The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 11, 2013

Cheryle Finley: Keep kitchen cabinets stocked this winter

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Are you one of the roughly 4 million people who rushed to the grocery store ahead of last Thursday's snowy forecast? Because of the unpredictable weather in the Four States, I am changing gears from gifts in a jar to tips on preparing for snow days, courtesy of and

Non-food items to have at the ready include a propane grill or camping stove and propane, a generator, sleeping bags, blankets, battery-operated lights, batteries, baby wipes, a cellphone charger, a manually operated can opener, pet food, a first-aid kit and a weather radio. If you can't do without your morning cup of coffee, a camping coffee pot and coffee can be on the list, too, or make do with instant coffee or tea. And if you or members of your family take medication, be sure to have enough on hand to last several days.

Keep bread in the freezer and powdered milk on the shelf. Stash away bottled water as well as larger containers of water. Stock up on soups (low-sodium varieties are best). Also consider that the electricity may go out. Canned meat, such as tuna and chicken, is a great choice, as are canned fruits and vegetables. Crackers, granola bars, baby food, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly are items that will last for some time, so they are great for emergencies.

It's nice to have a couple of treats handy, just to boost spirits. My choices would be soft drinks and chocolate-covered peanuts. Think about what your family will eat and be prepared, because a doozy of a winter has been predicted for us.

Sue August, of Joplin, called with a cracker jack idea for making broth from a leftover turkey carcass. She boils the bird in a spaghetti cooker, then all she has to do is lift the inner workings and drain -- the broth is perfectly strained without having to fish out turkey parts or pour hot liquid into a strainer. This would work for chicken and beef stock, too. I really love this idea, and I thank Sue for sharing it with me.

Linda Lindquist Baldwin always puts on a great party, and she didn't let bad weather stop her again this year. My grandson, Atlas, has become quite the collector of her Belsnickles. This year's addition, a tall Santa dressed in white, will be a keepsake for years to come. We still have to take the annual photo of Atlas and his Belsnickle, and I'm so glad he enjoys these Santas as much as I do. My daughter, Sarah, and I enjoyed seeing lots of friends at Linda's gathering, and I especially enjoyed reconnecting with Lisa Qualls, who I hadn't seen since my old Bank of America days more than 30 years ago.

Today's first two recipes are from "Lawry's Weekday Gourmet Meals in Minutes." Souffle might sound difficult to make, but it is actually a quick and easy side dish. Carrots or peas can be substituted for the broccoli. The lemon catfish bake adds some variety to the holiday menu. Its coating has the perfect amount of crunch.

For the best cookies ever, layer the ingredients to the cowboy cookies in a jar and include the directions. It's important that these cookies are made big -- they just don't taste the same when they are small. This recipe is from Stay warm and happy eating!


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Speaking of Gardens

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

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