Prime rib pairs well with sweet potatoes and brown rice


We have Linda Insley’s Prime Rib from the Morris Family book of recipes (contributed by a friend and reader) that gives directions for cooking roast beef. A digital oven thermometer is invaluable if you want pleasing results. I have one, a gift from my daughter that has a thin, sharp probe that you insert in the meat before roasting.

Temperatures: Beef rare is between 120 and 125 degrees, Medium rare is between 130 and 135 degrees, Medium is between 140 and 145 degrees, Medium well is between 150 and 155 degrees, and Well done is 160 degees. Bear in mind that, even when you take the roast out of the oven, the temperature will continue going up for five minutes or more before it starts cooling.

Another important point to remember after removing the roast from the oven: let the roast sit in a warm place for up to an hour, loosely covered with foil, to allow the juices to flow back into the meat and not all run out on the platter with the first slice.

Jan Williams’ Tangy Chicken looks delicious and very simple. For safety’s sake, always use your cooking thermometer to check that your poultry reaches 165 degrees. And, if you’re on a salt-restrictive diet, you might want to check the salt content. This is an old recipe, after all, and we weren’t as conscious about salt in those days. This recipe comes from Plains Pot Pourri in Plains, Georgia.

Port Erie Sweet Potatoes is a tasty combination of cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, orange juice, and coconut, placed in a casserole with butter on top and baked for about 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven. We thank our friend Mary Francis Mancuso for sharing her casserole with us through the Apopka Historical Society’s Preserving the Big Potato.

Reader, Nancy Thomas, contributed her Dressed-Up Brown Rice recipe for our consideration when we plan our meals. Brown rice retains its bran and germ thus requiring more water and a longer cook time than white rice. Brown rice is somewhat chewy and quite delicious. We welcome all your contributions at:

This recipe has escaped my notice until just now. It looks to be scrumptious. We can thank Louise Hooper for sharing her Sour Cream Cake with The Apopka Woman’s Club’s What’s Cookin’?. This happens to be one of the oldest cookbooks we have here in our collection of valuables. The copyright is 1963; there probably aren’t many of them around anymore.

Our friends over at the Apopka Citizen Police Alumni Association put out a great little two-part volume of their favorite recipes titled Sharing Our Finest Cookbook. Wilma Allison contributed her Yellow Corn Meal Corn Bread recipe for your enjoyment. We would love to know when this treasure was published if anyone knows. It has #1554-96* in the front of the booklet, if that is a clue. Maybe 1996? Possibly Marilyn McQueen who was president of the club at the time can tell us.

A fantastic recipe, from Wishnatzki Farms in Plant City and published in Field to Feast, uses strawberries. It is a lovely salad, Baby Greens with Strawberries and Lime Vinaigrette. The citrusy tang of the lime vinaigrette is a great match for the sweet strawberries. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can swap it for soft goat cheese or leave it out altogether.


Recipe from Susan Nethercote’s Book of Morris Family Recipes

A good tip I learned in cooking prime rib – or any kind of roast beef, for that matter – is to pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit first. Cook the roast for ten minutes at that temperature, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR.

This makes better gravy drippings while it sears the roast, keeping natural juices inside the roast.


Recipe from Food Favorites of Plains, Georgia

Plains Pot Pourri

1 chicken, cut up

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon onion salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Dip chicken into sauce, place in baking dish with skin side up. Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.



Recipe from Apopka Historical
Society Preserving the Big Potato

3 medium sweet potatoes or yams

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 bananas peeled and sliced

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup shredded coconut

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water to cover about 25 minutes or until tender but firm. Cool, pare and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange layer of potatoes in buttered 1-quart casserole. Sprinkle with sugar mixed with salt. Dot with butter. Top with layer of bananas. Repeat layers. Pour orange juice over layers and sprinkle with coconut. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned.


Recipe from Reader of The Apopka Chief and The Planter newspapers

1 cup brown rice, long grain or medium, rinsing out excess starch with cold water in a pot, then drained through a sieve

2 cups water

Dash of black pepper

Dash of cayenne

1 tablespoon “Better than Bouillon” beef base (very salty)

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil stirred in

1 small can mushrooms

Tiny bit of salt if needed after tasting

Season boiling water with pepper, cayenne, beef base, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, olive oil, and 1 small can of mushrooms, salt if needed.

Cook 45 minutes, covered with tight-fitting lid. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Serve hot.


Recipe from The Apopka Woman’s Club, What’s Cookin’?

3 cups sugar (save out 6 tablespoons, put aside)

1 cup butter

6 eggs, separated (unbroken yolks)

3 cups cake flour (sifted 3 times)

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoring

Cream sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time. Add combined flour and soda alternately with sour cream. Add flavoring. Beat egg whites until stiff, add 6 tablespoons sugar. Fold into batter. Bake in greased and floured tube pan at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Test with a toothpick before removing from oven. This cake is similar to a pound cake, very moist, and it keeps well.


Recipe from Apopka Citizen Police Alumni Association,

Sharing Our Finest Cookbook

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Beat ingredients until fairly smooth. Pour into 8-inch square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.


Recipe from Field to Feast

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1-1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups lightly packed baby greens

1 pint strawberries, stemmed and sliced

1/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion

6 tablespoons toasted and chopped pecans

6 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

6 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon

Whisk together oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Set aside

Toss together baby greens, strawberries, and onion. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon pecans, 1 tablespoon blue cheese, and 1 tablespoon bacon.