Still Cookin’ with Aunt Gerry

July 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

Aunt Gerry apologizes for being a day late with her column.  Caroline, Aunt Gerry’s 5 year old granddaughter was visiting and days were filled with cookie baking, story time and lots of giggles.  Columns can wait – 5 year old granddaughters can’t.


Culinarily speaking, Quiche is the pride of the french.  This may seem an odd column choice as we approach the July 4th holiday, however, France also gave us the Statue of Liberty.  I’m posting this recipe in response to a request from my grandniece Kathleen.  ~Aunt Gerry

1  9-inch unbaked pastry shell
8 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1  3/4 cups milk

Poke pastry shell all over with fork.  Bake pastry shell in a 450 degree oven for 7 minutes or just till lightly browned.  Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Fry bacon till crisp; drain and crumble.  Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon for trim.  Place remaining bacon in pie shell; add cheese.  Combine remaining ingredients; pour over.  Sprinkle reserved bacon atop in a circle.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or till almost set in center.  Let cool 25 minutes before serving.  Serve with a garnish of green onions wrapped in ham slices.



These are a soft, delicious cookie.  They’re Uncle Joe’s favorite!  ~Aunt Gerry

3/4 cup softened shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2  1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger 

Mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill dough.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts and dip tops in sugar.  Place sugared side up on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle 2-3 drops water on each ball for a cracked surface.  Bake 10-12 minutes.


Still Cookin’ with Aunt Gerry

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

While at the family cabin in Paradise Township last week, Aunt Gerry was unable to submit her column because she was without an internet connection – which for Aunt Gerry, really made it paradise!  This week, Aunt Gerry’s son is visiting from Florida so she’s pulled out a couple of his favorites!

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Looking through my cookbooks, the best recipes are on pages that have been stained, torn and written on in faded ink.  This recipe comes from a particularly messy page in the 1965 Better Homes & Gardens “Meat Cook Book.”  Don’t forget the garlic bread!  -Aunt Gerry

1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound (or more) ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1-pound cans (4 cups) tomatoes
2 8-ounce cans (2 cups) seasoned tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 3-ounce can sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
Spaghetti, cooked
Grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook onion in hot oil till golden. Add meat and garlic; brown lightly.  Add remaining ingredients; simmer uncovered about an hour and a half or until desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Serve sauce on hot cooked spaghetti. Pass bowl of grated Parmesan cheese.   Makes 6 servings.

Strawberry Summer Shortcake

Every summer my daughters and I would pick strawberries at the local U-Pick farms.  It’s a good thing they didn’t weigh the girls before and after they went into the field!  -Aunt Gerry

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk

Sift together dry ingredients; cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk; add to dry mixture in bowl. Stir only enough to moisten. Turn out on slightly floured surface. Pat dough 1/2 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2 inc floured biscuit cutter. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 13 to 16 minutes. Makes 8 shortcakes. Serve with sweetened strawberries and plenty of whipped cream.

Still Cookin’ with Aunt Gerry

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

For Aunt Gerry, the fresh breezes of spring mean hanging the wash outside on the clothesline, watching Uncle Joe putter in the back yard, and breaking out the recipes for special springtime salads.

Macaroni-Tuna Salad

I found this on a package of “Creamettes” macaroni years ago.

The actual name is “Sea Island Salad” but I can never remember that. – Aunt Gerry

1 ½ cup dry macaroni

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup dairy sour cream

½ tsp. celery seed

½ tsp. onion salt

Two 5-oz. cans albacore tuna, drained

One 10 pkg. frozen peas, thawed

½ cup diced cheddar cheese

2 tbsp. minced green pepper

1 tbsp. diced pimiento

Cook macaroni according to general package directions.  Drain and chill.  Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream and seasonings.  Fold into chilled macaroni.  Gently stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill thoroughly.

Springtime Strawberry Salad

The recipe states a prep time of 10 minutes.

I think that’s for younger cooks.  What’s your hurry? – Aunt Gerry

1 pkg. (10 0z.) assorted salad greens or 8 cups torn lettuce

1 pkg. (6 oz.) grilled chicken breast strips

1 can (15 oz.) mandarin orange segments, drained

½ medium red onion, sliced

½ cup sliced almonds

2 cups sliced strawberries

½ cup creamy poppy seed dressing

Toss greens, chicken, oranges, strawberries and onions in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Serve with dressing.

Spinach Salad

I got this recipe from a co-worker in the Campus Life office at Eastern Michigan University.

I retired from EMU in 1992 but never retired this recipe! – Aunt Gerry


1 cup oil

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup vinegar

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 medium onion, grated

Mix ingredients until sugar is dissolved.  Chill.


1 large pkg. fresh, salad spinach

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

10 sliced bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Toss together salad ingredients.  Pour dressing over salad or serve dressing on the side.

Geraldine Burns (Aunt Gerry) is an octogenarian & Ypsilantian who has resided with her husband Joseph in their Augusta Township home for 43 years.  After working 20 years at Eastern Michigan University, she retired in 1992.  In addition to knitting and baking, Aunt Gerry enjoys the company of her husband & family which includes three grown children, three grandchildren and Minnie; a large, rambunctious, black Labrador retriever.  At 80 years old, Aunt Gerry is happy that she’s “Still Cookin'”. You can email Aunt Gerry at [email protected]