Ann Bonney’s Popcorn Balls


  • 2 Cups molasses
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • ¼ Cup vinegar, plus additional seen notes
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Cup raw popcorn, popped


  1. Combine molasses, sugar, water, and vinegar in a saucepan.
  2. Cook liquid ingredients to soft boil, 255F on a candy thermometer.  Fine bubbles will form, and the liquid should form a soft ball when dropped into a glass of water.
  3. Remove from heat, and add butter, stirring until it is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour mixture over popped corn and form into balls.
  5. Wrap individually with plastic wrap.


  • Do not make on inclement days
  • Use vinegar on your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands when forming balls.
Source: Ann Bonney, Portland, Maine, circa 1960

Sliced Sweet Chili Cucumbers


  • 2 English Cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 18 ounces seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, Splenda or equavilent
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 shakes toasted sesame oil


  1. Place sliced cucumbers into 2-quart container.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.  Use less or more red chili flakes as desired.
  3. Keeps well in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks.
Source: Diana Stone in Adams Clinic Employees cookbook, Hibbing, Minnesota, 2005

Chicken and Wild Rice hot dish


  • 1 Cup raw wild rice, cooked
  • I Cup long grain white rice, or quinoa cooked
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1 Cup celery, chopped and cooked
  • 1 package pearl onions, cooked
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jar pimentos, chopped
  • 1 small package sliced almonds
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • 2 cups buttered bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix together the soups and chicken broth, stir until smooth
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well
  4. Put mixure in a casserole dish and cover with buttered bread crumbs
  5. Bake for 60 minutes
  6. Serve hot
Source: Sue Jonas, circa 1980

Notes: Great potluck dish

Baked dates in cheddar-rosemary pastry


  • ½ Cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ¾ Cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1⅓ Cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons water, very cold
  • 48 pitted Medjool dates


  1. Pulse butter, cheddar cheese, rosemary, flour, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. Add vinegar and water and pulse just until the mixture holds together.
  3. Turn out the dough and shape into a six-inch square. Wrap the mixture with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F
  5. Put chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12-inch square.
  6. Cut pastry square into 48 1-inch by 3-inch strips.
  7. Wrap each date with a strip of pastry and arrange on two parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 15 minutes
  9. Serve Hot
Source: Sunset Magazine, November 2006

Dr Wingnut’s Chili


  • 2½ pounds sweet or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (80% lean or better)
  • 2 cans (15½ oz) dark kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans (14½ oz) chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 jars (24 oz) thick and chunky salsa (Chi-Chi’s)
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder


  1. Turn a covered large Crock-Pot on high temperature.
  2. On medium heat, sweat onions and garlic in a large dutch oven, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown.  About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the following ingredients to the Crock-Pot while the onions and garlic are cooking: beans, tomatoes, salsa, and green chilies. Stir to combine.
  4. When the onions have started to brown crumble the ground beef into the onion mixture and cook covered, stirring occasionally until the ground beef is no longer raw.  About 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the spices to the meat mixture.  Stir and cook until the spices become aromatic  About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the meat and onion mixture to the Crock-Pot, stir and cover.
  7. When the chili begins to boil, stir and turn the heat down to low.
  8. Cook overnight (at least 8 hours).
  9. Serve with your favorite toppings, (cheese, jalapeño peppers, black olives, sour cream, chopped cilantro, et cetera) and Tortilla chips or Fritos.

Winner of the Minnesota DNR Central Office Chili Cook-off on 2016-10-20 which advanced the doctor to the Governor’s Chili Cook-off on 2016-10-26.  Where he thankfully did not win…  they did raise $700+ for the Combined Charities campaign however, so that was good.

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert


  • 2 (3.5 ounce) boxes vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 Cups whole milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 1 (14.4 ounce) box graham crackers
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 Cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine pudding mix and milk; beat until the pudding sets.
  2. Stir in the Cool Whip.
  3. Place a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.
  4. Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers.
  5. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and the remainder of the pudding mixture.
  6. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
  7. Make a ganache topping by bring the heavy cream to a slight boil; boil about 1 minute, stirring very frequently.  Remove from heat and cool one minute.  Add chocolate and stir until melted and there are no chocolate lumps.
  8. Spread the ganache over the top layer of graham crackers.
  9. Refrigerate overnight.
Source: Shannon Jenson

Sour Pickles

Sour Pickles are a fermented product, just as sauerkraut is.  They can be made at home fairly easily.  If you decide to do that you will no longer be dependent on a store to carry them but can make more anytime you want.  They are quite easy to make. With the wonderful Farmer’s Market you have in Atlanta you should be able to get an ample supply of pickling cucumbers.  Then, this is what you do:


Do not attempt to change the salt to water ratio in this recipe as the brine will not be successful.

1 cup Kosher salt to 1 gallon of water (you can also use pickling salt, but DO NOT use iodized salt – the iodine will ruin the pickles)
3 or 4 cloves garlic, cut in half

Wash and dry sufficient small cucumbers of the pickling variety to fill a gallon size jar.  Add the herbs and spices to the top if you choose to use them.  Mix up the salt water mixture well and pour it over the cucumbers, covering them totally.  Cover the jar.

Let the jar stand 5 days to a week at room temperature.  As they start to pickle, gases will form in the jar and the mixture will bubble over unless you open the jar daily and release these gases.  The pickles will be 1/2 sour at this point and can be refrigerated.  They will continue to get sour in the refrigerator and will keep well for about 2 months or more depending upon the firmness of the variety of pickling cucumbers that you have used.

You can add different herbs and spices to get the exact flavor you want, such as:

  • 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp. pickling spice, and 2 or 3 whole allspice
  • Small hot peppers
  • Mustard seed
Originally discussed in a Star-Tribune article which lead me to this recipe at  There is also an interesting recipe here.