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 allrecipes.com. Also from allrecipes.com 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.
Easy spinach lasagna
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 (29-ounce) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1 (8-ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 pint ricotta cheese
8 ounces shredded carrots
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Place spinach in medium bowl. Microwave uncovered on high for 4 minutes. Mix in ricotta. Beat the egg and add to spinach. Stir well to blend. Combine the pasta sauce and milk in a medium bowl. Mix well. Spread about 1/2 cup pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of a sprayed lasagna or 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Place 3 uncooked noodles over the sauce. Spread half the spinach mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with half the carrots and half the mushrooms. Place 3 more noodles on top of vegetables. Pour 11/2 cups of the sauce over the noodles. Spread the remaining spinach mixture over the sauce, followed by layers of the remaining carrots and mushrooms. Place 3 more noodles over the vegetables. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the dish tightly with the foil, sprayed side down. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and spoon some sauce over the exposed noodles on top. Turn off oven and place uncovered dish back into oven for 15 minutes. Yields 9 servings.
Cheddar broccoli corn bake
1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups corn flakes (crushed to 1 cup)
1 (16-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli spears, thawed and drained
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and salt. Add milk, stirring until smooth. Increase heat to medium and cook until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in 1/4 cup cereal and the corn. Remove from heat. Arrange broccoli in a 2-quart glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Pour cheese sauce over broccoli. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in small saucepan. Stir in remaining cereal. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yields 6 servings.
Championship chocolate chip bars
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter or margarine
2 cups dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Stir together the flour and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in cold butter until crumbly. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and press mixture into bottom of ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Combine milk, egg and vanilla extract in large bowl. Stir in remaining 11/2 cups of chips and nuts. Spread over crust. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into 36 bars.
Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.