Aver Family Favorites Continued

Esther Aver still has some great recipes to share with use. So without further delay- more Aver Family Favorites.

Frozen Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mixed fruit OR 1 can fruit cocktail
  • 2 – 3 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates (optional)
  • 1 jar cherries without stems
  • additional whipped cream

Blend cream cheese with mayonnaise, add fruit, dates, and nuts. Mix well, fold in whipped cream. Pour into a tray that has been in the freezer (she doesn’t get specific but my guess is a 9×13?) and freeze for an additional 3-4 hours or until firm. Cut and serve each piece on a lettuce leaf. Garnish with cherries and whipped topping.

-I remember seeing this unique salad at a ladies’ church luncheon. I was pretty young but I sure was excited about the lettuce leaf holding the frozen salad squares.

Next up, Kidney Bean Salad. Esther has written in parenthesis that it is “different”. After reading through the recipe, I am sure you will come to the same conclusion.

Kidney Bean Salad (different)

  • 1 stalk celery- cut fine
  • 1 large onion- cut fine
  • 10 small sweet and sour pickles- cut in pieces
  • 1 can kidney beans- drained

Combine and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard

Boil together until slightly thickened. Then add to the kidney bean mix above.

-This next recipe sounds very refreshing.

Orange Sherbert Salad

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
  • 2 -3 oz packages orange gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 pint orange sherbert
  • 1 can mandarin oranges- drained
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream OR dessert topping mix whipped

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add sherbert and mix well. When partially set add oranges and fold in whipped cream. Pour into 1 1/2 quart ring mold. Chill until set. Yield 8 servings.

Mrs. Welton’s Four Generation Spaghetti Sauce

Image by RitaE from Pixabay


  • 2 cans tomatoes (Esther gave no size, but use your common cooking sense)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce

Place all together in a bowl and set aside.


  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 medium onion- chopped fine
  • Mazzola oil (Esther wrote this in the 70’s remember- it’s corn oil) you can use vegetable oil as it is a “neutral” oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Place your oil at the bottom of a kettle, add your onions and hamburger, fry together until well done. Add to it the above tomato mixture you previously set aside and keep at medium heat.

Take your water, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, garlic salt, sugar and add it to the kettle of hamburger and tomatoes. Mix well. Cover and cook for 3 hours over medium heat. Check back often and add water if the sauce gets too thick. Serve with cooked spaghetti, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and Italian bread.

-I (Michele) am certainly going to try this recipe. The Worcestershire has me a bit leery, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

-This last recipe caught my eye. Not because it looked delicious, but because I thought it was an absolute mockery of pizza. I’m sure this was a recipe for those on a “budget” and who wanted an upper body workout.

Quick Pizza

Image by Davgood Kirshot from Pixabay
  • 1/4 pound sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1/2 pound bologna
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • English muffins
  • butter for buttering English muffins

Grind bologna, onion, and pepper in a meat grinder or meat chopper. (See! There is the workout!) Melt the cheese in a double broiler and add catsup and then add the ground bologna mixture and oregano; mix thoroughly. Take your English muffins, slice them thin and in thirds, butter them, then spread on the bologna mixture. Place English muffins on a cookie sheet, broil until heated through. Yield 30.

-This recipe reminds me of the spam concoction my Grandma Syens would make and spread on buns for Sunday dinner. I will write to you later about that awful Sunday Dinner in the near future. For now, I am wishing I hadn’t drunk coffee while typing this recipe out. I am feeling a bit nauseous.

This is not the end of Esther’s recipes

Esther has many other family favorites to share. I am going to include a few more in upcoming articles! Till next time friends, here is to good food, good friends, and hopefully as safe and quickly conclusive election results. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Aver Family Favorites

You’re probably wondering “Who are the Aver’s?” Dana Aver was one of the children in the 2nd or 3rd-grade class my mother taught in Lakeland Schools during the 1969-1970 school year.

My mother had gone to school for teaching. Back then you only had to go to school for 2 years to get your teaching degree. County Normal Teachers College had you in a classroom within 2 weeks of the start of your first year of teaching college. I bet you knew right away if this was something you really wanted to do.

My mother’s favorite course was the handwriting course. This course was taught through the mail. My mom has gorgeous cursive penmanship as well. I love to look at the letters that she wrote to me. The swirls of her cursive penmanship were beautiful. Her print penmanship was cute, you could tell she was a teacher.

Schools out and Ms. Westra marries

Mom was finishing her teaching school year and would be getting married in a few months. The children in her class threw her a wedding shower and gave her some gifts. I had a few stolen moments to go through her wedding keepsakes and there in the box was a Crayon colored card on construction paper wishing her a good wedding. Someone drew a picture of a bride and groom and then the whole class signed it in their best penmanship.

There were several letters from her students (which were all invited to her wedding) thanking her for their invitation. Some were able to attend and others not.

The only gift that remains to this day is a recipe book with handwritten recipes from Esther Aver. The cover has a satiny feel with big blue flowers, green leaves and a gray background- it’s a gorgeous cover. It reminds me of the bedspread my Aunt Myrt Hoffman had on the guest bed in her upstairs farmhouse.

Inscribed on the inside cover is:

Ms. Westra,

Dana had a wonderful year. My sincere thanks and best wishes for a very happy future.

Esther Aver

The recipe book

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

This is a tiny book and Esther’s cursive handwriting is narrow. The book starts out with generic “Cooking Terms” and then moves on to “A Brief Wine Guide”. Before Esther starts her recipes she does include another note stating that “The recipes are easily cut in half or less. Many of these recipes have been handed down over many, many years. Other recipes come from friends.” The note is closed by “Hope you find these recipes delightful and tasty.”

Over the next few weeks, I will pick out (from the fifty had written recipes) a smattering of recipes ranging from fish, desserts, bars, entrees, soup, and canning. This family loved tuna. A total of 5 tuna recipes in this small recipe book. Gives me a chuckle because I dislike warm tuna- there are no tuna casseroles here. Cold tuna sandwich spread is okay, as well as that tuna maccaroni salad, but that is where I drawn the line.

Here are some Aver family recipes. Enjoy!

Tuna Spaghetti Sauce

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
  • 2 cans tuna (7 oz size)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Take a skillet and heat up 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add to it the above and 2- 1 lb 7 oz. can tomatoes and 1 tsp oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 30 minutes or till thickened. Serves 8.

Just to make-up for that interesting use of tuna in a spaghetti sauce, I thought I better give you this one.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour

Beat eggs well add salt, flour, and water. Stir to a smooth batter. Drop by spoonfuls into hot soup 10 minutes before serving. To keep the batter from sticking, dip the spoon in soup before the batter. Excellent with chicken soup.

Five Cup Salad

  • 1 cup fresh or canned oranges
  • 1 cup crushed or chunked pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

You could make this a “Seven Cup Salad” by adding 1 cup cherries and 1 cup walnuts. Combine the 5 or 7 ingredients, mix well, chill before serving.

Well, friends, I will briefly stop here and continue next week with some more Aver family favorites. As always, here is to good food, good friends, a SAFE election, and a good and free life.