cookery recipes. Restaurant signature dishes fill another chapter. Quick and easy recipes are addressed in two groups, "Microwave Dishes" and "Efficiency Cooking."
Special helps sections include precautionary reminders to children in the kitchen, household hints, cooking terms and ideas for using leftovers.
A second collection focuses on expanding the use of the microwave. Entitled, "Microwave Masterpieces," the book contains recipes developed by home economists at Utah Power.
The book evolved over seven years, according to former Utah Power employee, Becky Eckersley.
"I started to do this while I was working, but there wasn't enough time," Eckersley admitted. "These dual assignments, working and taking caring of a family, only emphasized the need for the microwave."
Marilyn Manning, home economist for Utah Power in American Fork, concurred.
"People fail to realize the versatility of a microwave oven. They are reluctant to change old habits and find themselves limiting oven use to heating and thawing."
A recent poll in USA Today indicated that 70 percent of microwave users reheat frozen leftovers. Less than 40 percent use the oven to cook frozen foods or defrost meat or fish. Microwave cooking from scratch was not included in the survey.
Manning crusades for the oven's efficiency with the slogan, "Love the time I'm saving since I started microwaving."
The new cookbook contains not only a wealth of tested, time-saving recipes, but detailed instructions on how to expand the use of the microwave oven.
Ovens vary in wattage, which influences the amount of power available for cooking. Recipes are tested for 600-700 watt ovens and cooking times are prescribed for that wattage.
A simple test determines the approximate wattage of an oven. Place 1 cup of tap water in the microwave. Microwave on HIGH for 21/2-3 minutes; the water should boil. If it does not boil, the food will require longer to cook than the recipes indicate.
Manning cautions microwave users, however, to consider the three rules for successful microwaving, "Undercook, undercook and undercook."
With an abundance of tested recipes boundin a new microwave cookbook, anyone can find success in using the efficient appliance.
- TO ORDER "The Utah Connection," send a check for $12, including shipping, to UHEA Foundation, 4074 Edgehill Drive, Ogden, UT 84403.
"Microwave Masterpieces, compiled by Utah Home Economists in Business is available for $15, including shipping, through Utah HEIB, P.O.Box 264, American Fork, UT 84003.
Proceeds from the sale of both cookbooks support scholarship and equipment needs at state university and college home economics departments.
Almond Turkey and Oriental Vegetables
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon
11/2 cups frozen sliced carrots, thawed
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 package (10 oz.) frozen pea pods, thawed
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, sliced and drained
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
Fresh cilantro Heat oil in wok until hot. Crumble ground turkey into wok. Stir in garlic and ginger root. Cook, stirring gently, until turkey is browned. Stir in 1/2 cup of water and dry bouillon; reduce heat. Stir in carrots, cover and simmer, stirring once, for 3 minutes. Stir in onions, cook 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, pea pods and water chestnuts. Heat to boiling. Mix remaining water, cornstarch and soy sauce; stir into pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro. Serve over hot rice. Makes 4-6 servings.- From Ann Henderson
Fruity Chicken Salad
3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 cups seedless grapes
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup salted peanuts
Microwave chicken pieces; cool, skin, debone and cube. Combine chicken, celery and green onions in bowl. Blend salt, salad dressing and orange juice. Mix with the chicken/vegetables; add grapes, oranges and peanuts and chill. Makes 6 servings.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
1 tomato, diced
1 can diced green chilies
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 package tortilla chips
Sliced black olives
Sour cream In microwave safe bowl, combine beef, onion and garlic. Cook on high for 4 minutes; drain. Add beans, tomatoes, chilies, jalapeno and seasonings; mix thoroughly and sprinkle with cheese. Cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with sour cream and olives. Serve with chips.- From Chris Strank
Stuffed French Bread
1 loaf French bread
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/2 pound cheese, sliced Hollow out inside of French bread; cut lengthwise. Brown hamburger; drain and add onions and green pepper. Pour ketchup over meat and mix. Spoon into both sides of French bread and layer with cheese. Place sides together and wrap in foil. Warm at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut in slices and serve 6-8.- From Brenda Scofield
10-12 medium carrots
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Prepare carrots and cut in 1/2-inch diagonal slices. Place in casserole with butter and brown sugar; cover. Microwave on HIGH 15 minutes; stir once. Mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Pour over carrots. Microwave on HIGH 4-6 minutes or until thickened. Add pecans. Makes 6-8 servings.
Whole Wheat Bread (see microfilm for recipes)