A couple of the books are "leftovers" that my mom didn't want anymore. A few years back, my mother-in-law surprised me by sending me a full box of old 1970s church cookbooks she had "grown" out of. And I also inherited a few wonderful church cookbooks from my grandmother, who was an amazing cook.
I'm a weekend cook (my husband gets home earlier than I do and does all the cooking during the week), so I have to admit, I haven't tried many of the church cookbook recipes. So as motivation, I'm starting a regular feature on my blog, "Church Cookbook Sunday." I'll be picking a recipe from one of my many church cookbooks, and then sharing the recipe with all you wonderful blog readers.
Just a funny side note, I told my husband I was making a recipe from a church cookbook, and he said, "Good. Those are the good recipes." I think that was a subtle jab at all the kooky recipes I like to try from magazines and the Internet. What can I say? I like to try new foods.
Anyhow, this week's church cookbook pick is Rhubarb Swirl dessert. I still have lots of rhubarb growing in my backyard, and my air conditioner is broken, which means no turning on the oven and heating up the house. This recipe is perfect, because it's completely no bake.
From the Deer Creek Lutheran Church Cookbook (from Carpenter, Iowa -- my grandmother's home town)
- 1 (3 oz.) box strawberry Jello
- 3 C. diced rhubarb
- 3/4 C. sugar
- 1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1-1/2 C. milk
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. Cool Whip topping
- 2 C. graham crackers, crushed
- 1/3 C. powdered sugar
- 1/2 C. melted margarine (I use butter)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Crust: Mix together ingredients. Press all but 1/4 C. (for topping) in a 9x13-inch pan. Chill 1 hour before pouring rhubarb filling on. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.
Now, admittedly, this dessert doesn't look very pretty. Part of the reason is that I couldn't wait to dig in before it had fully chilled. But it still tasted good. Really good. My husband couldn't believe the it was a rhubarb dessert, because the rhubarb was so tender and the strawberry Jello was the predominant flavor. Still, it's a good way to use up some garden rhubarb on a hot spring day.