Mother and Daughter, Carrie and Julie...
Carrie's favorite may be hard to find:
Mother and Daughter Cookbook
Wabash Nazarene Church
C-S Printing, Wabash, IN
Why is this very privately published (*) cookbook
so loved by farm wife Carrie Betz? "Because they
(recipes) are all tried and true..."
There are no valid counts when it relates to vanity
fund-raising cookbooks published by churches.
But, such have been in collections since hand-set
type was invented. In this case the Betz-owned copy
is slightly frayed. Some of the spiral-bound pages
are pulled away and reinserted between well-read
Keeper Carrie's cookbook stash started in a
familiar way. Her mother, Mevelyn Neff, passed on
this appropriately-named cookbook...Mother Neff
to daughter Carrie. It will be passed to grand daughter
Julie who at this writing is about kitchen table tall.
There is no index. That may be one of the appeals.
There are sectioned pages dividing meat from pastry,
cakes and frosting from jams. Just for fun reading,
an indicator for the times before we had so many
eateries offering Asian cookery, there is a recipe
for chop suey. Assume it must be with Indiana
But when asked for her favorite recipe she quickly
flipped to Wiggles in the "Meats, Chicken & Casseroles"
section. Carrie's mother had written "try" next to the
noodles notation. Now, pause a bit. Those church
folk published their version of Johnny Marzetti, that
dish of baked pasta (so notes Wikipedia), ground
beef, tomato sauce and cheese. Wiggles, however,
now ranks among the thousand-plus of variations
for Johnny. Wiggles calls for hamburger, noodles,
a can of mushroom soup, oleo not butter, a can of
peas, grated cheese, a can of tomato soup milk,
chopped onion, and cracker crumbs. Carrie Betz
is a bit more up to date: butter not oleo, fresh
garden peas and tomatoes from her acres out back.
(*) There are 116 unnumbered pages with 138 recipes
printed on both sides. Each is credited to what appears
to be a member of this church 30-plus years ago.
Carrie's second fave is closer to home:
Cookin' for the Lord
A Collection of Recipes by First Church
of the Nazarene, Mount Sterling, Ohio
The pages are numbered on this edition. The
Wiggles version of Johnny Marzetti appears on
page 53, submitted by Mev Neff, Carrie's mother.
Chop suey is missing from this issue. However,
there is one recipe with an intriguing name: How to
Make Ants on a Log, page 152.
Frequently on her cooking counter top:
Seasoned With Love
Country Favorites from Madison Mills School
Miami Trace School District, Ohio
Indexed and with pages numbered, this one fills
shelf space. No chop suey. But the dirt cake, page
67, sounds interesting using Oreo cookies and
cream cheese. Julia Child would pass on this one.
The recipe calls for margarine, not butter. For
school age readers, Clogg Nogg, egg nog and party
punch would be approved by any school board...all
are non-alky preps.
Sum total for Carrie's faves: Great reading for those
who never cook...but just read cookbooks. Step
back a generation.
Once a hog farm of 400 acres in 1971
when pork prices were high, now down
to 40 profitable Ohio vegetable acres...
When Gerald Betz wanted to raise his family with
sons Nick and Jim, he bought more than 400 fertile
acres in lush Madison County, Ohio. By the 1980s
he had as many as 60 sows and hundreds of hogs
for market, all fattened with a feed that included
field vegetables. Today, the hogs are gone. Those
vegetables, sweet corn, tomatoes, cantaloupes, melons,
green beans, zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers
fill almost 40 acres of tended rows.
Gerald's sons, Nick and Jim gather ripe in early mornings,
sell from a pickup truck bed by noon times. There are no
hogs on the farm, but two dozen or more productive
hens keep fresh egg baskets loaded.
To continue Betz family folk plan to stay on the land,
Nick's wife, Carrie has plans for a herb garden. As for
her title in this farm family structure, she calls herself
"just a picker."
Picked at daylight, marketed at noon...
Farmers all, left to right: Jim Betz, his son Luke,
Julie, daughter of Nick and Carrie Ann Betz, right,
with their Betz Farms truck market in season...
Decades ago the oval basket used for
toting burley tobacco stalks now is used
by Julie Betz when she counts out fresh
corn for market customers...