recipe box lynn wells feat img
photograph by Matt Hulsman

When Our State recipe developer Lynn Wells shared her family recipe box with us, we were eager to see what was inside. The box belonged to her husband’s grandmother Annie Beam Funderburk, who was a professor in the Romance Languages department at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG). Annie entertained often, and she and the other professors would exchange recipes written on scraps of paper or typed on the campus typewriter. “She was an excellent cook,” Lynn says. “She studied and taught French in Paris, which is where she picked up a lot of tips and cooking techniques. My husband remembers that her specialties were baked chicken and rice, and tomato aspic.”

Annie’s recipe box is like a time capsule. Take a look, and remember one piece of her advice: “Annie believed that the ‘good silver’ should be used every day,” Lynn says. “‘If you have it,’ she’d say, ‘don’t wait for a special occasion. Use it now.’”

Apricot Salad by Sarah Baughan

Apricot Salad

2 small packages (or 1 large package) apricot jello
1 can crushed pineapple, do not drain
6-ounce can orange juice
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1-pound can apricot halves, drained and diced
1 cup cottage cheese

Add water to [mandarin orange] juice to make 2 cups. Heat and pour over jello. Add pineapple and orange juice. Chill until partially set, then add [apricot halves] and mandarin oranges. Top with cottage cheese.

Asparagus and Cheese Soufflé

Asparagus Cheese Souffle

Yield: 4 servings.

1 can asparagus soup
4 eggs, separated
1 cup American cheese

Grate cheese and stir into undiluted asparagus soup in a saucepan until cheese is melted. When mixture has cooled, add slightly beaten yolks of eggs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into the asparagus mixture. Turn into a greased casserole dish and set in a pan of hot water.

Bake at 350° for 1-1½ hours.

Frozen Fruit Salad with Marshmallows

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 package cream cheese
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 small can crushed pineapple
¾ cup diced cherries
1 large can sliced peaches
14 diced marshmallows
1 cup mayonnaise
½ pint whipped cream

Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pineapple. Add cherries, peaches, and marshmallows. Mix well and fold in whipped cream and mayonnaise. Pour into two ice cube trays and freeze. To serve, cut into blocks and place on lettuce.

Lime Ice

Lime Ice

1 package lime jello
1 cup boiling water
1½ cups sugar
Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
1 quart milk (Carnation recommended)

Dissolve jello in boiling water; add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add lemon juice and rind. When cooled, add milk and stir until thoroughly mixed. Chill before serving.

Shrimp Tomato Aspic by Margaret Routh

Shrimp Tomato Aspic

Yield: 8 servings.

2 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 package lemon jello
½ small bottle of olives, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plain gelatin dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pint cooked shrimp
Red pepper flakes to taste
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Heat tomato juice, vinegar, and onion; bring to a boil. Pour over lemon jello and dissolve. Stir in remaining ingredients, and pour into jello mold. Chill before serving.

Spiced Pineapple

Spiced Pineapple

1 4-ounce can (2½ cups) pineapple chunks
¾ cup pineapple juice
¾ cup vinegar
1¼ cups sugar
Dash of salt
6-8 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Drain pineapple chunks and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Add pineapple chunks and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and store in a covered jar in refrigerator. Delicious relish with pork!

Frozen Fruit Salad with Pecans

Frozen Fruit Salad 2

1 3-ounce container cottage cheese
2 tablespoons cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
¾ cup pecans
¾ cup whipped cream
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix cottage cheese and cream thoroughly. Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, and whipped cream, then add fruit cocktail and pecans. Pour into a freezer-safe tray and chill until frozen.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad

1 package lime jello
1 cup grated cucumber
1 small onion, grated
1 tablespoon vinegar
Pinch red pepper

Follow directions on jello package, allowing to cool before adding remaining ingredients. Serve with shrimp.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.