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Angel Biscuits

Mary McCasland Gordon
April 30, 1931-June 9, 2010

This is my first blog since May 9, 2010. That day, I posted my mom’s Strawberry Freezer Jam. I knew then that the coming month would be hectic and it was, but I really had no idea just what lie ahead. My parents 64th wedding anniversary was on May 21st. Of course, my mother, suffering with the severe stages of Alzheimer’s was doing pore, but I took over one of their favorite meals, chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, country gravy, and corn on the cob. I have to admit though, it was straight from the kitchen of Chili’s restaurant. Pretty hard to beat their cooking, but I am sure my mom’s chicken fried steak would have been a match.

Following that was my youngest daughter’s wedding on May 29th and ten days later, unexpected in it’s timing, my mother died at home with my dad holding her hand. I have not posted since May because of the busyness, but also, because I could not find the words to say, the recipe of all recipes to remember. So today, I realized there is no one recipe that rises above the rest, there are so many recipes, so many memories.

That is what this blog is about, everyday recipes, everyday food that helps us remember times, places, and people we love.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm buttermilk
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs, set aside.
Place warm water in warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast, stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture and warm buttermilk to dry ingredients, blend well.
Remove dough to floured surface. Knead dough 10 to 15 times, form into ball. Roll dough to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2-1/2 inch biscuits. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.

He rained down manna for them to eat;he gave them bread from heaven.They ate the food of angels!

Psalms 78:24,25.

I am sure my mom is cooking in heaven

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My mom, Mary McCasland Gordon


Strawberry Freezer Jam

I am not a breakfast person, that is unless you are taking about a Starbucks frapuccino at noon. Now that is a great breakfast!

But if you must, then my mom’s strawberry freezer jam is the best.

As a matter of fact, I can hardly bring myself to buy strawberry jam. After one taste of this, you will feel the same way.

Now I know that you young ladies out there are going to take one look at the recipe title and say, forget it, I am not making my own jam, they sell that stuff in the store!

But really, it is so easy and so worth it! My mom used to collect baby food jars from friends, sterilize them and then use them to store and freeze this jam.

It is best served on a warm bisquick or homemade biscuit (that recipe will come later). Or, if you must resort to serving it on toast, then it tastes best on toasted sourdough with butter and jam. Yum, yum! If you can get them, strawberries from the fields are best and we are lucky enough to have those in California and strawberry season is almost here in the central valley.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

4 cups or 1 quart fully ripe strawberries
4 cups of sugar
1 box Sure Jell
3/4 cups of water

Containers for storage (you can buy cute canning jars, or use any glass jar like a baby food jar). You will need enough jars to hold about 4 3/4 cups of jam. Wash or sanitize your containers by pouring boiling water over them.

Remove caps from room temperature berries. Wash and drain well then crush berries with a potato masher, or blend slightly in blender or food processor but do not puree. Use exact measurements and combine strawberries with sugar in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

Mix 3/4 cups water with contents of Sure-Jell in small saucepan. Bring to a full boil, and then boil for one minute stirring constantly. Stir this mixture into fruit mixture and stir well for three minutes.

Ladle jam into jars leaving 1/2 inch at top (mixture will expand during freezing). Wipe lip of jars clean and cover at once with lid. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. You can now refrigerate for up to three weeks or store in freezer.

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Easy Cherry Cheesecake

Cherry Cheesecake Recipe.

Easy Cherry Cheesecake

When I was in high school during the 1970’s I belonged to a girls service club called Rainbow Girls. We served meals to the elderly, raised money for computers in schools, read to children in schools and decorated a few parade floats in my parents garage. My mother was our Mother Advisor and by my request she made this dessert for us often.

Here is to remembering the many meetings, slumber parties, and potluck dinners we had in the upper story Masonic Hall in downtown Reedley, and to my long lost friends Lynn, Denise, Shelly, Kelly, Julia, Sandra, Debbie, and Jenny.

2 cups milk
8 ounce cream cheese at room temperature
1 small package instant lemon pudding
Prepared graham cracker crust
1 can cherry pie filling

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese until soft. Gradually blend in 1/2 cup of milk until mixture is very smooth. Add remaining milk and the pudding mix. Beat slowly with mixer for 1 minute. Pour at once into crust. Chill until set and then top with cherry pie filling. Keep refrigerated.

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Easter is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. First of all, Christ died for our sins and rose again which holds the promise for all those who believe in Him eternal life. Secondly, it is Spring and everything is sprouting with new life and beauty. On Easter my mom, like all good moms, made sure we were properly dressed in our best Sunday attire, not to show off, but to show honor and praise to God. She also made sure there was a grand Easter meal, with Ham or fried chicken, fresh vegetables and fruits, salads, and of course, wonderful and beautiful spring desserts. I cannot mention just one, it just would not do justice to the many cakes and pies, so, here are just a few of my favorites.

Thanks again and again mom and one day we will be made new just as the spring brings forth new life.

Fruit Salad

My mom received this recipe from her sister, Pat Dieterich

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 can mandarin oranges (well drained)
1 cup crushed pineapple (well drained)
1 pint sour cream
1/2 bag mini marshmallows

Mix well and chill

Strawberry Pie (A delicious pie my mom made that my husband loved)

Combine the following
1 package 3 oz strawberry jello
1 2/3 cups boiling water

Separate 1/2 cup of jello mixture and chill until slightly thickened and then combine with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 cups cool whip (thawed) along with a few drops of red food coloring. Set aside and chill.
Line bottom and sides of prepared crust ( Graham or regular cooked pie crust) with jello and whipped topping mixture. Mount high on sides and chill.

Combine remaining jello with 1/1/2 cups strawberries, washed and halved. Pour this mixture into the center of the chilled pie crust on top of the first jello and whipped topping mixture. Chill for several hours before serving.

Sweet Bernice’s Carrot Cake

Bernice Dyck was the mother of many as she served as the Supreme Deputy for the California Rainbow Girls for many years. This is her famous Carrot Cake

2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup cooking oil
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of salt
4 cups finely grated carrots
2/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Beat eggs and slowly add sugar until thick and pale (use and electric mixer for this part only). Stir in oil.
Together mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir all into egg mixture. Fold in carrots and nuts. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not open oven for the first 2 minutes. Remove and cool when a toothpick in center of cake comes out clean.


1 8 oz cream cheese
1 cube real butter
2 teaspoons real vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt

Use a mixer and cream well. Frost cake and refrigerate before serving. Bernice’s real secret to this cake is to add a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple (including the juice) and or 1 cup of shredded, coconut to the cake recipe.

Pineapple Cream Cake (From my sister Beverley Baker)

Bake one yellow cake mix as directed in a 9×13″ glass pan
Remove from oven and cool slightly
In a sauce pan combine 1-16 oz can crushed pineapple including liquid with
1 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil.
Poke holes in cake with a fork and pour pineapple and sugar mixture over cake.
In a mixing bowl combine one 6 oz package of vanilla instant pudding as directed and chill.
After pudding has chilled pour pudding over cake and over pineapple mixture. Top with cool whip and with finely chopped walnuts. Keep refrigerated.

Pistachio Cake (from my mother-in-law, Juanita Williams)

Combine the following
1 yellow cake mix
1 small package instant pistachio pudding
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix well and pour into 2-8″ cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in center. Cool


1 and 1/2 cups milk
a small envelope of dream whip topping mix
1 small package pistachio instant pudding
Mix well with electric mixer until peaks form. Frost completely cooled cake and keep refrigerated.

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A few days ago I recieved the sad news that one of my dear friends passed away. Sadly, geography, time, and life had separated us for too many years and now she is gone from this life. Yet, I have the hope that one day we will reunite and share many things that we missed the past few years.

Georgetta was a very sweet, humble person who knew how to laugh and go with the flow. She had a servant’s heart and back in the day, we hosted a lot of potlucks, dinners, church banquets and so on. Our husbands treated us well though and for every party we hosted they surprised us with limo rides and fun filled evenings dining out. We trekked to the mountains together to view the 1986 Halley’s comet, spent a few vacations in Las Vegas, Monterey, and in Mexico we survived a roadside interrogation from the Mexican policia.

Today in memory of Georgetta Williams, I searched through my recipes and found three that she shared with me. I dedicate this one to Georgetta, her husband Ken, her son Wayne and family, and her daughter Kerry, who is to wed on May 1.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

1 3/4 c. boiling water
1 c. uncooked oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter
2 lg. eggs
1 3/4 c. unsifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 c. chopped nuts

Pour boiling water on oatmeal and let stand 10 minutes. Add both sugars and butter and stir until butter melts. Add eggs and mix well. Sift (or mix) together flour, soda, salt an cocoa. Add flour to sugar mixture and mix. Add about 1/2 the package of chocolate chips.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle nuts and remaining chips on top of cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes

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Chicken Corn Soup

My friend Leslie Kalender McMullen was blessed to have a wonderful dad who happened to be a great cook and chef. Leslie’s dad passed away last year but leaves behind his great recipes and many memories with his family, friends, and an entire community in Dinuba, Ca where he dined and entertained people for many years. Leslie calls her dad’s Chicken Corn Chowder her comfort food.

My father gave me this recipe and it is one of my family’s favorites. Dad taught me how to cook by just watching him. He did not write his recipes down he just created! Costco and Smart and Final were our favorite places to shop. I miss being with him in the kitchen and sampling his creations.

Dedicated to Stan Kalender

Chicken Corn Soup
12 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
12 Tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
2- 15 ounce cans of creamed corn
3 cups of milk
4 Tablespoons of shredded carrot
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken

In a large sauce pan cook butter and onion over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir flour and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is golden brown. Add broth and whisk until smooth raising the heat slightly. Add remaining ingredients except chicken. Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add chicken just before serving allow to stand a few minutes for the chicken to heat completely.

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