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Cooking with Maggie

I didn’t have an opportunity to know Maggie Elander. By the time her daughter and I became close, Maggie was gone. But, I’ve learned enough about her to know that we’d probably have become close friends.

Besides being a lover of words and books, Maggie was a great cook.

Over the weekend, we came across a cookbook published by the good people of the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield, Conn. It came as no surprise to me that some of the recipes between its covers were contributed by Maggie.

Some of them were family favorites, and Maggie’s daughter, Stockader Beverly Elander, gave me permission to share them.

Orange Rhubarb Jam


4 lbs. rhubarb
8 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice


Wash rhubarb. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in large kettle and add sugar. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning, add orange rind and juice, nutmeg and allspice. Bring slowly to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Boil for about 35 minutes until a desired consistency. Skim off foam and ladle into hot sterilized jars. Seal immediately with melted paraffin.

Applesauce Cake


1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups applesauce
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts


Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and mix well. Add applesauce and continue beating. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add raisins and nuts. Bake in greased and floured pan for aobut 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. (Makes 2 layers or 1 oblong sheet cake.)

Corn Pudding


2 cans cream style corn
4 eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla


Melt butter; cool a little and then mix all ingredients together. Pour into a buttered casserole and bake 1 1/4 hours at 350-degrees. Serves six to eight people.

Got a treasured family recipe that you’d be willing to share with your neighbors? Send it by e-mail to

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May 3, 2010
3:12 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Beverly Elander responds:

A couple of comments ...

Maggie would not have classified herself as a "great cook," although she would surely have appreciated the compliment. Mom was a cook who made a few dishes inordinately well, but actually felt both her daughters were better cooks that she was.

Her recipe for Applesauce Cake was a winner, though. It was a sturdy cake which withstood mailing to Russell Sage College every December for my birthday. (My father, in charge of shipping and receiving at Moore Special Tool Co., Bridgeport, CT, wrapped the cake, and clearly its arrival unscathed had a lot to do with his expertise.) Another thing you should know about this recipe is that Mom always substituted glogg raisins (and almonds), well marinated from the previous round of Christmas parties, in the cake. With such alcoholic fortification, the cake could have traveled to and from the moon without being sullied.

Thanks for honoring my Mom on this week before Mothers Day.

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