It’s up to you Kats to fill up the Alley
Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
I’ve heard from many Kats the past few weeks regarding Idea Alley’s frequent absences. Several readers expressed sadness, others were frustrated. Dear Kats, I understand how you feel. I don’t want to see it die, but that’s not in my control. It’s in yours.
Idea Alley is and always has been a reader participation column. When readers participate by sharing recipes, asking cooking questions and requesting lost recipes the column flourishes. But when the recipe contributions are few and far between and the requests are for impossible-to-get restaurant recipes, there’s nothing to publish in this space.
One of the things that makes this column — and the recipes in it — special is that it is personal. There are bajillion recipes out there in cookbooks, on the internet, in magazines. You can find a recipe for practically anything on the internet. But you can’t necessarily trust those recipes. I trust Idea Alley recipes. Most of the recipes that Alley Kats share have been made again and again and again. They’re family favorites; heirlooms even. I can be sure a salad from a community church cookbook in Lepanto is going to please friends attending the potluck. And when a Kat tells me she has been making a pie for 40 years, I know the recipe is dependable before I ever step foot in the kitchen. I can’t say the same for the recipes I find on the internet. They’re hit or miss. Most of them miss.
One of my favorite things about writing this column is hearing the stories behind the recipes — whether it’s where and how the Kat got the recipe or the memories associated with it.
Kats love new recipes too. A recipe from Facebook or some other website that turns out well or one clipped from a magazine, or one that is the result of playing around in the kitchen. If you liked it, chances are someone else will too.
Blueberry season is still going and this cake from Nancy Fogleman sounds like one you don’t want to miss.
“I got [this recipe] from Ernest Crawford Jr. It was a favorite of his to prepare for our Methodist potluck dinners. It is the first recipe I make as soon as fresh blueberries appear in the grocery store each summer,” Fogleman writes.
Fresh Blueberry Cake
½ cup oil
8 ounces cream cheese,
1 box Duncan Hines butter
golden cake mix
1 small package instant
1 dry pint fresh blueberries,
rinsed and drained
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs until light and fluffy and add oil. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add cake mix and vanilla pudding and mix. It will be stiff. Fold in blueberries.
Place mixture in prepared Bundt pan. Bake 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before turning out.
Next week: Cabbage Burger Bake.
■ Smothered pork chops like those served at Franke’s for an unidentified reader.
■ Western chicken and cornmeal dumplings for Pat Hines. Send recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to Kelly Brant, Idea Alley, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203; email:
firstname.lastname@example.org Please include a daytime phone number.