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Ladies who lunch

By Staff | Jan 21, 2011

Judy Bodholdt, left, and Noni Baak dish up salads and chicken casserole for a luncheon at the historic 1891 Allee Mansion south of Newell.

By DARCY DOUGHERTY MAULSBY

Farm News staff writer

Newell-A visit to the 1891 Allee Mansion takes on a whole new dimension when lunch is served in the ornate, elegant Queen Anne-style home located south of Newell on the Iowa State University research farm.

“Our goal is to make this a living museum that reflects the Victorian lifestyle at the turn of the 20th century,” said Marilyn Monson, who serves on the board of the Newell Historical Society. “We host groups ranging from civic organizations to Red Hat clubs and our volunteers open up their recipe books to share family favorites with our guests.”

The volunteers select a menu at the beginning of the year and feature dishes ranging from hearty casseroles to exquisite desserts. The ladies begin taking appointments in the spring for private gatherings at the mansion, including social clubs, business meetings, reunions and weddings.

A few simple ingredients make this cranberry salad a feast for the eyes as well as an elegant addition to any meal.

They also dress in period clothing when they serve a meal at the mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “There is so much agricultural and Iowa history here, and we’re always looking for ways to encourage more people to see what we have to offer,” said Noni Baak, president of the historical society.

For more information, contact Monson at (712) 272-4566, or by e-mail at monsonpm@hotmail.com.

Parmesan chicken

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Servers from left are Marilyn Monson, Noni Baak, Carol Williams, Judy Bodholdt and Mardie White who are active in the Newell Historical Society and frequently volunteer at the Allee Mansion, which includes a kitchen where the ladies can prepare meals for guests who schedule events at the mansion.

1 egg

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

From left are Marilyn Monson, Noni Baak, Carol Williams, Judy Bodholdt and Mardie White who are active in the Newell Historical Society and frequently volunteer at the Allee Mansion, which includes a kitchen where the ladies prepare meals for guests who schedule events at the mansion.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; spread on large plate. Lightly beat egg and mustard.

Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture first and then in bread crumb mixture.

Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Cranberry salad

2 3-ounce packages cherry gelatin

This luscious cranberry cake with cream sauce never fails to impress and is easy to make.

1 cup walnuts

1 cup chopped celery

2 cans cranberry sauce

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add walnuts and celery to gelatin and let mixture set for a little while. Dissolve cranberry sauce in a double boiler. Add cranberry sauce to gelatin mixture. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Place salad in refrigerator to chill before serving.

Grape salad

This salad can be served on a lettuce leaf for an attractive presentation.

2 pounds grapes (red, green or both), washed and drained

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup brown sugar

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour mixture over grapes; don’t stir. Sprinkle brown sugar over salad. Stir right before serving.

Cranberry coffee cake with cream sauce

A cream sauce adds just the right amount of sweetness to this cranberry cake, which offers pretty red and white colors that add a nice touch at Valentine’s Day or the holidays.

2/3 cup shortening

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 egg whites

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

Sauce

3/4 cup butter

1 cup cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup sugar

Cream together shortening and sugar. To this mixture add flour, baking soda, salt, egg whites, milk and cranberries. Bake cake in a 9-by-13-inch pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

For the sauce, combine butter, cream, cornstarch and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Pour sauce over each individual piece of cake just before serving.

(You can make the sauce ahead of time, and then slightly warm it slightly before serving for easier pouring.)

Pecan pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup white corn syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 9-inch pie shell

Stir together eggs, corn syrup, sugar, margarine and vanilla until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour pie filling into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. Allow the pie to cool before serving.

Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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