Friday, May 18, 2012

Riley Family Cookbook and Hash Brown Casserole

Today was THE day! The Riley Family Cookbook arrived! It's been a "labor of love" and I'm so happy to have it printed and in my hands for the family reunion in KY next week. The 240 recipes are from cousins and their mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers... etc. Some are really old. Some are not so old. There is great variety in the book; recipes range from Chocolate Gravy (seriously!) to Red Eye Gravy. Our family loves Banana Pudding (more on that in the intro to the book), homemade rolls, pies (of all kinds), lasagna and more! You have to know that I left the recipe instructions just as they were submitted. At first, I went along "cleaning them up" and putting them into a certain format. But, I realized that I was losing the "voice" of the cooks. So, some of them may sound odd and some of the instructions ramble (we are talkers!) but you can still figure them out without a problem.

Following is the introduction to the book and a sample recipe. If you're truly interested and would like a copy, I have extras. The cost is $10 plus shipping. Just send me an e-mail to order

Introduction to The Riley Family Cookbook: Recipes and Remembrances

As a little girl, my summers were spent standing in a ladder back chair at my grandmother’s side. We rolled dough across her large wooden biscuit board that was stretched across the wooden chest-like “flour stand”. In the depths below I could just barely reach the big bags of flour and the tall can of lard. When the dinner rolls were in the pan and set aside to rise, I got to “play” with the remaining dough rolling it and shaping it until it was dirty! We picked blackberries in the morning sun until we both had purple stains on our faces and hands. Then grandmother (Aunt Lizzie to many of you.) worked her magic and made them into a deep dish cobbler with layers of dumplings and sweetened juices that bubbled over the sides of the enamel pan. The top crust was sprinkled with sugar and as brown as my summer tan.

When company came (family from Bowling Green and other faraway places) a spread was laid out with fresh vegetables from the garden, Granddaddy’s (Uncle Leo to many of you.) smoked ham, pans of rolls the size of small footballs and always Banana Pudding. After dinner (never lunch, always midday dinner) a white tablecloth was spread over the food on the table in case anyone needed a snack later. The adults sat in chairs under the spread of the big oak tree and I sat under the dining room table stuffing myself with more Banana Pudding! When we made trips to visit family, it was always the same (except for me sitting under the table!).

 And so, it stands to reason that this collection of recipes came to be. Most of our grandmothers did not cook from recipes but simply went into the kitchen and baked by instinct. Grandmother put a mound of flour on the biscuit board, scooped up some lard and worked it with the tips of her fingers until it felt right then added buttermilk until it was sticky enough but not too wet to roll out. Some of us watched and wrote down how family favorites were made. Some of us just have wonderful memories of the feel, smell, and taste of our grandmother’s cooking. Whichever the case, the recipes in this collection are from family.

Some are old recipes, some are “new” and some are in between. But they are all shared with the love of good food and family in mind.

Hash Brown Casserole                                                 Teresa Garmon

1 (2-lb) bag frozen hash browns
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 (10-oz.) bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 lrg carton sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 stick margarine, melted

Mix all together. Put in a 3-quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 mintues.

No comments :

Post a Comment