My family of recipe junkies share their favorites

Recipe junkies — that’s me and my present and late family members. Even my daughter collects recipes from social media that she likes or wants me to prepare.

I have recipes my grandmother clipped or wrote. My mom, whom I have often said did not cook much, bought cookbooks.

My great aunt’s books and files also contain recipe clippings. Because my great-grandmother was an awesome cook, my aunt only cooked when she and my cousin were at field trials, and he was running his prize-winning beagles. Her specialty? Chicken and rice made with dry onion soup mix.

Yvonne Yeager, my late mother-in-law, loved cookbooks. She would read them like she read a book, and she, too, was a good cook. I guess it was only natural that her oldest son, my late husband, collected recipes, too.

Recently, I was sorting some of his old books and papers for ones to keep, ones to sell in a garage sale and ones to give away or toss. We collected a whole library in 29 years of marriage. I came across two recipes in his handwriting that he thought were special, ginger-pineapple fish and banana coconut cake. He was all about the coconut.

I have said before that he and his clients talked Jesus, cooking and arts while he was doing their hair. I have recipes from some that were his clients’ favorites or treasured family recipes. He was their hairdresser, and they shared their lives with him.

Today, I offer a couple of their recipes I found in my purging. These have not been shared previously in this column. One is a gelatin recipe that dates to 1961. It takes a bit of mixing and waiting but is worth the effort. Another is for an old-time vanilla wafer cake.

Readers, always feel free to share your favorite or treasured recipes with me. Fellow readers enjoy them, too.

Looking for cookbooks

“Do you know where I can buy a copy of the two cookbooks, ‘Mississippi Gulf Coast Restaurants: Post Hurricane Katrina Stories, Recipes and More’ and ‘Feeding the Faithful: Cursillo Movement of South Mississippi,’?” asked Vivian Dailey of Gautier.

Linda Eschler of Gulfport and her late husband, Lee, wrote “Mississippi Gulf Coast Restaurants: Post Hurricane Katrina Stories, Recipes and More” and “Mississippi Gulf Coast Casino and Local Restaurants: Post Hurricane Katrina.” She has copies of both books. Dailey may call me and I will give her Eschler’s phone number.

Readers, do you know how to get the Cursillo cookbook? If so, please let me know.

Still looking

Brenda Roberts wants banana and pound cake recipes made with Splenda. Readers, can you help her?


2 pounds of flounder or 1 pound of fillets

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 scallions, shredded

1/2 cup crushed or chopped pineapple

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

Trim and cut fish. Wash and pat dry.

Sprinkle with cornstarch. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry fish (1-2 minutes for fillets; 5 minutes for pieces). Remove fish to serving platter and sprinkle with dry sherry.

Heat remaining oil with ginger and reduce heat. Cook ginger 1 minute. Add scallions and stir-fry another

Minute. Add pineapple and soy sauce. Remove from heat and pour hot over fish.

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and takes requests at Cook’s Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.


1/2 cup butter or oleo

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grease and flour 9-inch tube pan.

Cream butter, granulated sugar and beat in eggs one at a time. Add bananas, butter milk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat into banana mixture to blend. Pour 1/2 batter in pan and add 1/2 of topping mixture. Add remaining batter and top with remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until cake tests done.


1 package black cherry gelatin

1 package strawberry gelatin

1 package lime gelatin

Mix each package separately with 1 cup boiling water and 3/4 cup cold water. Place in three different pans and put in refrigerator until set.

1 package raspberry gelatin

1/4 cup sugar

1 can pineapple juice (6-8 ounces)

Put sugar and pineapple juice in a saucepan and let come to a boil. Let sit. Dissolve gelatin in mixture, which should be soft, but not syrupy or hot.

2 envelopes Dream Whip topping (Could use frozen whipped topping)

Beat until soft peaks form.

Add raspberry gelatin mixture to whipped topping. Cut firmly set black cherry, strawberry and lime gelatins into cubes and fold into raspberry-topping mixture. Refrigerate until serving.

Miniature marshmallows and chopped pecans or walnuts may be added.


1 stick butter

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

8 ounces coconut

6 eggs

1 (12 ounce) box vanilla wafers, finely crushed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, if desired

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla wafer crumbs and milk alternately ending with crumbs. Add coconut and nuts. Add vanilla. Bake in tube or Bundt pan at 275 degrees for 1 3/4 hours.