Beginning in December 1991, Shelly Magie Moran gave Lonoke County cooks an open forum for "Sharing the Best." The column became popular and continued for nearly 10 years until she moved to northwest Arkansas at Siloam Springs. The invitation to local cooks to Share the Best remains open, especially for family favorites handed down between generations or with special stories behind them.

The mailing address included in the column is still good, and anyone without access to the Internet is invited to send in those 3x5 index cards. In fact, handwritten personal notes are preferred – but be sure to print legibly and include a contact phone number.

Of course, email contributions are most welcome, being easier to read and block copied. E-mail tonews@cabotstarherald.com, add "Sharing the Best" to the subject line – and include a telephone contact in case a question arises. Including three or four sentences about what makes a recipe special would be nice, too.

- Ed Galucki

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May 26, 1993

From Shelly Moran -

During the month of May [1993], the Cabot Star-Herald has been involved in an exchange with more than 20 other newspapers across the nation. I’ve been gleaning them for other recipe columns and have found some wonderful recipes. This week I’ll share some with you.

The following three recipes come from The Prattsville Progress in Prattsville, Ala. I am going to make this onion pie soon. Our local supermarket had a great buy on Vidalia onions!

ONION PIE

1 cup crumbled Ritz crackers

1/2 stick margarine, melted

2 cups (or more) thinly sliced Vidalia onions

2 Tbsp. margarine

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

Tabasco Sauce (to taste)

Black pepper to taste

Parsley (chopped, amount not provided)

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Combind cracker crumbs with 1/2 stick margarine (melted) and press into pie plate. Sauté the onion slices in 2 Tbsp. margarine. Beat together the eggs, milk, Tabasco, pepper and parsley. Place onions in pie crust, pour egg mixture over that and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Cut like pie to serve.

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TOSSED CHICKEN AND SPINACH SALAD

1/2 lb. fresh spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken

2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets

8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chow mein noodles

Dressing:

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

3 Tbsp. wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. minced onion

1 tsp. sugar

Toss together the spinach, chicken, broccoli, water chestnuts and bacon. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and noodles. Serves 4 to 6.

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CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

(A favorite dish with children - and the cook since it uses only on pan!)

2 fryers (or 4 to 5 lbs. meaty chicken pieces)

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 jar sliced mushrooms(41/2

10 oz. spaghetti, broken

16-oz. can tomatoes

small can slice ripe olives

1 can cream of mushroom soup

salt and pepper

paprika

Worcestershire sauce, few dashes

1 lb. Velveeta cheese, grated or cut into small pieces

Simmer chicken in well-seasoned water until tender. Remove chicken and broth; measure one quart broth back into pan (broth can be chilled at this point to allow fat to solidify for easy removal). Bone and dice chicken; set aside. Into broth, put celery, green peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms. Let cook until tender. Add spaghetti and cook until done (do not overcook). Add olives, soup, salt and pepper to taste, paprika for color. Add Worcestershire sauce and velvet to boned chicken; then add to spaghetti mixture. Serves 10 – 12.

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The following recipes come from The Courier in Savannah, Tenn.

QUICK AND EASY CAKE

1 yellow cake mix

2 large cans crushed pineapple, drained

2 4-oz. boxes vanilla instant pudding

3 cups milk

8-oz. carton Cool Whip

Prepare cake mix according to instructions and bake in a 9x12 dish or pan. Cool. Spread drained pineapple over cake. Prepare vanilla pudding with the milk and spread over pineapple. Top with Cool Whip. Chill.

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STICKY CHICKEN

1 fryer, cut up, or equivalent in chicken parts

1 small bottle Russian salad dressing

1 small jar apricot jam or preserves

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Put skinned chicken parts in 9-by12-inch baking dish. In saucepan bring to a boil the salad dressing, jam and soup mix. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, basting chicken occasionally. Sauce should coat chicken when done.

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JAMBALAYA

1 lb. shrimp

1 1/2 cups cooked ham

1 medium onion, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp. oil

141/2 oz. can tomatoes, cut up

6-oz. can tomato paste

2 1/2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 cup regular rice, uncooked

Saute ham, onion, and green pepper in the oil. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, rice and seasonings. Bring to boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Add shrimp the last 5 minutes. (Can use 3 cups ham and no shrimp if preferred.)

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Shelly’s invitation from the column still stands, "I started this column as a means for recipe exchange. In other words, I’m asking you to share your favorite recipes for publication here. They need not be fancy or original – just good cooking which you and your family enjoy."

To submit your favorite recipe, write it clearly or type it. Then check carefully for correct measurements and clarity of instructions. Include your name, address and telephone number. Mail to Sharing the Best, P.O. Box 1058, Cabot, AR 72023.

Or e-mail to news@cabotstarherald.com - enter "Sharing the Best" in the subject line.