Christmas traditions both new and old

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

When I was young, we always made homemade ornaments for our Christmas tree.

We would string popcorn and cranberries to hang. We made wreaths and garland from our pine trees. When my children were younger they loved to help me decorate all my rooms and put lights outside. I don’t do much of that anymore, especially when it comes to the outside lights.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I like how the Amish do it. They don’t put up a tree but they give gifts — handmade ones from sewing to woodmaking to baked goodies. They will put garland on mantels and window sills and make lots of foods and desserts. They celebrate on two days. The second day they go visiting.

I would miss having a tree. I have our four-foot tree up now. I call it my grandsons’ special tree because they decorate it themselves with snowman’s ornaments and some of their own toys like cars, tiny skateboards, and game pieces.

Hand crafted gifts mean more to me than store bought ones. The time and effort that goes into making something means more to me. They’re more personal.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes.

Cheesy Rosemary Potatoes

• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

• 3-4 minced garlic cloves

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

• 1 tsp. seasoned salt

• 1/8 tsp. pepper

• 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel

• 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

• 1/4 cup dry based crumbs

• 1 tbsp. melted margarine or butter

• 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

In a large skillet or saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add potatoes, seasoned salt, pepper, and lemon peel. Remove from the heat. Spoon half into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with one cup cheese. Repeat layers. Combine bread crumbs, butter, and rosemary; sprinkle over cheese. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Yields: 8-10 servings.

Potato Stuffing

• 8 cups riced cooked potatoes

• 4 cups fine soft bread crumbs

• 2 large chopped onions

• 1 cup butter or margarine

• 4 beaten eggs

• 1 to 2 tbsp. poultry seasoning

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

• 1 turkey (10-12 lbs.)

In a bowl, combine the potatoes and crumbs; set aside. In a skillet, saute onions in butter until tender; add to potato mixture. Stir in egg, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Just before baking, stuff turkey. Skewer and fasten openings. Tie drumsticks together. Place with breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover and bake at 325 for three and a half hours or until meat thermometer reads 180 degrees for the turkey and 165 degrees for the stuffing.

Yields: 8-10 servings.

Herbed Rib Roast

• 1 boneless rib roast (4 to 5 lbs.)

• 2 to 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

• 1/2 tsp. dried basil

• 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

• 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

Cut 15-20 slits in the roast; insert garlic. Combine salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and marjoram and rub over roast meat. Place fat side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat reaches the desired doneness (for rare, 140 degrees; medium, 180 degrees; well done on a meat thermometer.)

Yields: 8-10 servings.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case