McClellan: Quick, easy recipes to share | Barbara Mcclellan

Be kind. Just be kind. Did you get that? BE KIND! Mr. Rogers said it, your kindergarten teacher said it, your mother and father said it (as you were in the middle of a sibling squabble).

One of the best things about this is what my friend, Chaney Bennett, posted a few years ago and I think I quoted this to you then. This is my motto and I pray that I may always remember it: “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” This morning I was in the grocery store and ran into four friends who were fighting serious health issues — either themselves or with close family members. I try to remember to say hello and offer a word of encouragement if I know about the issues. Why?Because it really means a lot to me when people do the same, as we are going through some tough things now.

I must remember one of my favorite Dorothy Parker quotations and try not to imitate her whereas sarcasm seems to be a part of my DNA. Ms. Parker (if you re not familiar with her writings, do yourself a favor and look her up) said, “I wake up each morning and brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” I remind myself that some things I say might not come over in the way they are intended when I really am trying to be a kinder person.

Food often spells kindness. I know it can’t cure all ills, but it can bring thoughtfulness along with sustenance. Just cook a little extra and share.

Years ago Terry Roberts, whose husband was newscaster Jim Roberts, gave me a delightful little cookbook with this recipe in it. This recipe is quick to make and can be kept in the fridge to be used for several days to make fresh dinner rolls at the last minute.

Spoon Rolls

4 cups warm water (no hotter than 110 degrees F)

3 sticks butter melted and slightly cooled

Mix yeast and water and set aside. Stir butter and sugar together and add eggs. Mix with yeast and add flour 2 cups at a time. Mix well and place in large sprayed or greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When ready to use, drop into well-greased muffin tins, filling about half full. Let rise about 30 minutes before baking at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden.

If taking from refrigerator, they might need to sit out on counter about 40-45 minutes before baking. Batter may be stored in fridge for 4-5 days. You can make a half recipe.

Try this quick and easy cake. Must make in two 9-inch pans instead of one large and share with a neighbor.

Nutty Peachy Cake

Spray or grease a 9-by-13-inch pan or 2 (9-inch) pans.

1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches with juice

1 box butter pecan cake mix (dry)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

You’ve seen this many times, but I have extra words left and it’s worth repeating.

Life-Saver Tomato Basil Soup

1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce (like Ragu, Pesto, Bertolli or store brand)

1 jar (18 ounces) Alfredo sauce

1 can (12 ounces) chicken broth

Mix all ingredients. May add 1/4 teaspoon dried basil and thyme. Heat and serve. Makes 4-5 servings.

I keep these ingredients on hand for emergencies.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her at [email protected] or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.