Over the past year, this column has received hundreds of friendly, chatty and informative notes bringing recipe requests and responses, from readers from all over the country.
The most sought-after recipes have been the old favorites which have been enjoyed by a family for many years but were lost in a move or thrown out by mistake.
And, those favorites are also the favorites of many who want to share and have not lost the recipe.
Cakes and cookies seem to dominate, but close on their sugary platters come pies, custards and candies such as the Hershey almond pie published Feb. 3 and the egg custard June 9. The sugar queens of them all were the decadent chocolate cake published Jan. 27 and Tiramisu July 21. Both brought a flood of responses.
Sweets, however, are far from the only request.
The dinner bell hit a high note when the request came for the spaghetti sauce which was demonstrated on the Regis and Kathie Lee show. It seemed as though the person who requested the recipe was the only one who had not saved it. The response was published Nov. 10.
Other favorites, which all but crippled the mailman, included pasta e fagiole, published March 17; Mrs. Nixon's hot chicken salad, April 28; shrimp wiggle, July 28; and Watergate salad, March 10.
It is difficult to believe there is anyone, any where who does not now know how to make cheese garlic biscuits (Aug. 25) or tuna casserole (Oct. 20).
Varied and fun, request and responses came from all ages, including 80- and 90-year-olds, who were tickled to see a request for their own grandmother's favorite, something they, too, had enjoyed for years and were anxious to share with readers. Some sent the original recipe.
Recently, cornflake macaroons, sweet potato pudding and bacon gravy salad dressing led responses.
Emily E. Persons of Montgomery, Ala., wanted a grated sweet potato pudding. The response, the choice of Chef Gilles Syglowski, came from Pat Sharpless of Elba, Ala.
Sharpless' grated sweet potato pudding
4 cups raw sweet potatoes, grated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins (soaked in warm water)
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
1/2 stick of margarine, melted
Mix all ingredients and bake in a casserole (coated with nonstick cooking spray) at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.
Ruth L. Courtney of Bend, Ore., asked for "a simple recipe provided by Kellogg's Corn Flakes for a coconut macaroon cookie made with corn flakes." Her answer came from Lillian Wasarhelyi of Baltimore.
Wasarhelyi's cornflake macaroons
Makes about 3 dozen
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
3 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal
In large mixing bowl beat egg whites until foamy. Stir in cream of tartar and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold in pecans, coconut and cereal and drop by rounded measuring tablespoon onto well-greased baking sheets. Bake at degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately from baking sheet. Cool on wire racks.
NOTE: A variation is to fold in 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy with the pecans and coconut.
Bacon gravy was the request of Linda L. Wolford of Baltimore. "I haven't made it for 13 years, I lost it. It is used over watercress," she wrote. Her answer came from Jean M. Harrison of Bel Air.
Harrison's bacon gravy dressing
Makes 4 servings
4 strips of bacon, fried and drained
2 tablespoons bacon fat reserved from frying
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 beaten egg
1 quart greens, washed and dried.
To the 2 tablespoons bacon fat, add vinegar, water and sugar and heat to boiling. Add beaten egg slowly until it thickens. Stir constantly. Pour hot dressing over greens and serve bacon pieces over the top.
Chef Syglowski, with help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, chose and tested the recipes.
* Eileen Parker of Towson has lost a family favorite salad dressing recipe: "It was made with cream of tomato soup, brown sugar, oil and vinegar, but I do not recall the proportions and there may have been other ingredients."
* Melissa Moore of Terrebonne, Ore., wants a recipe for "bishops bread" which she writes "is like fruitcake but only has dates, maraschino cherries, walnuts and chocolate chips."
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for one long-gone, maybe we can help. Print each response or request clearly on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Send to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.