About six months ago a request came in for a sourdough starter recipe that had run in one of Shelly Moran’s columns more than 20 years ago. Since there are no cross-references available for the columns it fell to a stroke of blind luck to find it. And it has. Maybe. This is the first Sharing the Best column I have found that has included such directions – so, I will reprint it.

Maybe it is time to buy a lottery ticket.

Sharing the Best, by Shelly Moran, Nov. 11, 1992:

In answer to a suggestion from a local reader that I try to get a recipe from every state for this column, a reader from California has sent three recipes. It was such a thrill to read Meredith Perkins’ letter and her wonderful recipes. Meredith wrote that she and her husband, Jeff, (the son of Mary Perkins of Cabot) arc living in Ridgecrest, Calif, while Jeff is stationed there for three years. She said they have taken the Cabot Star-Herald for quite a while and she enjoys this column.

A note of interest is that Meredith writes a recipe column for the local college newspaper in Ridgecrest. She said she has used this column as an example for her own. Wow, I have been paid the highest compliment ever! Thanks, Meredith.

Of Meredith’s three recipes, she had the following comments about each. Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts is easy and tasty and can be made for a family dinner or for company. Strawberries with French Cream is best with fresh strawberries but any berries can be used Apples Anna is a wonderful fall dessert and apples are always in season.



8 chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup stuffing mix, crushed

8 slices Swiss cheese

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup butter, melted

Arrange chicken in lightly greased baking dish. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and wine; stir well. Spoon evenly over chicken; sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over crumbs; bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Meredith Perkins Ridgecrest, Calif.



(Serves four)

1 quart strawberries

1 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. grated orange rind

Grated chocolate

Wash and hull strawberries, set aside. Beat whipping cream until foamy, gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold in sour cream and orange rind. Spoon strawberries onto serving dishes and top with cream, garnish with chocolate.

Meredith Perkins

Ridgecrest, Calif.



(Serves six or eight)

6 or 8 medium apples

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Maraschino cherries

Remove cores from apples and cut a strip of peel from around middle of each apple. Bring to a boil the butter, brown sugar, cream, and cinnamon. Arrange apples side by side in baking pan and pour butter mixture over them. Bake uncovered in a 375-degree oven 45-55 minutes, or until apples arc tender when pierced. Baste several times as they cook. Serve with the sauce, decorate with the cherries.

Meredith Perkins

Ridgecrest, Calif.


Judy Carmical, who requested a recipe for sourdough starter using water, sugar and instant potato flakes (no flour) will now have two from which to choose. Jean Boyd and Jimma Morris, both of Austin, sent the following recipes for the starter and sourdough bread. The recipes are similar in ingredients and directions, but I felt that both deserved space here. Jimma also sent recipes for homemade yeast, living yeast and potato yeast We’ll print them as space permits in the future.



1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. instant potatoes

Place water, sugar, and potatoes in a jar and mix well (use a wooden spoon, and that’s right no flour) Cover jar with a paper towel secured with a rubber band. (The paper towel cover is important as it allows the starter to breathe.) Leave starter on counter to sour for several days. Stir occasionally. When it is real bubbly, feed it and let set at room temperature 3 to 4 hours or until bubbly again.


1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 Tbsp. instant potatoes

Feed after each use or every 5 to 7 days when not used. (Throw away the amount you would have used about 1 cup before feeding). Cover again with a paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Store in refrigerator after mixture begins bubbling nicely. Never seal the starter container as the starter needs to breathe.


1 1/4 cups starter

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/2 cup oil

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

Flour, about 6 cups

Mix starter, water, oil, sugar and salt in large bowl, add flour to make a stiff dough, grease top and let rise all day or until double in size. Shape into rolls, loaves, cinnamon rolls, etc. Let rise 5 hours or longer. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. (If using a glass baking dish, bake in 350-degree oven. Less baking time for rolls.)

Jean Boyd, Austin



3/4 cup sugar

1 cup warm water

3 heaping Tbsp. instant potatoes, dry

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Cover with foil; make a hole about the size of a quarter in the foil for air. Let the covered bowl stand, un-refrigerated, until little bubbles form on the top of the mixture. (This may take several days, depending on the room temperature.) When bubbles form, put the covered bowl into the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Take the starter out of the refrigerator and "feed" it. (Feeding is adding the same three ingredients above, in the same amounts.) Let it sit out for 8 to 12 hours. Put it back into the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Take the starter out and feed again. Let it sit out for 8 to 12 hours. Take out 1 cup of starter to use in making bread. Return the remaining starter to the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Remove to feed again. Let stand for 8 to 12 hours. If not making bread after this feeding, throw away 1 cup of starter or give it to a friend or neighbor. The starter must be fed every 3 to 5 days.


1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. salt

1/2 cup corn oil

1 cup Sourdough Starter

11/2 cups warm water

6 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff batter. Grease another large bowl. Put the dough in the greased bowl and brush the top of the dough with oil; cover lightly with foil and let set overnight. (Do not refrigerate.) Next morning, punch down the dough and knead it a little. Divide the dough into three parts; knead each part a little. Put each part into a greased loaf pan. Let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan (this may take all day since it rises slowly). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on a rack. Wrap or put into plastic bags. Makes 3 loaves. NOTE: This bread freezes well.

— From Mother Maybelle Carter’s Cookbook

Submitted by Jimma Morris, Austin


The following two recipes are from the collection of recipes published by Cabot bus drivers in their "Authentic Busdrivers Cookbook."

These two fell victim to a computer glitch and were only "half there." They are being printed in their entirety so that anyone who bought the cookbook can put these in their book.



1 stick oleo, softened

1 box yellow cake mix

1 egg


1 stick oleo, softened

1 8-oz. cream cheese

3 eggs

1 lb. powdered sugar

For crust, mix egg, oleo and one-half of the cake mix. Then add other half. Pat out into greased pan. For filling, beat oleo, cream cheese and eggs, then gradually add powdered sugar. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Add toppings if you like.

— Debbie Patrom



1 pkg. Devil’s Food cake mix

1 (4 1/2 oz.) pkg. chocolate

instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cups water

2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in ungreased oblong pan, 13"x9", with fork, scraping corners frequently, until moistened. Stir batter vigorously with fork 1 minute; scrape sides with rubber spatula. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until top springs back when touched lightly in center, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool. Loosen cake from sides; cut and serve directly from pan. Store in refrigerator. Serves 24. This very moist cake freezes well.

— Judith Coats


Cheryl Davis wrote me this week, saying, "Surely, there are lots of pumpkins out there looking for something to do now that Halloween is past." Try her colorful fall meal in a pumpkin.


1 small-to-medium pumpkin

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 to 2 Tbsp. oleo or cooking oil

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (Cheryl uses ground turkey)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 (4oz.) can mushrooms, drained 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Cut off pumpkin top and clean out seeds and pulp. Saute onions in oleo. Add meat and brown. Drain off fat. Add soy sauce, sugar, mushrooms and soup. Simmer 8-10 minutes. Add cooked rice and simmer 5 minutes. Pour mixture into pumpkin. Replace pumpkin top. Put pumpkin on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Pumpkin should be tender when removed from oven.

Serve the pumpkin!

— Cheryl Davis, Cabot

Cheryl also said she would like to see more recipes using chicken and rice since they are so plentiful in Arkansas.


This column is for readers to share their recipes. The recipes need not be fancy or original; just good cooking that you and your family enjoy -a few sentences of history behind a recipe would be great.

Civic organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, school classes, EHC, 4-H, etc. can also take part. Collect six or seven recipes from members, include their names; tell about the purpose of the organization, maybe a little history; include when and where the group meets, and how to join. Keep it to 500 - 600 words.

When submitting recipes, include all ingredients and instructions. Give amounts and measures as well as sizes of cans and packages. It is also helpful to know sizes of dishes or pans used. Include a contact name, city of residence and phone number; the phone number will not be published but is needed should questions arise while preparing for print.

Please print if handwritten. Original photos of the recipe results are invited, but subject to space limitations; attach pictures to the email in jpeg format. Photos must not be copyrighted.

1- e-mail - send to news@cabotstarherald.com, with "Lick the Spoon" in the subject line

2 - U.S Postal Service: mail to Cabot Star-Herald, P.O. Box 1058, Cabot, AR 72023