New Castle News

June 29, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Some favorite recipes from Jo Ann McCready

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County is fortunate to have lots of small communities, each with its own special attributes.

Many of those areas not only boast wonderful cooks but have the cookbooks to back those bragging rights.

Wampum is one such place.

And Jo Ann McCready, district manager of the Lawrence County Conservation District and New Galilee resident, is proud to be part of revitalization efforts in the southern part of the county.

Wampum Community Revitalization published a booklet called “Wampum Heritage Cookbook.”

Jo Ann sent me some copies of favorites and I was so appreciative to receive them.

What I like about this cookbook is that it also features old photographs such as a 1950 view of the P&LE freight station, which is still standing, the former Wampum Theatre, an 1980s Christmas parade — an Italy’s can be seen in the background — and the Wampum Gym, which opened in 1942. There’s also a panoramic scene of Wampum, date unknown.

The cookbook has another unique feature. Recipes, which are in memory of someone, have a drawing of a candle next to the title.

Jo Ann highlighted a few of her favorites and noted that her husband’s grandmother, Elsie McCready, lived to be more than 100.

“She had made these buns for as long as she could remember,” Jo Ann said.

As usual, when given multiple contributions, I had difficulty selecting just a few.

But with my basil in the herb garden now growing strong, I thought Donna Kuiken’s bow ties with tomatoes and basil would be a great choice for those of you who also love fresh basil. And I’ve also included the buns, Linda Lutz’s cream puff dessert and Emelene Dietrick’s Italian potato salad.

Thanks Jo Ann. And thanks to all those who made this cookbook a success.

Bow Ties with

Tomatoes and Basil

Combine tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least two hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and remaining salt. Add pasta and boil until tender but firm. Drain pasta and immediately toss with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Grandma Elsie McCready’s Buns

Dissolve yeast in water. Scald milk; add shortening, sugar and salt. Stir well until lukewarm. Combine yeast and milk mixtures. Add beaten eggs and several cups of flour and beat until smooth. Work in remaining flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and make into buns. Cover and let rise again until doubled. Bake at 350 until brown.

Cream Puff Dessert

Bring water and butter to a boil. Remove from burner and add flour. Beat in one egg at a time. Spread in a 9x13-inch pan, pressing it up the sides.

Place in a 400 oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool. Mix pudding, milk and cream cheese together. Beat for three minutes. Spread in pan. Top with Cool Whip and drizzle chocolate syrup on top.

Italian Potato Salad

Add olive oil and season to taste with parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.