October 2018
Homeplace & Community

The Co-op Pantry

We have a double treat this month, Raylen Hodges, our National 4-H Cornbread Champion and her prize-winning cornbread, and her grandmother, Marilyn Yarbrough, our cook of the month!

Marilyn Yarbrough comes from a long line of good cooks. Her mother, Cora Hanks, prepared three big meals a day for a family of seven girls and one boy.

"She always had a full meal with both biscuits and cornbread," said Yarbrough. "She never used a recipe. She just used what she had at home and put together good hearty meals."

The family raised what they ate. They always had homegrown vegetables. They also had chickens, and when her mother wanted to serve this meat, they went into the yard and killed one. She remembered how good the fried chicken tasted, even for breakfast. The family also raised hogs, so they had plenty of pork for meals.

The family went to the store only for staples, like flour, meal, sugar and vanilla. Yarbrough’s mother always had something sweet after a meal, even if it was peaches that she had canned. Yarbrough has continued this same tradition with her family.

"Mama could just mix up what she had and make a meal. She made up a lot as she went along. I remember her chocolate gravy. It was always so good!"

Yarbrough recalled that her mother had the talent of "stretching" things, so that there would be enough for all. "She could take a can of salmon and make it go for all of us to have some," Yarbrough remembered.

In her community, Cora Hanks was known always to have something on her stove. "You never left her house without eating something," Yarbrough laughed. "It may be simple stuff, or what was available, but it sure was good."

"She used to have the Home Economics Extension meeting at her house," Yarbrough remembered. "She would get a box of graham crackers and melt colored marshmallows between them, and all the ladies would rave about how good they were!"

Cora Hanks never spent a lot on snacks as we do today. The biggest treat for her children was peanut butter. "I can still remember how good that peanut butter was," Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough recalled another tradition that has changed today. "When we had company, the men would eat first, then the children and then finally, us women. We all used to hope there would be a chicken wing left when we got to the table!" she laughed. There always seemed to be enough, even when more "company" would show up.

Cora Hanks never used recipes, but later in her life, she found one recipe that she especially liked. Yarbrough could remember her mother only using this one recipe for Watergate Salad. She took it to all the church socials. Not having recipes was a problem when the family wanted to publish their own cookbook. Fortunately, they were able to sit with their mother and come up with amounts and ingredients for the best-loved favorites. This book is cherished by all who knew Cora Hanks.

"When I think of Mama, I think of food and family," said Yarbrough. "That’s what I’ve tried to bring to my home. And now, my granddaughter, Raylen, has followed the tradition of making good, simple food, with all the family eating together and making good memories. She loves to cook, just like Mama did. Now, she will tell her grandchildren about all the fun she and I had in the kitchen together, and the family tradition will live on!" Make sure you read Raylen’s story in the 4-H Extension Corner.


Mary Delph is an associate editor with AFC Cooperative Farming News. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Jena Klein is AFC’s Wellness Program Coordinator. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


2 cups sugar
2 heaping T. cocoa
2 heaping T. flour
2 cups water

In large skillet, mix sugar, cocoa and flour. Mix until blended very well. Slowly add water, stirring as you go. Cook over medium high heat, until thickens into "gravy." Add margarine to taste. Pour over hot biscuits and dig in! Great over mayonnaise biscuits Try it as a nice surprise one morning.

Marilyn Sue Hanks Yarbrough


2 cups applesauce
2 level teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
1 pound raisins, cover with water overnight and cook almost dry
4 Tablespoon melted margarine
1 cup nuts (optional)

Add soda to applesauce and sugar; whip. Apples will turn dark. Then add spices and salt. Stir. Add flour gradually, then raisins, oleo and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9" x 13" pan or tube pan. Bake 1 hour at 350o.

Sara Hanks McDaniel


1 large bag frozen hash brown potatoes
1 small carton sour cream
½ cup melted butter**
2 cans cream of chicken soup
½ cup chopped onion
2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
1 cup melted butter

Thaw potatoes and mix all above ingredients. Put into greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Mix together the Ritz crackers and butter; place on top of the potato mixture. Bake at 325o for about an hour or until golden brown and bubbly.

**The secret flavor is the butter. If you cut down on the butter, it will not be as good.

Marilyn Sue Hanks Yarbrough


½ cup sugar
½ cup hot water
1½ cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 T. butter

Put ½ cup sugar in small iron skillet. Let melt and brown. Add hot water and let melt. Add milk, 1 cup sugar, butter and egg yolks. Mix flour in water to make thin paste and add to mixture. Cook until thick. Add vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell.

For meringue beat 3 egg whites, add 6 T. sugar, 1 tsp cornstarch until stiff. Cover pie with meringue and brown in moderate oven.

Judy Hanks Strawn



1 cup flour (self-rising)
½ cup milk
1 heaping Tablespoon mayonnaise

Mix together with spoon in small bowl. Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake in 400o preheated oven for about 10-20 minutes, or until light golden brown. (makes 6)

Marilyn Sue Hanks Yarbrough


16 ounces can crushed pineapple
Small package instant pistachio pudding (sugar free or fat free)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
12 to 16-ounce nondairy whipped topping, thawed (fat free)
1 to 2 cups miniature marshmallows
¾ cup shredded coconut and some cherries if desired.

In a large bowl, mix pineapple and the juice. Gently stir in the dry pudding mix. Let stand for about 3 minutes. Add nuts (and coconut or cherries) if you desire and fold into mixture. Fold in whipped topping and marshmallows. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Should serve 12 or more.

Betty Patterson Countryman


1 (15 ounce) can pink salmon
1 egg
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
½ cup flour

Open a can of salmon; pour the juice into a measuring cup and set aside. Dump the drained salmon in a mixing bowl. Drop in one egg. Use a fork to break the salmon up really good. When it’s gummy, add the sifted flour. Stir in the flour thoroughly with fork. This mixture will be really thick; don’t worry, it’s supposed to be that way.

Take ¼ cup of the salmon juice and add the baking powder; beat with a fork. It’s going to foam. Good; it’s supposed to. (If it doesn’t foam, it isn’t good). Pour mixture into salmon; mix again with a fork. It will be really thin; that’s the secret. Cook in deep fryer. You don’t have to turn them; they will float on top and they are done in a few seconds.

Marilyn Sue Hanks


¼ cup margarine
6 medium onions sliced
3-pound boneless chuck, cut in 1” cubes
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 (6-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon marjoram
2 (10½-ounce) cans beef broth
1 ½ cups Burgundy cooking wine

In heavy pan sauté onions in margarine; add meat and brown on all sides. Add flour, salt, marjoram, thyme and pepper, stirring until smooth. Add ½ cup wine and ½ cup beef broth. Cover and simmer 2 ½ hours. Add mushrooms and continue cooking another hour. Check beef and gradually add the remaining wine and broth. Serve over noodles or rice.

Marilyn Sue Yarbrough



4 large green peppers
1/2 pound ground mild Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
3 cups cooked barley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds.

Blanch peppers in a large kettle, of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain
and rinse in cold water. Set to the side.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onion and garlic until
onion is tender and sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, barley, thyme, salt and pepper; heat through.

Spoon mixture into peppers; place in an ungreased 8-in. square baking

Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling is hot.

Add a small amount of shredded cheddar cheese at the end and continue baking until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 313 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 9g fiber), 11g protein.

Note: Karely Thompson from Purple Maize Farm (TN) sent this recipe . She said it is not only one of her favorites, but it is healthy as well! She said she found it in a Taste of Home magazine, tried it, loved it and makes it whenever she has fresh green peppers.