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She's Become The Electronic Reincarnation Of Aunt Jodie

Here's the story that was published in the Dayton Daily News by Martha Hardcastle Guthrie. Thanks Martha! She was kind enough to send the text of the story to me. So here it is:

She's Become The Electronic Reincarnation Of Aunt Jodie

When I was a little girl, I snickered at Aunt Jodie's recipe clippings. Jodie Edwards was my maiden aunt, 19 years my mother's senior. She was the classic maiden aunt, complete with a story of a returned engagement ring and always full of unsolicited advice.

Aunt Jodie wore an apron, and in nearly every newspaper and magazine she encountered, she found a recipe to clip and save, stashing it in the pocket of her apron. Then the clippings were put in Esther Price candy boxes from Dayton to be found throughout the trailer in which she rarely slept on our family property near Baton Rouge, La.

She really lived next door at Jodie Mae's, the orphaned cousin she raised as her own. But that trailer was Aunt Jodie's, and when she went into a pique, she would stay in the trailer for a half day or so. She used it so little that when my mother and I moved in during our vacations, the water had to be turned on, and it ran brown and rusty for quite a while.

When Aunt Jodie visited Dayton, she relieved us of recipes for countless dishes from the Dayton Daily News, The Journal Herald and my mother' s McCall's and Good Housekeeping. She packed them all before she boarded the Spirit of St. Louis passenger train to return south.

I knew she couldn't fix a fraction of those recipes if she did nothing but cook for 10 years. And she collected recipe books to boot. Although my mother had some of the same vices, the volume of her clipped recipes never rivaled her sister.

Eleven years after Aunt Jodie's death at 93, I have become her electronic protege. The word-processing program on my computer has a huge file called `recipes.doc,' where I have highlighted, copied and saved anything on the World Wide Web that sounds particularly delicious.

If I find a Web site chock full of yummies, especially Southern or Cajun dishes, I bookmark the sites for future reference.

If my husband finds out how I am clogging the arteries of our hard drive on a daily basis, he won't be very happy. But it is doubtful that he would bother to open a file titled "recipes."

The latest contribution to my addiction is called Recipes Online (, found at It's a searchable database with tens of thousands of recipes. It comes in especially handy when you have an ingredient you need to use quickly: A search of "leeks" comes up with about 220 recipes. You can search by title, category, ingredients or directions.

I think of Aunt Jodie whenever I save a food section or copy an electronic recipe to add to my bulging files. I can't help but think she's looking down, saying "Sha, I told you so!"

* I found this recipe while looking for a new way to use chicken livers. I just plugged in "chicken liver" under "full text search," and 56 recipes popped up. I rejected 55, including Susan's Dog Cookies, in favor of this one, which was savory indeed.


Makes 3 servings

4 tablespoons butter                                                                   

6 chicken livers                                                                       

1/2 teaspoon pepper                                                                    

2 anchovy fillets                                                                      

1/2 cup chicken stock                                                                  

3 slices buttered toast (edged, trimmed and cut in half)                               

2 tablespoons bread crumbs                                                             

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese                                                   

Melt butter in skillet. Saute chicken livers, chop the livers with pepper 
and anchovy fillets until well blended. Return mixture to skillet and add 
stock. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place mixture 
on toast. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese. Place under broiler for 
1 minute to brown.                                 

- From Paul Kimball Cooking Capers.

* Some people wouldn't eat chicken livers on a dare, so here's Susan' s Dog Cookies anyway. I didn't test this recipe, though. (By the way, there are no chicken livers in here. The recipe came up because it contains the words "chicken" and "liver," but not together.)


Makes 30 servings                                                                     


3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour                                                          

3 cups rolled oats                                                                    

1/2 cup powdered milk                                                                 

1/2 cup bacon grease                                                                  

2 teaspoons cod liver oil                                                             

2 eggs                                                                                

1 1/2 cups beef or chicken bouillon                                                   

Combine all ingredients into a sticky dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto 
an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool 
on rack and store in plastic bag.

- From The Old Farmer's Almanac: Hearth and Home Companion for 1993.

Copyright © 1997 Cox Interactive Media Inc.

Martha Hardcastle FOR THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS, She's Become The Electronic Reincarnation Of Aunt Jodie., 11-05-1997, pp 1C.

Martha Hardcastle Guthrie

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