Mothers pass a lot of things along to their children: the shape of a face, life wisdom, precious family heirlooms.
But they also often pass down their recipes.
They pass along memories of afternoons spent cooking or baking together in the family kitchen.
In honor of Mother’s Day today, we asked our readers to submit some of their favorite recipes from their mothers.
Readers around Lancaster County sent in recipes they cherish, including those for filling and a skillet entree and lots of sweet desserts.
Joy Layton Heisey of Lancaster sent in this dessert recipe from her late mother, Margaret Layton.
“This light, attractive dessert was something that she frequently made for company and family events,” Layton writes of her mother. “I remember, at an early age, helping press the crust mixture into the pan.
“Memories of her and her love are always part of this dessert,” she says, adding she hopes readers will enjoy this refreshing spring dessert.
LEMON LUSH DESSERT
• 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup walnuts, plus extra walnuts to sprinkle on top of the dessert
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
• 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip whipped topping
• 2 (3.4-ounce) packages instant lemon pudding
• 3 cups milk
Mix together butter/margarine, flour and walnuts.
Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.
Mix together powdered sugar, cream cheese and 1 cup Cool Whip.
Spread onto top of cooled crust.
Beat pudding and milk.
Spread on top of the cream cheese layer.
Spread the remaining whipped topping on top of the pudding. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Chill. Cut into squares to serve.
Debra B. Leese of Lititz sent in this favorite recipe from her mother, Marjorie Alexander Brinkworth.
“She’s in heaven now,” Leese says, “but she’ll be thrilled I’m sending you her recipe.”
CALIFORNIA CHOCOLATE CHIP DATE CAKE
Preparation: 30 minutes
Bake time: 35 minutes
Serves 12 to 15; can be frozen
• 1 cup chopped dates
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/4 cups boiling water
• 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs, well beaten
• 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons cocoa
• 1 6-oz package chocolate chips (can use more if desired)
• 1/2 cup sugar
Mix dates, soda and boiling water, watching it closely as it may “foam up.”
Set aside to cool.
Cream shortening and sugar.
Sift flour and cocoa and add salt. Add to creamed mixture.
Blend in chopped dates.
Pour into a well-greased and lightly floured 9-by-13-inch pan.
Combine topping ingredients, and sprinkle the mixture on top before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
“The enclosed recipe is from my mother, Mildred Galen, who was born in 1914 and passed away the day before Mother’s Day in 1995,” writes Robert Galen of Lancaster.
Galen notes his ancestors settled in Lancaster County early in the 18th and 19th centuries.
“Even though Lancaster County is constantly changing, the food and recipes still stay the same,” Galen adds.
This dessert recipe was passed down to his mother, he says, and he is doing the same for our readers.
• 4 cups flour
• 1 cup molasses
• 1 pound brown sugar
• 1 cup butter
• 2 cups boiling water
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
Combine flour, brown sugar and butter, and work into fine crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mix for the topping.
Mix water, molasses and soda, and add to the remaining crumbs. Mix well, or until the batter is very thin.
Pour into a greased and floured 8-by-12-inch pan.
Sprinkle the reserved 1 1/2 cups of crumbs on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Dorothy Tedder of Willow Street sent in this recipe for a skillet dish.
Tedder says she learned to make this dish from her mother, the late Mary Boas Metzger of Lancaster.
Metzger got the recipe from her mother, the late Mabel Boas, also of Lancaster.
The dish includes bowtie pasta, which the family calls “jazz bows.”
She says this dish is delicious eaten with a nice piece of French bread.
• 2 pounds 80/20 (percentage of lean to fat) ground beef
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 (15.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
• 1 (15.5-ounce) can tomato puree
• 3 medium potatoes, diced and peeled
• 1 box of bowtie pasta (“jazz bows”)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, cook off the ground beef, and reserve the grease.
Add tomatoes, tomato puree and 2 cans of water.
Bring the mixture to a boil; add potatoes and onions, and cook until the vegetables are done — about 30 minutes.
Boil the pasta in salted water in a separate pot. When they’re almost done but still firm, drain them and rinse them in cold water.
When the noodles are cool, add them to the beef mixture. Do not cover the pot.
Add enough water to cover the noodles, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or refrigerate to serve later.
This potato filling casserole recipe has been passed down through generations of a family.
Fay Deibert of Millersville submitted this recipe, which she writes was handed down from her husband’s grandmother to her mother-in-law to her.
“It’s a must for Christmas dinner,” Deibert says.
• 2 cups celery, chopped
• 2 cups onion, chopped
• 5 tablespoons dried parsley leaves
• 5 tablespoons marjoram
• 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 6 eggs, beaten
• 3 handfuls of soft bread cubes
• 1 cup milk
• 5 pounds potatoes, cooked and mashed (do not add milk)
In a large frying pan, covered, simmer celery, onion, parsley, marjoram, butter and salt until soft.
While that is simmering, in large bowl, combine beaten eggs and bread cubes.
Mix by hand until well blended; do not use an electric mixer.
Grease a 2 1/2- or 3-quart casserole dish.
Put completed potato filling into casserole.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours..300
Finally, prolific recipe contributor Kimberly Retallack of Lancaster submitted these two dessert recipes for Mother’s Day, in honor of her late mother, Nancy Beecher Retallack.
• 3 cups flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon Crisco shortening
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• A small amount of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter for topping
Put sugar in bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl, and add other dry ingredients and mix.
Add egg, shortening, milk and vanilla. Mix first with spoon then with mixer, or all by hand.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the dough and put just a few little pieces of butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
For cake batter:
• 1 box of yellow cake mix, two-layer size
• 1 small box of toasted coconut flavor pudding
• 1 cup water
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For nut mixture:
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 4 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Put cake batter ingredients together in a bowl and beat for 5 minutes.
Grease bottom of a Bundt cake ban.
Mix nuts, sugar and cinnamon together.
Put 1/3 nut mixture on bottom of pan, then add half of the cake batter.
Add another 1/3 of the nut mixture, then the remaining cake batter.
Finally, top with the rest of the nut mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.