News Date: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Source: Athens Banner Herald

By Courtney Alford-Pomeroy


Story updated at 7:53 PM on

Wednesday, December 7, 2005


Today, some very proud parents will be walking around the University of Georgia campus.

No, their children didn't just ace a test - in class, that is.

These parents have received a coveted honor from a most unlikely place - the university's Food Services division. This year, more than 100 parents - including four locals - were honored in the university's A Taste of Home competition. The event, which is in its 18th year, asks parents to send their children's favorite recipes. The recipes then compete to be added to the university's repertoire. Food Services received 500 to 600 recipes as part of this year's competition, according to J. Michael Floyd, director of food services.

Today, those recipes will be unveiled at the university's dining halls. To celebrate, some winning parents will take in a meal with their sons or daughters. And among them may be Watkinsville resident Laura Bennewitz, a three-time winner in the competition. This year, Bennewitz's recipe for Spicy Rice will be on the serving lines.

Winning cooks also were honored with a copy of the recipe in its 7,000 servings version, two meal passes and commemorative plates, which Floyd notes have become a prized possession for some moms and dads.

"One year, I had a phone call from a dad whose son had picked up the plate and left it in his car unlocked and it was stolen," Floyd said in an e-mail. "He shared with me that his son was in the doghouse with his wife because of this. Of course, we sent them a replacement plate."

The competition, which has become a source of pride for Floyd, draws families to the campus - and gives them a sense of UGA at home.

"Some recipes are longtime family recipes that have been passed from generation to generation. It is a great feeling to see Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather and sometimes even a great-grandparent who have come to enjoy their family recipe on this day with the student and their friends," Floyd said.

"I also normally hear from students after the holidays that their mom has their family Taste of Home plate hanging on the wall at home in a place of honor, and their copy of their 7,000 servings recipe framed next to the plate," he added. "Think of it - the student will have a diploma from Georgia one day to hang on the wall and Mom has a plate and a recipe for her wall now."

The most well-received recipes could end up on the university's standard menu. Floyd notes many of the university's dishes have come from the competition, including poppyseed chicken and eclair squares. That - and the plate - could make happy memories for years to come.

• • •

Four local residents' recipes were picked as winners in UGA's A Taste of Home competition. Those recipes (in small, family-size form) follow.

Potato Soup

1 pound, 6 3/4 ounces fresh, quartered red potatoes

3 ounces fresh onion, diced

3 cups water

2 cups milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable base, sauteed*

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

8 ounces sour cream

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook potatoes and onions in kettle with water until tender. Add milk, soup base and butter. Do not allow soup to boil.

Mix flour and sour cream with a little warm milk liquid from kettle in a bowl. Slowly add to soup, stirring constantly until soup thickens. Do not allow soup to boil.

Add salt and pepper.

* Use vegetable base instead of chicken base to make this recipe vegetarian.

- Recipe from Jean S. Evans, Andrew Evans' parent

Bulldog Punch Bowl Cake

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water

18 ounces yellow cake mix

12 ounces shredded coconut

1 pound crushed pineapple

1 quart whipped topping

1/2 cup pecan pieces

1 pound cherry cobbler filling

Pour half of the water into mixing bowl. Add total amount of cake mix. Mix at medium speed for two minutes. Add remaining water. Mix batter at low speed for two minutes. Pour into greased sheet pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely.

Crumble cake. Place small amount of cake crumbs in bottom of a punch cup. Sprinkle small amount of coconut over cake. Add small amount of pineapple with the juice.

Add dollop of whipped topping. Sprinkle with a few pecans.

Repeat with layers of cake and coconut. Place small amount of pie filling over coconut.

Top with additional whipped topping and pecan pieces

Refrigerate overnight.

- Recipe from Sondra Medley, parent of Ross Medley

Spicy Rice

7 ounces white rice

2 cups water

2 teaspoons chicken base

17 1/4 ounces sour cream

4 ounces colby cheese, shredded

4 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded

4 ounces green chilies

2 1/2 ounces fresh red pepper, chopped

1 dash ground black pepper

2 ounces colby cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In pan, combine rice with water and chicken bouillon concentrate. Boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer 15 minutes or until rice is done.

Combine in bowl all ingredients, except last amount of colby cheese. Mix and place in a greased serving pan.

Bake 20 minutes. Add remaining colby cheese on top.

Bake three more minutes.

Note: Sour cream should be at room temperature before mixing.

- Recipe from Laura Bennewitz, parent of Tom Bennewitz


1 pound penne rigate pasta

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

5 ounces fresh diced onion

1/4 cup margarine

1 pound ground beef

8 ounces tomato sauce

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 oz. margarine

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 quart whole milk

1/4 teaspoon iodized salt

1 dash ground black pepper

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed and drain. Melt first amount of margarine until brown. Pour browned margarine over noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and set aside.

Saute onion in large steam kettle with second amount of margarine. Add meat and saute until meat is cooked through.

Stir in tomato sauce. Sprinkle with second amount of parmesan cheese. Turn off heat and let sit.

Melt third amount of margarine over low heat. Add flour.

Heat milk in a separate kettle until hot but not scalded.

Slowly add the hot milk to the margarine mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until all the milk is added and mixture is very thick. Stir in salt and pepper.

Put layer of noodles in full-size pan. Spread a layer of meat mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of parmesan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

- Recipe from Maria Gaddy, parent of Caitlin Gaddy