Fox Valley Cooks: Cooking and cards keep Auroran busy
By Judy Buchenot For The Beacon-News March 20, 2013 2:46PM
Judy Feltes crushes Wheaties to top a casserole which she likes to serve at her bridge club potluck dinner. | Courtesy of Judy Buchenot
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup water
2 large potatoes
10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1-1/4 cups Wheaties, crushed to make 1/3 cup
Brown onion in oil. Add meat and water. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
Pour into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan.
Peel and slice potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place potatoes on top of meat mixture.
Blend soup, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and Wheaties.
Bake uncovered for 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees or until potatoes are tender.
Updated: March 21, 2013 2:32PM
Judy Feltes likes to “audition” a dish before she makes it for company.
“I would never make a brand new recipe for company,” she says. “I like to try it out to doublecheck on the amount of time it takes to cook and taste the ingredients. Sometimes I add a little more of something or leave out a little something.”
Over the years, Feltes has had many opportunities to cook for guests through her involvement with bridge clubs.
“Bridge has been a wonderful activity for my husband and me,” she says. “We have made such wonderful friends.”
Feltes belongs to several bridge clubs. The Casserole Club is a group of four couples that meets four times a year.
“Each couple takes a turn hosting,” Feltes says. “We always serve casseroles because they are easy to serve and cleanup, so we can get to playing bridge.”
The couples usually have a social time with cocktails and appetizers before dinner so everyone can catch up with each other’s lives.
The Ladies Luncheon Group is another bridge club that meets every other month for women only. The Entre Nous group meets on the second and third Thursdays at Colonial Restaurant for lunch and bridge.
“One can never have enough bridge,” Feltes says. “The game pulls you in because there are so many ways to play.
“Bridge is all about partnership, too. You play together with a partner, so it builds friendships. I have gotten the best recipes and so many fun times by playing bridge.”
Feltes enjoys trying recipes and submitted some of her favorites to the Beacon recipe contest years ago.
She always tried to have one of her two children in the photo with her when she won the contest. Being in the paper was fun for both mom and the children.
In addition to the cooking photo, Feltes’ daughter was once featured in a Beacon photo when she was a young girl in pigtails. She was photographed gazing at a large clock to remind everyone of the time change.
Years later, when her daughter had a baby, Feltes noticed that the baby was growing about as fast as her garden zucchini. She pointed this out to a Beacon reporter who ran an amusing photo of the baby and a zucchini, which were both about the same size.
Over the years, Feltes has collected several casserole recipes from her Casserole Club meetings. One of her favorites is the Connecticut Supper, a hearty casserole that features several interesting layers and textures. She shares the recipe for others to try — even if they don’t play bridge afterward.
Know someone who really likes to cook and is good at it? Contact columnist Judy Buchenot at Buchenot@comcast.net.