Needlhams, Fruit Cocktail Cake, Homemade Cracker Jacks

First off, I just want to say that I tried the recipe for the fried bean cakes. These little mother’s were pretty good. I couldn’t even get Deb to try one??

After much, “C’mon Deb, just try one,” she finally responded with a, “Dern Dub, I’ve just had a chemo treatment!” I told her that I surely understood that she had, but it didn’t seem to bother her intake of peas and cream corn in the least!! Women!

Seriously though I couldn’t get her to try one, but again, I liked them. Actually, if you like lima beans, and you like cornbread, how could you not like them.

I used a pint of beans we had canned. I also took my hands and mashed them up good, although the recipe doesn’t call for this. I guess after Deb kept saying she didn’t want one, well, I just had the urge to…mash something!

I mixed salt, 2 eggs, ¼ cup of milk, and 1 cup of cornmeal in a bowl. I put a little bacon grease in a skillet, and heated this up. While this was going on, I mixed the beans into the corn meal mixture. I then would just grab me a handful, patty it out, and fried them until golden brown. This made eight cakes.

We had a pot of lima beans with that link Georgia sausage I talk about from time to time. I poured this over a bowl of rice, put some of my Mama’s chili sauce over it, and man these cakes went well with it. The cakes were great dipped in the pot likkar in my bowl.

I’ve asked my Mom from time to time, for her Chili Sauce recipe, but she keeps telling me that if she let me have it, she’d have to kill me. I tell her that’s a heck of a thing to tell her first born, and her response is always just, “Oh well.”

For today, I found something unusual…to me anyway. Homemade Cracker Jacks. You ever heard of such? Red and his family were here today, and I was flipping through Deb’s OLDER sister Louise’s church cook book, and lo and behold, there they were…

Anyway, when I was a child I bet I’ve eaten a dern tractor trailer load of em. It wasn’t that I liked em so much as I liked the “surprise” in the bottom of the box. Shoot, who am I trying to kid…the Cracker Jacks were pretty good too!

Homemade Cracker Jacks:

10 cups popped popcorn (that’s what I’m talking about! If the recipe would have called for four or five cups, shoot, I probably wouldn’t have even posted it, but TEN, yeah man!)

  • 1-1/2 cups cocktail peanuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

Mix together the popcorn and peanuts in a very large bowl or roasting pan. Keep warm in a 250 degree oven.

Melt butter in a heavy 2 quart saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour over warm popcorn and peanut mixture, while tossing until popcorn and nuts are well coated. Spread out in a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet.

Bake on 250 for 45 minutes. Stir about every 15 minutes. Make sure every piece of popcorn has been moved around on the bottom of the pan. Remove from oven. Turn out on aluminum foil to let cool. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes 2 quarts.

Janice Flowers

**If I were your child, every day I came home and I found these, I’d hug your neck! But please, don’t forget to put some kind of “little surprise” at the bottom of your container. It tends to “soften the blow” of…no more Cracker Jacks!” Dub

Here’s another unusual recipe, or once again, I found it to be. As a matter of fact I’d never heard of this before today. I’m sure some of you have, and shoot, maybe most of you have, but this is a new one to me.


  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 lb. coconut
  • 1 lb. confectioners sugar
  • a little salt, and vanilla

Boil potato, when done, mash while hot. Add sugar and coconut. Press in pan and put on topping.


  • 12 oz. of chocolate bits
  • 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cake of paraffin wax

Mix together in saucepan until it melts. Let it cool, then pour on top of potato mixture.

Joyce Chapman

What do you guys think about this one? School’s out on my verdict, but if you’ve tried this, or do try it, I’d love to hear your input.

Fruit Cocktail Cake:
I’m on a roll now, so let’s try one other recipe today. I have to say, that this one does appeal to me! What do you guys think?

Fruit Cocktail Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups fruit cocktail, undrained
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • whipped topping

Combine all DRY ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Beat eggs well and mix with vanilla and fruit cocktail. Fold the fruit mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a greased 9” square baking pan and bake on 350 for 40 minutes. When cooled, cover with whipped topping.

Betty Ann McFarland

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