The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 5, 2014

Cheryle Finley: Beatles' anniversary stirs fond memories

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Do you remember where you were 50 years ago this Sunday? I certainly do, and it happened to be a Sunday then, too.

We visited the home of Junior and Thelma Goodnight, where we all gathered around the TV to watch The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show." I remember thinking they were fabulous. Paul was so cute. I remember Junior and my dad getting all in a toot about the length of the Fab Four's hair. Who could have predicted the band's impact on all of us?

In trying to determine The Beatles' favorite foods, the answers I found ran the gamut of steak, roast beef and hamburgers in the early years to mostly vegetables later on. The one thing each source mentioned was John Lennon's love of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. It was always listed as his favorite food. I never would have guessed. It is well known that Paul is now a strict vegetarian, so his days of beef indulgence are long gone.

My fondest memory of The Beatles? In grade school, my friend Melissa Ingram and I put a bedspread and a pillow case together and became Samantha the dancing horse for the talent show. The song we boogied to was "I Saw Her Standing There." As the person in the hind part of the costume, I did a lot of shaking during the "wooooo" part of the song.

I'm excited to share two new eating finds I discovered last week.

First, my friend Lori Langerot and I visited ME's Place on Broadway Street in Joplin. The greeting by my long-lost but found-again friend Norma Jackson got us started in the right direction. With country ribs, chicken wings, sweet potatoes, collard greens, fried potatoes, ham and beans, cornbread, banana pudding and peach cobbler on the table, we weren't going to leave hungry. Each day the restaurant features a different special. The ribs were the star of the day, along with the wings. The fried potatoes weren't what I was expecting -- they were like chips, but they were seasoned just right. We ate every last one. Lori and I will be back.

One fun side note to the lunch was getting to visit with my former classmate Chris Ingram (no relation to Melissa), who now lives in Springfield. I hadn't seen him in more than 40 years, but he still looked the same, and I would have recognized him anywhere. I remember Chris was the drummer for our junior high school band. The highlight of the Christmas program was when he had the solo during "The Little Drummer Boy." I recall all these school memories better than I remember yesterday. It was great seeing Chris and having him remember me, too!

I was glad to settle into Decker's for lunch after getting set up for Saturday's Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics. Fred Warden of Lakeland Office Systems had recently told me I needed to go to Decker's on Coyote Drive for the pizza. He was adamant that I give it a try. The pizza comes on a cracker crust similar to the famous pizza at Imo's in St. Louis. If you, like me, are a fan of thin crust, then this is the pizza for you. Crispy and tasty, it's unlike any pizza I've ever had. Thank you, Fred, for the heads-up on this yummy pizza place.

Don't have any plans yet for Valentine's Day? My husband, Chris, and I, along with Frank and Betty Saferite, will be enjoying dinner and music at Granny Shaffer's on North Range Line Road. Mike Wiggins always puts out the best spread, and the Duke Mason Band always put on the best concert. If there are still tickets available, snatch them up and join us.

In perusing recipes, it was difficult to find one for vegetarian lasagna that would be fit for Paul McCartney. The one I'm sharing today was one of the best, judged to be 41/2 stars. The recipe calls for uncooked lasagna noodles. There are noodles you can buy that are specifically made to not be cooked ahead of time, but I prefer the cooked noodles. Just a matter of preference in doneness. But not cooking the noodles ahead of time certainly cuts down on preparation time, as does the use of a jar of Alfredo sauce. The recipe is from Also from is a dish to honor John Lennon. It's a veggie dish topped with corn flakes. It's a good mix of broccoli, corn and cheese. My friend Betty Saferite gave me a Hershey's chocolate dessert cookbook for Christmas, and it's difficult to decide which ones to try. For Super Bowl Sunday I chose the aptly named championship chocolate chip bars. I added some white chocolate chips, too.


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