In My Opinion

by Caroline Porter

Hey, good lookin'. What ya got cookin'? Hows about cookin' somethin' up for me?

Once in awhile I get a little flak from family members about this column, my enthusiasm about politics and strong feelings about issues. Of course, this is an apt description of my entire family. My brother, especially, has kept me down to earth most of my life. He has a PhD in Political Science, taught Political Science at Ohio State University, has been a newspaper editor and is a writer and editor for the American Planners Association in Chicago. He was recruited from Ohio to Springfield to work in Illinois Governor Dan Walker's administration in the early 1970s. He was the first legislative intern in the State of Illinois.

So what does HE know? In a recent telephone conversation I suggested he watch the internet for my next column. With just a tidbit of sarcasm he said, ''What is it -- recipes?'' Very funny, Jimbo. And just for him, I'm going to tell you some of my favorite recipes, because it's time people realize that just because women are interested in politics doesn't mean we can't cook!

German Potato Salad -- original from Emma Hoppenstedt Goltermann, may she rest in peace.

7 or 8 medium sized potatoes (boiled with skins)

1 tsp celery seed

1/2 c. sugar, with cider vinegar poured over until 3/4 c. is reached

1/2 lb. bacon, lightly-fried

9 eggs, hard-boiled

1/2 onion

salt & pepper

Slice skinned potatoes, eggs and bacon and add to each other alternately. Saute' onion in bacon grease and add onion and some of grease. Add heated and dissolved sugar and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in celery seed. Can be served warm or cold.

Swedish Meat Balls, (the best yet.)

1 1/2 c. bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

3/4 c. milk

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1 chopped onion

1/8 tsp. pepper

4 Tbsp. margarine

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 lb. ground round

1 can beef consommé

Pour milk over bread crumbs, let absorb while mixing meat and spices and onion. (There may be excess milk.) Mix crumbs and other mixture into balls. Brown meat balls on all sides, then put into casserole. Pour over can of consommé and bake, covered, for one hour at 350 degrees. Serves about 5. I usually double the recipe.

Spicy Chicken and Rice from ''My Great Recipes'' (not mine, a company name) a favorite one dish meal in my family.

4 chicken breasts

1 tsp. garlic powder

4 sweet Italian sausages

1 tsp. each dried thyme & oregano leaves

3/4 c. finely chopped onions

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced green pepper

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 cup cooked rice

1 small bay leaf

Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Bake chicken breasts until done. Cool. Remove skin and bones. Cut into bite size pieces. In heavy skillet, brown sausages, cool, cut into 1/2 inch slices and set aside with chicken. Sauté onions and green pepper in olive oil until tender. Add bay leaf and seasonings. Stir in chicken, sausage, soup, tomatoes and rice, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 min. Spoon into a buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese melts. Serves four. I usually double the recipe.

Good served with: fresh fruit, salad and crusty rolls.

Nothing like variety in subject matter, I always say. Every newspaper ought to have recipes once in awhile. My dear brother, this one's for you.

Caroline Porter is a freelance writer from Galesburg who can be reached at (309) 342-1337 or

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online January 10, 2001

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