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The Cookbook Junkie

Souper Bowl Sunday!

By Gini Rainey

So, today is the day of the BIG game!  In fact, I bet you all are hunkered down watching it right about now!  If asked who I would like to see win, I guess I’m just like this fella I heard the other day on the radio who said “I don’t care who wins, I just hope it’s a great bunch of commercials!”  I would imagine a lot of you are headed out to a Super Bowl Party or maybe just having some friends in to watch the game in your own cave.  We would have friends over, but we are still clinging to the TV that we purchased back in 2001.  We keep saying as soon as it lays down and plays dead, we’ll jump into the 21st century.  I’m thinking it might need a good hard shove to make that happen.  Our grandson tried that about 9 years ago, but it’s like the Energizer Bunny – it just keeps on going!

That being said, some of the best times we had watching the Super Bowl were when we gathered with friends at Bill and Martha Marshall’s house many, many years ago.  In fact, some of the best times we had when our kids were little were with the Marshalls, and some of the best lessons I learned were via Martha Marshall.  Back in the formative years of PATH (People Attempting to Help), a social service agency here in Tyler, Martha was their volunteer coordinator when she asked me to volunteer “just one morning a week.”  Turns out,  I was at PATH for 6 years as volunteer and staff, and it was definitely time well spent.  I met a lot of interesting people during those years – not just the clients, but the other volunteers and staff.

While working with Martha, we decided to put together a cookbook comprised of recipes submitted by the volunteers.  Flipping through this little book today is definitely like a walk down memory lane for me, not only because of the names of folks I remember, but also thinking about how much laughter Martha and I shared while doing it.  Martha passed away last summer and so this is somewhat of a bittersweet memory for me.  The name of the cookbook is the Stone Soup Cookbook which references the old folk tale about a hungry village whose people had no food.  One day a man sat down in the village square and to a boiling pot of water he added a stone.  Soon other people joined him, one bringing a potato, another a few carrots, another, a scrap of meat.  By each contributing a bit of food, the village soon had a hearty pot of Stone Soup.  Started in 1984 to bring life to the vision of Gertrude Windsor, PATH still continues to help empower and provide help to our neighbors in Smith County, and in the spirit of the Super Bowl, February’s emphasis is on soup.  If you would like to help this great organization, consider either volunteering your time, donating cans of soup or asking about other ways to help with their mission.

But today, why not whip up this recipe for Sausage Balls that made it into this cookbook via volunteer Lanita Houston who worked in PATH’s pantry filling grocery orders for our hungry. This is a super-easy, super-yummy recipe that will go just great with your Super Bowl gathering.  All you need to do is grate 1 pound of sharp cheddar cheese, and add to 2 ¾ cups of Bisquick and 1 pound of Owens (or heck, why not! Jimmy Dean’s) hot sausage.  Just squish that stuff together, form into balls about the size of a walnut (or if you’re feeling super-creative – little footballs) and bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.  You might want to  turn them when half done.  Speaking of half – you can even whip these up during half-time!  Yum, yum, yum! And may the best commercial win!

ben wheeler
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