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Family Recipes

Peanut Clusters


Coffee Can Bread

These family recipes are recipes passed down through the family, adapted from magazine and newspaper articles, and recipes given to us by other families. 

The majority of recipes you see here are from my grandmother, Opal Blair.  Many of her recipes came from newspaper clippings and from recipe exchanges at various Methodist churches she attended.   You'll notice a definite trend in these recipes.  My grandfather, Homer E. Blair, had a voracious sweet tooth!  I don't know that he had a favorite treat; all sweets were his favorite.  Every Christmas he tried to pass on his sweet tooth to his grandchildren by giving us Brach's Chocolate covered cherries.  After my grandmother died in 1977, the refrigerator was never without at least two bottles of Pepsi or Coca Cola!

Most of my comments are italicized.


Peanut Clusters
Janis Wagner

This recipe is one that my mother made often.  It is a quick recipe to make and doesn't require the use of your oven.  Make sure your boil is a rolling boil or the cookies will be too soft and gooey.  This recipe came from a newspaper clipping.  I'm not sure of the date, but I remember eating these as a child before 1970.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup quick oaks (don't use regular oats)
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)
1/4 cup mini marshmallows (optional)

Combine sugar, butter and milk in saucepan.  Bring to a full boil; boil for three (full minutes, stirring frequently (do not let the sauce caramelize).  Remote from heat and stir in peanut butter.  Fold in oats and optional items.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto buttered waxed paper lined cookie sheet.  Chill several hours (overnight).   Makes about 30 small candies.  To ensure freshness, chill and store in plastic container.

(If you want to make this with children, make sure you let this cool to about 110 degrees before letting them drop onto the wax paper.  Also, by letting it cool a bit first, the cookies will be taller and not so flat).



Coffee Can Bread
Opal A. Blair

This recipe, along with my grandmother's sticky bun recipe, is one of the most "legendary" recipes in the family.  I don't recall how the recipe got started or where she got it.  To this day, no one has been able to reproduce the bread she actually served.  We believe she left out a few ingredients in most everything she made.  This recipe was passed to several family members including my grandmother Marie Wagner.  This bread is great to store frozen after it has cooled. 

5 empty one pound coffee cans with lids
2 pkgs yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tablespoons sugar
2 13-ounce skim pet milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons oil
9 1/2 cups flour (use 6 cups initially)

Grease (grandma and mom used Crisco) cans and the lids. 

In a large bowl, combine yeast and water with ginger, 2 tablespoons sugar.  Let stand about 15 minutes so yeast activates.

Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, pet milk, salt, oil.  With a mixer, add 6 cups of flour (mom used a mixer, grandma used a heavy wooden spoon).  Add 3 1/2 cups more flour by hand.  Dough should be heavy and sticky.

Devide dough equally among the 5 cans.  Put the greased lids on and let rise.   Dough will push the lids off in 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

Back at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.  Remove from cans immediately (emphasis on immediate.  If you don't, you'll never get the bread out of the cans).   When cool, slice or freeze.  Serve at room temperature or toast.  (I don't remember this being toasted per se.  I do remember it being toasted in a heavy skillet lightly buttered and my grandmother used to dollap honey over it.)


Opal A. Blair

This is another recipe that I remember from my childhood.  Both my grandmother and mother made this often.  This is another cookie that does not require the use of a stove and is very simple to make.  This recipe is from a magazine from the early to mid 1960's (best estimate from the writing and illustrations on the back of the clipping).

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 6-ounce package (1 cup) butterscotch morsels
1 3-ounce can (2 cups) La Choy Chow Mein Noodles (crunchy noodles)
2 cups mini-marshmallows

Combine in a double boiler:  peanut butter and butterscotch morsels.  Place over hot (not boiling) water until butterscotch melts.  Stir until well blended.  Add and stir until well coated:  noodles and marshmallows.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto (buttered) wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Chill until set.  Makes about 20-30 cookies.

(There is a similar recipe with chocolate called "snickerdoodles" which my mother also made quite often.  These are very sweet and sticky.  They are also called "haystacks")


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