The Braille Monitor                                                                                         December, 2003



This month's recipes have been contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania.

Raisin Cherry Drops

by Chuck Morgenstern

Chuck Morgenstern has been an active member of the NFB of Pennsylvania for forty years. He has served as the president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter and is currently the treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Parents of Blind Children, the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, and the state affiliate.


1-1/2 cup raisins

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening

2 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup maraschino cherries

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring raisins in water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for five minutes. Drain liquid, reserving 1/3 cup. Mix together sugar, shortening, eggs, and reserved liquid. Stir in raisins and remaining ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned, eight to ten minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and cool completely on a rack. Makes about 7-1/2 dozen cookies.

You can use self-rising flour, but, if so, omit salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Dump Cake

by Chuck Morgenstern


1 box cake mix, any flavor

3 eggs

1 can pie filling, any flavor

Method: Place cake mix, eggs, and pie filling in bowl and stir by hand until well mixed. Note: if pie filling has large chunks of fruit, cut into smaller pieces before placing in bowl. After mixing ingredients well, place batter in a well-greased thirteen-by-nine-inch baking pan and bake according to package directions. Do not add any other ingredients. Any combination of mixes and fillings works: spice cake mix and pumpkin pie filling, for example. If desired, you can frost the cake, but it is not necessary.

Rum Cake

by Judy Jobes

Judy Jobes
Judy Jobes

Judy Jobes has been a member of the NFB of Pennsylvania for fourteen years. She has served as president of the Erie Chapter and is currently serving her sixth year as first vice president of the state affiliate.


1 yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1 package instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup dark rum

3 cups pecan pieces or halves

Method: Mix first five ingredients together in a large bowl. In a large greased bundt pan arrange pecans and pour batter over them. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Ingredients for cake glaze:

1 stick butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark rum

Method: Combine first three ingredients, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Add rum to glaze. Poke holes in hot cake and pour glaze over before removing from bundt pan. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan.

Almond Shorts

by Mark Senk

Mark Senk has been a member of the Pennsylvania affiliate for about eight years. He has served as second vice president, first vice president, and now president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter. He also serves on the affiliate board of directors.


1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 pound butter

6 cups flour

2/3 cup almonds, slivered

Method: Combine sugars, baking soda, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir in eggs. Cut butter into small pieces and work into mixture. Add flour a cup at a time and mix well. Knead in slivered almonds. Gather dough into ball and divide into five equal pieces. Shape each piece into a cylinder. If you wish, roll cylinders in colored sugar. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each log into 1/4-inch slices. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheets for eight minutes.

Christmas Sweet Potato Casserole

by Cary Supalo

Cary Supalo
Cary Supalo

Cary Supalo has been a member of the NFB of Pennsylvania for four years. Previously he was a member of the Indiana and Illinois affiliates. Cary serves as president of the Happy Valley Chapter and the Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students. He is also a member of the state board of directors and a tenBroek Fellow.


1 can sweet potatoes, undrained

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup flour

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a two-quart baking dish. Place the sweet potatoes and their liquid in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook for fifteen minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, and mash. In a medium bowl mix the mashed potatoes, white sugar, eggs, 1/3 cup butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and 1/3 cup melted butter and sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for thirty-five minutes in a preheated oven or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread

by Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson has been a member of the NFB of Pennsylvania for ten years. She is president of the Erie County Chapter and secretary of the state affiliate.

Connie Johnson
Connie Johnson


3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup water

2 cups canned or cooked pumpkin

1 cup chopped nuts or seeds

Method: In mixing bowl mix sugar and oil and beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift together flour, salt, spices, soda, and baking powder. Gradually beat in flour, alternating with water. Fold in pumpkin and nuts or seeds. Pour batter into two greased nine-by-five-inch loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about fifty minutes or until bread tests done with toothpick. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on racks.

Favorite New Year's Drink

by Lynn Heitz

Lynn Heitz
Lynn Heitz

Lynn Heitz has been a member of the Pennsylvania affiliate for about six years. She serves as president of the Keystone chapter and is a member of the state board of directors. Lynn was also a national scholarship winner in 2002. How about bringing in the New Year with good friends, this drink, and a recipe of Bob Brock's gougères from last month's issue?


Fluted champagne glasses

1 bottle of your favorite champagne

Several ounces Royale Deluxe Chambord liqueur

Method: Lightly chill glasses. Pour 1/2 ounce Chambord into each glass. Fill remainder of glass with champagne. Swirl slightly. Served best in front of a gently burning fire.