Momma Gert's Place

Greetings readers and welcome once again to Momma Gert's Place - The Soul Food Connection.

Being October is my birthday month, I decided to share a few recipes with you that are sometimes common for an evening birthday dinner.

A birthday dinner has always been a fun time to relax with friends and loved ones who have aged gracefully or not so gracefully with you. Normally, dinner parties are given for those who feel that are too old for the traditional birthday party and would prefer "real" and solid food.

Because I plan to share recipes from the "Season" in the next installment of Momma Gert's Place, I will limit my party recipes. They are:

This menu will serve as a wonderful surprise to guests and the guest of honor.



Note: Begin 1 1/2 hours before serving or begin early in the day.
  • 1/2 pound chicken livers
  • 9 bacon slices, halved crosswise
  • 1 (8 ounce can) water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

To prepare the rumaki, cut livers into chunks. Wrap each bacon piece around a water chestnut and chunk of liver; secure with toothpick.

In a medium bowl, stir soy sauce, curry powder, and ginger. Add rumaki and toss. Cover and chill at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

At serving time; preheat your broiler. Drain and broil, turning frequently until liver is cooked. This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 18 appetizers
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Shrimp Chowder

    Shrimp Chowder
    • 2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
    • 1/4 cup butter/margarine
    • 4 large onions, peeled and sliced
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 1 tsp. lemon and pepper seasoning
    • 1 tsp. seasoning salt
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 6 cups milk
    • 2 cups shredded sharp cheese

    In a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, in hot water, cook onions until tender. Add water, potatoes, and seasonings. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender; do not drain.

    Meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat, heat milk with cheese until cheese has melted, stirring often. Do not allow cheese mixture to boil!

    Add shrimp to potatoes and cook until they are pink and tender. About 3 minutes.

    To serve, add hot cheese mixture. Heat but do not boil.

    • Yields: 8 servings
    • Preparation time: 1 hour

    Stuffed Shells

    • 1 (32 ounce jar of your favorite) spaghetti sauce
    • 1 (16 ounce package) jumbo shell macaroni (approximately 40)
    • 4 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
    • 1 (8 ounce package) mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. ground basil
    • 1/4 tsp. oregano
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Heat spaghetti sauce and set aside.

    Prepare shells as label directs; drain well in colander. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ricotta and next ten ingredients. Stuff a rounded tablespoonful of cheese mixture into each shell.

    Spoon 3/4 cup sauce into each of two 9 X 13" baking dishes. Place shells, seam side down, over sauce in one layer. Spoon over remaining sauce; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

    • Yields: 10 servings
    • Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours

    Carrots and Celery

    • 2 tablespoons salad oil
    • 1 (16 ounce bag) carrots, diagonally sliced
    • 1 small bunch celery, diagonally sliced
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 cup water

    In a 5 quart Dutch oven or 12 inch skillet over high heat. In hot salad oil, heat carrots, salt, sugar, and water to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 7 minutes. Uncover; add celery; cook 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender and crisp, stirring frequently.

    • Yields: 8 servings
    • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

    Yellow Cake

    • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (sifted)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup shortening
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.

    In large bowl, measure all ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat until well mixed, constantly scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

    Increase speed to medium; beat for 5 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl.

    Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake layers for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted deep into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on racks. After frosting, serve with your favorite ice cream.

    • Yields: 8 to 10 servings
    • Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 2 (3 ounce packages) cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia brand
    • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
    • 1 (16 ounce package) confectioner's sugar (sifted)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

    In a small bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and evaporated milk just until smooth. Beat in vanilla and sugar until blended.

    • Yields: enough to frost two 9 inch round cakes
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes