Preacher Cookies

I don’t know how it is where y’all live, but here in the South, preachers love to go visiting. I imagine it is about an equal split between being friendly and checking on the welfare of the congregation and doing visiting in times of trouble.  The other 50% folks say, is to get fed.  

Many jokes are made about preachers showing up to Sunday dinner or for supper during the week.  The name of these cookies derive from one of the other type of visits when refreshments might be served.  You see the preacher coming down the road or a neighbor calls and lets you know, “He just left here and is on the way to your house”.  These cookies are so quick, you can have them done by the time he gets settled in your husband’s favorite chair.  These are more like candy than cookies and are good with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee or tea. 

We had a new preacher one time, every Sunday about the time we were sitting down to dinner (lunch is frequently called dinner in the south) after church, would show up.  He loved my father’s fried chicken and that is what we inevitably had.  Of course, he got passed the platter first and would grab both breasts and put on his plate.  After a few weeks, we decided it was time to disavow him of this notion.  So next time when he came to the door and then sat down, all we had on the table was white loaf bread, baloney, a jar of mayo, a pitcher of sweet tea and a bag of potato chips.  He excused himself, said he just drop by on the way to so-and-so’s and left.  Next Sunday, same thing.  Third Sunday, he figured it out and started visiting two maiden ladies who were famous for their pot roast.  After that, we resumed our regular dinner and once in a blue moon, would invite him to dinner.  Sometimes, it’s hard to train folks in good manners, but it is worth it.

 1 stick unsalted butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oats

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa, sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil about 2 minutes. Take off of the heat and add salt and vanilla. Stir in peanut butter (it will melt quickly.) Stir in oats.  Drop onto wax paper or parchment paper by tablespoonfuls and allow to set up.  Makes about 3 dozen.


Tater Cakes

A frugal dish, but highlty satisfying in its simplicity. On Sybaritica’s blog, there is a sinful recipe with the name of “Champ”.  It is a local dish in his/her area.  Basically, mashed potatoes made with scallions and heaped up and hollowed out with a huge amount of melted butter in a sunshine yellow pool in the pool of mashed potatoes.  There was no special name for this in our area, just….mashed taters. A recipe that has spanned generations in my family is called Tater Cakes and would use those leftover mashed potatoes.  Yes I understand it is amazing there would be leftover “Champ” but trust me, on our family dinner table, there would be such a large bowl of mashed potatoes and in the center would be a lake of butter big enough for a toddler to swim in.  So here is the recipe for Tater Cakes.  Don’t blink or you will miss it.



Mix leftover potatoes to incorporate all the butter (if any.  Some politically incorrect Southerners would have sipped out that butter with a straw).  Put in a storage container and store in the fridge.  Next morning for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, take the mashed taters out of the fridge. Get a pan nice and hot with a bit of oil.  Scoop out a couple of tablespoons or so of mashed taters, form into a ball, and flatten out.  Dip lightly into some flour and put in the pan.  Repeat. Let cakes  brown delicately and flip over on the other side to finish browning.  Slip cakes onto a plate and serve as a side dish or entree.  You can add a dollop of sour cream, drizzle with ketchup, or just eat as is.  That’s it.

If you didn’t make “Champ”, then fix your recipe of mashed taters.  Put in fridge to chill.  Bring out and mix into the taters some finely minced onion or scallions.  Make cakes and fry.


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