Cooks’ Exchange: Reader recipes from baked beans to rhubarb –


With the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of reader submitted recipes were put aside or arrived late. If you are tired of preparing recipes using only four ingredients, today’s column will be a return to the past with recipes sent weeks ago, beginning with two favorites shared by Linda Martin, Edgerton.

Old-fashioned baked beans

4 slices of bacon

2 16-ounce cans of navy beans with liquid

½ cup molasses

½ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup, optional

Cut one bacon slice into small pieces and stir into the rest of the ingredients. Mix together and place in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining 3 bacon slices, cut in half, to place on top. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours.

Apple crisp

1/2 cup sugar

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon cinnamon

9 apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup flour

½ butter, melted

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

Combine ½ cup sugar, water, and cinnamon in a 2-quart baking dish. Place apple slices on top. Mix flour, butter, salt and sugar, spread over apples and press down. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Shirley Krueger in Cross Plains shared another delicious way to use rhubarb.

Strawberry rhubarb upside-down cake

5 cups chopped rhubarb

1 small package strawberry Jell-O-no sugar

1 cup sugar

3 cups miniature marshmallows

1 yellow cake mix

Put rhubarb in 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle Jell-O and sugar over rhubarb, then sprinkle with marshmallows. Mix cake mix according to directions on the box. Pour over first mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Flip over onto a 10×15-inch foil-lined pan. Let pan sit for a minute before removing pan, using a knife to loosen the edges. If using a glass pan, oven should be set at 325 degrees.

Returning to meatball recipes featured earlier this year, a few recipes arrived too late to be included and were saved for sometime in the future which happens to be today with a response from Janet Day, DeForest.

In these challenging times, our local businesses need your support. Find out how to get food, goods, services and more from those remaining open.

Norwegian meatballs

1 ½ pounds ground beef

½ pound unseasoned pork sausage

2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup hot milk

1 cup bread crumbs

2/3 teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon sage

1 medium onion, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Mix well and form into balls the size of an egg. Brown well and put in a heavy pan. Make 3 cups of rich brown gravy to pour over meatballs. Simmer for 1 hour.

Note: The recipe was found in a cookbook and submitted by Valerie Walter.

Another Norwegian meatball recipe arrived late from longtime Madison reader Dolores Lichte, who shared many fond memories about the delicious Swedish meatballs she makes often and other delicious Norwegian recipes the family enjoys during Christmas Eve festivities. These meatballs are exceptional party fare chilled overnight in a wine sauce.

Norwegian meatballs

1 pound each lean sirloin and lean pork, ground with a small piece of suet

3 thin slices day-old bread, crumbled

1 small onion, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon allspice

Black pepper

¼ cup evaporated milk

¼ cup salad oil

3 tablespoons flour

10-ounce can beef bouillon

1 cup water

1 cup burgundy

Hot cooked noodles

With a very light hand, using a fork so you don’ t crush the meat, mix meats, bread, onion, eggs, salt, cornstarch, allspice, pepper and milk. Scoop up meat mixture with a round-bowled spoon; drop into oil heated in frying pan and turn to brown all slices. Remove meatballs to platter and make sauce in the same pan. Stir flour into oil remaining in the frying pan and stir until it begins to brown. Add liquids slowly, stirring sauce until smooth and thickened. Place meatballs in sauce, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in refrigerator overnight to set the flavors. Heat meatballs and serve on noodles. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Lichte included the recipe source as “The Sunset Ground Beef Cookbook,” published by LaneBooks in May, 1965.

Another meatball recipe that arrived late was from Georgette Bates, Fitchburg. The recipe belonged to her maternal grandmother who was only 13 when she arrived here in 1890 as an immigrant from Sweden. Bates described her as becoming a cook for well-to-do families in New York and Chicago and mentioned that Bate’s own mother also was an excellent cook.

Danish meatballs

1 pound beef, ground twice

1/2 pound pork, ground twice

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1/2 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup milk

1/4 cup water

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons butter

Combine meat and onion in a large bowl. Add mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add, mixing vigorously, milk, water and beaten egg. Beat vigorously until mixture is smooth and well blended. Heat butter in a heavy skillet. Using a regular tablespoon (not measuring tablespoon) and drop meat mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into the skillet (meat will drop readily from a spoon dipped in melted butter). Cook over medium heat until browned. Using a slotted spoon, turn meatballs to brown evenly. Allow about 8 to 10 minutes to cook these meatballs also known as Frikadeller. Should produce 3 dozen small balls.

The Scandinavian Cookbook, published by Culinary Arts,Chicago.

Kathy Maxwell-Clark (formerly Manning) received many honors in Wisconsin State Journal cookbook contests. Here is her Hawaiian meatball recipe that might be a nice change.

Hawaiian meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 medium onion, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups pineapple chunks

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Blend together ground chuck, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Shape into 1-inch meatballs and saute until brown. Blend together brown sugar and cornstarch and add to pineapple juice in heavy saucepan.

Add soy sauce and vinegar. Cook until thick. Add meatballs and pineapple chunks. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with cherries.

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at