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Lick the Spoon | The real reason for picking a Farm Family of the Year

Since 1947, the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program has recognized outstanding farm families throughout the state. This year, the Kenny and Lisa McFarlin Family of Carlisle is the 2014 Lonoke County Farm Family of the Year.

Kenny and Lisa McFarlin Farms is owned and operated by the couple along with oldest son Ky.

This second-generation farm has been in operation since 1997, with more than 3,000 acres of farmland north and south of Carlisle. Crops raised by the McFarlin family include rice, milo, wheat and soybeans.

Kenny McFarlin’s father and mother J.A. and Jean McFarlin were named the Farm Family of the Year in 1974.

Information from Arkansas Farm Bureau says the objectives of the program are to give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in their community; to give recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and state; and to disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

While there is good information about farming given in the program, the real reason is to weasel out guarded family recipes. Did not know that, did you? The plan has worked well in the past, and it worked again this year.

The McFarlin family cookbook yielded up these gems:

VIRGINIA BENNETT’S BROCCOLI AND RICE

3 c. cooked rice

4 oz. Velveeta cheese

1 chopped onion

1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli

1 can cream of chicken soup/water

1 T. margarine

Saute onion with 1 T. margarine until clear, but not brown. Add soup and one can of water. Add cheese and cook over low heat, stirring until melted.

Crumble partially frozen broccoli into mixture. Stir in rice and pour into 9x13 casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until broccoli is done.

Mrs. B used slivered almonds on top, which we omit.

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STRAWBERRY CAKE

1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix

3 oz. box strawberry jell-o

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup strawberries*

4 eggs

Mix well; bake in greased & floured 9x13 pan 35-40 min at 350 degrees.

STRAWBERRY ICING

1 box powdered sugar

1/2 cup strawberries*

1 stick butter at room temperature

Cream butter and sugar then add strawberries and powdered sugar.

*Best to use frozen berries (allow to thaw)

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POTATO SOUP

8 peeled and cubed potatoes

salt and pepper to taste

1 chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. butter

milk (empty soup can full)

water (just enough to cover potatoes)1 pound Velveeta cheese

Saute onion in butter until the onion begins to turn clear. Add potatoes; barely cover with water. Salt and pepper to taste then cook until tender.Add the soup, milk and cheese.Mix well and let simmer until cheese melts.Stir often to keep from scorching.

This is good served with crumbled bacon and cornbread.

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SANDRA’S EASY OVEN LASAGNA

2 lbs ground beef

16 oz. mozzarella cheese

8 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles

3 cups Ragu spaghetti sauce

16 oz. cottage cheese

3/4 cup water to rinse spaghetti sauce jar

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Brown and drain beef - add sauce and water and bring to boil.Remove from heat.In 9x13 pan, alternate the following: meat sauce, uncooked noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1 bell pepper

1 clove garlic

1 chopped onion

1 egg

1 1/2 c. uncooked quick oats

4 t. ketchup

salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients; shape and place in loaf pan.

Sauce:

1/4 c. ketchup

1/4 t. nutmeg

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 t. prepared mustard

Pour over meat and bake 1 hr. at 350 degrees.

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Here are a few more from past Lonoke County Farm Families.

From Mart and Cindy Thaxton, the 1999 Farm family:

SALISBURY STEAK

1 lb. ground chuck

1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs 1 egg

3 tsp, Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 chopped onion

1 can water

Mix ground chuck, bread crumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and onion. Shape into patties and brown in small amount of shortening. Put patties in a long Pyrex dish. Add 1 can water to cream of mushroom soup. Pour over patties. Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees. May add broiled mushrooms and/or sauteed onions. Serve with rice.

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1988 Farm Family Thomas and Patsy Wilson

BEEFY JALAPENO CORNBREAD

1 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal, divided

1 cup milk

2 eggs

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. soda

1/2 cup bacon drippings

1 (17 oz.) can cream-style corn

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, shredded

4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Combine one cup cornmeal, milk, eggs, salt, soda, bacon drippings, and corn in a bowl; mix and set aside. Saute ground beef until lightly browned; drain thoroughly, and set aside.

Sprinkle remaining cornmeal in a greased 10 1/2-inch iron skillet; pour half of cornmeal batter into skillet. Sprinkle evenly with beef; top with onions, then cheese. Add peppers evenly on top. Pour remaining batter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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The 1992 Lonoke County Farm Family, Bennie, Lyn, Jodi and Ben Hicks:

HASH BROWN SKILLET BREAKFAST (OR SUPPER)

6 slices bacon

1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns with onion, red pepper and green pepper (or make your own and add onions and peppers to taste)

6 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

1 cup (4 ozs.) shredded sharp

Cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in a 10-inch skillet (I use an electric skillet) until crisp; remove from pan and drain well. Reserve drippings in a pan. Crumble bacon and set aside. Heal drippings in skillet; add potatoes. Cook over low heat until underside is crisp and lightly browned. Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper, stir well, and pour over potatoes. Top with cheese and sprinkle with reserved bacon. Cover and cook over low heat (250 degrees) for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes six servings.

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1994 Farm Family, Liz and Bob Bevis

CHEESE ENCHILADAS

1 lb. Velveeta cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 small can Milnot

1 ran small areen chopped chilies

1 pkg. (8) 9-Inch flour tortillas

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1 can small mushroom pieces (optional)

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Make sauce of 1/2 lb. of cheese, can cheese soup, Milnot, chopped chilies and cheddar soup. Cook ground beef until done and drain fat; add other 1/2 of lb. of cheese and 1/3 can cheese soup, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roll meat mixture in flour tortillas and place in oblong 9”xl3” Pyrex baking dish. Pour sauce over this. Heat in 350-dcgrce oven 30 minutes, or until bubbly. (This freezes well.) - From Liz Bevis’ mother, Jeanne Perdue

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LuVerne and Leroy Isbell, the 1993 Lonoke County Farm Family.

WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS SIMPLE ROLLS

1 pkg. yeast (or 2 if you want them to rise raster)

1/4 cup warm water

2 cups water

6 Tbsp. oil

6 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

All-purpose flour (about 3 3/4 cups)

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and let stand. Mix the 2 cups water, oil, sugar, salt and egg. Then add yeast-water mixture. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Mix well and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight. Knead down and make into dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls. Let rolls rise at least two hours. Bake at 350 degrees until golden. (If desired, substitute one cup of yogurt for the oil.)

-LuVerne Isbell

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1991 Farm Family - Sam and Sally McNeil, Sara, Mary, Bill, Reagan and Rogers.

AUNT JERRYE FLETCHER’S CHEESE WAFERS

1 lb. extra sharp cheddar cheese (Finely grate)

2 1/2 sticks oleo (Creamed)

Add: 1 tsp salt

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon (or 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice)

3 cups flour

Beat all of this smooth. Chill. Roll into marble-sized balls and flatten on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350∞ for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Add red pepper or Louisiana hot sauce or Tabasco to taste.

Mrs. Frank Fletcher Sr.

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This column is for readers to share their recipes. The recipes need not be fancy or original; just good cooking that you and your family enjoy -a few sentences of history behind a recipe would be great.

Civic organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, school classes, EHC, 4-H, etc. can also take part. Collect six or seven recipes from members, include their names; tell about the purpose of the organization, maybe a little history; include when and where the group meets, and how to join. Keep it to 500 - 600 words.

When submitting recipes, include all ingredients and instructions. Give amounts and measures as well as sizes of cans and packages. It is also helpful to know sizes of dishes or pans used. Include a contact name, city of residence and phone number; the phone number will not be published but is needed should questions arise while preparing for print.

Please print if handwritten. Original photos of the recipe results are invited, but subject to space limitations; attach pictures to the email in jpeg format. Photos must not be copyrighted.

1- e-mail - send to news@cabotstarherald.com, with “Lick the Spoon” in the subject line

2 - U.S Postal Service: mail to Cabot Star-Herald, P.O. Box 1058, Cabot, AR 72023

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