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Comfort Food From Home

Comfort Food from Home with handwritten recipes in the background

Merriam-Webster defines comfort food as food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal. Whether it's Grandma's fried chicken, Mom's Thanksgiving stuffing or Aunt Teresa's homemade bread, we all likely have a favorite dish that has been handed down through the generations that we find comfort in serving and enjoying.

We'd like to share some of those treasured recipes and why they are so special with our fellow Mountaineers. 

Spider Legs handwritten recipe card

Spider Legs | Recipe from Judy Long
Melt one 12 oz. bag of butterscotch chips in a heavy saucepan over very low heat. After it's melted, add in one 5 oz. can of chow mein noodles and 1/2 cup of cashew pieces. Stir until coated. This will also break the noodles into smaller pieces. Spoon onto wax paper and let cool. 

**Submitted by Rachel Johnson, Princeton, W.Va.**
This my granny's recipes that would always get made around Christmas. I remember many family Christmas dinners where I wanted nothing more than to visit the dessert table and get a handful of these.

Sweet Potato Yummy (Casserole) | Recipe from Deni Howerton
3 cups Cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 cup Granulated White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup melted unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Raisins (optional)
8 large Marshmallows

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup room temperature Butter (not melted!)
1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (or Post GrapeNuts dry cereal kernels).

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until sugar melts into the butter and it becomes silky smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and sweet potatoes and beat until light and fluffy. Butter a 2 quart shallow casserole or deep baking dish. Pour sweet potato mixture into the dish and level, being careful not to compress the mixture and lose air. Optional: scatter raisins over the top of the sweet potato mixture. Next, insert the 8 large marshmallows into the potato mixture being sure to spread them evenly around the dish and to submerge the marshmallows completely (Optional: dust the surface lightly with Mace, Clove, or Cinnamon). Next, for the crunchy topping, take 1 cup Brown Sugar and 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour, mix them together just until a fine granular mix. Over mixing will melt the butter and create a pasty, not a crumbly mix. Next mix in 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix at this time. The flour will become a paste and the crunchy streussel topping will become a hard shell crust instead. Gently mix in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of your favorite nuts (pecan or walnut). Do not over stir. An excellent substitution for nuts is a 1/3 cup of Post GrapeNuts dry cereal. Next, loosely scatter the crumbly topping over the potato mixture. Do not press down on the topping. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

**Submitted by Tracy Dingess, Morgantown, W.Va.  **
I first had this dish in old farm country Virginia, in my early 20s, while visiting with friends and their extended family for Thanksgiving. Soon after that, this dish became a favorite in my family and has been served regularly for decades.

Pumpkin Cookies handwritten recipe card 

Pumpkin Cookies | Recipe from Mabel Foster
1 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all together.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Add to wet mixture and mix well. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350º. 3oz cream cheese, 3 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tbsp. milk, 1-2 cups powder sugar. Mix until creamy.

**Submitted by Carol Dye, Tornado, W.Va. **
These pumpkin cookies were made popular in my family by Mabel (Granny) Foster. The recipe actually belonged to my mother, but Granny put her own spin on them. It was a special treat she would make in the fall and it quickly became loved by all. When Granny moved to Georgia, she'd have the pumpkin cookies warm and ready for when her West Virginia family came to visit.

Broccoli casserole handwritten recipe card     

Broccoli Casserole | Recipe from Carolyn Lamb
1 32 oz. bag frozen cut broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter or margarine melted
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
3 cups cooked rice
16 oz. Colby cheese (shredded or sliced

Put margarine, soup and evaporated milk in with cooked rice, stir and set aside. Cook broccoli until slightly tender. Then in a 3 1/2 or 4-quart casserole dish, layer 1/2 of broccoli, 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of soup and rice mixture and 1/2 of the crushed crackers. Use the rest for another layer ending with the crushed crackers on top. Bake uncovered in preheated 350º oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

**Submitted by Kenzie Dye, Tornado, W.Va. **
This recipe was given to me by my grandmother that her Aunt Carolyn had created. My grandma was looking for a new casserole recipe, so my Great Aunt Carolyn made this for a family gathering. It was such a hit that my dad and uncle expected it at every holiday get-together. My cousins, siblings and I share the same love for this recipe; it's not a special holiday if Great Aunt Carolyn's Broccoli Casserole isn't on the menu.

oatmeal molasses cookies handwritten recipe card       

Oatmeal Molasses Cookies | Recipe from Helen Hawley
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 and 3/4 cup plain flour
1 and 1/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Mix together and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

**Submitted by Rachel Carrico, Beckley W.Va. **
This recipe was originated by my great grandma. Molasses is made in West Virginia and you can get it just about anywhere back home! It was an easy recipe for her to make.

Skillet cherry pie handwritten recipe card          

Skillet Cherry Pie | Recipe from Daphne Jessup
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12" iron skillet. Next, pour batter on this and then put 2 cups of drained fruit on top. Fresh fruit like berries or peaches are the best. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Change to 250 degrees for 45 minutes.

**Submitted by Rachel Carrico, Beckley W.Va. **
This recipe was originated by my great grandma. Molasses is made in West Virginia and you can get it just about anywhere back home! It was an easy recipe for her to make.