Back in my high school years, I would sometimes go with my dad to the grocery store supplier food fairs. The middleman supplier, at that time for us was Fleming Foods out of Lincoln, NE. They would put on these food fairs for the IGA grocery stores. Food company representatives would have booths with giveaways, price reductions on purchases, etc. etc. I would pick up recipe brochures. One I got from Land O' Lakes had a recipe for Heavenly Chocolate Squares. This quickly became a favorite with my family and the pretty tattered recipe is still in my file box. It called for Bakers unsweetened chocolate squares. After I was married, I tended to substitute cocoa as the chocolate source. Anyway, last week my daughter asked me to e-mail her the recipe. Just out of curiosity, I decided to check out the Land O'Lakes website. It took a little looking but sure enough, I found the recipe. It was renamed and it now called for cocoa, but the preparation method and rest of the ingredients were identical. Check it out: Dairy Country Chocolate Sheet Cake. I like this frosting but often I made an easy fudge frosting recipe from a great-aunt. By the way, I've never put nuts in the frosting but it sounds great! I'll include the fudge forsting recipe in my next post.
Ok, so what does this have to do with recipe variations? When I was browsing the Land O'Lakes website, I found a variation for the Mississippi Cornbread Salad recipe that I had in an earlier post. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds delicious. Check it out: Southwest Layered Cornbread Salad. Take out the bacon, make the dressing from sour cream and salsa and add cilantro (I'm not fond of fresh cilantro so I'd skip this).
In 1991, I helped put the Hershey, Nebraska Centennial cookbook together. We had a good sized cookbook with a nice variety of recipes. When we were just ready to send it off for publication, a centennial committee member brought us a large number of additional recipes that she hadn't remembered to give us before. All of a sudden, we had more recipes than the cookbook would hold. We wanted to include the additional people so we had to go back through all of the recipes to see if we had identical or at least similar recipes that could be printed as one recipe with more than one contributor name. We found quite a few with just one or two changed ingredients so we added "variations" to recipes. Ginger cookies was an interesting example. The amount of soda was essentially the variation-more soda seemed to make more of a gingersnap while less soda made a softer cookie.
Ok, I'm stopping before I really get hungry. Enjoy
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