Short Cuts and Tips for Housewives – From 1986

© Jerry F. Couch

Nell Nordan & Beatrice McInturff 1971

PICTURED ABOVE  In May of 1971, Mrs. Nell Jordan (left) presented a Castlewood PTA certificate of life membership and a pin to Mrs. Beatrice McInturff (right).  The occasion was Mrs. McInturff’s retirement as president of the Russell County PTA Council.  [Photo from the Clinch Valley Times archives]


FOR MANY YEARS, the late Beatrice McInturff of Castlewood was one of the Clinch Valley Times’ community correspondents and contributors.  She provided recipes that were in keeping with popular food trends of the time.  Mrs. McInturff loved to cook and she loved to share what she prepared with others.  So….today we’re sharing one of her vintage columns with YOU.

The late Kathy Trent, a CVT employee, told about an incident involving one of those columns.  One day Mrs. McInturff came by the CVT office in a very agitated state.  She said she had received a telephone call that morning that went something like this:

CALLER – Is this Beatrice McInturff – the one who puts those recipies in the Clinch Valley Times?

MRS. MCINTURFF – (Cheerfully) Yes it is.

CALLER – Well, your pinto bean cake tastes like S____!!!! (hangs up)

Pinto bean cake was a popular fad recipe at that time.  I’ve never made it – have you?  If so, did it taste like….cake?  Or something else? 

DISCLAIMER:  The recipes that follow have not been tested by me and are not guaranteed.  They are provided for entertainment only.


By Beatrice McInturff

Thursday, February 27, 1986


2 cups flour

2 cups meal

¾ cup nonfat dry milk

2 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup shortening

Stir dry ingredients together until mixed.  Cut in shortening until well blended.  Place in a glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.  Keep tightly closed in a cool place.  Use this mix within 3 months.


2 cups cornmeal mix

½ cup water

Add water to the dry mix to make a soft dough.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees about 12 minutes.  Makes 12 biscuits.  This recipe comes from Cooperative Extension Service Notes and is really very good.


2 cups self-rising flour

1 cup sour cream

4 tbsp. sugar

1 can beer

Mix all together and put in a round of square loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Take out of oven and brush top of bread with a beaten egg.  Put back in oven for 20 minutes.



1 can pumpkin (about 2 cups)

1 pkg. golden pound cake mix

3 eggs

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp. butter, melted

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts

Combine cake mix, 1 egg, butter, and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl on low speed until crumbly.  Press on bottom of 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan.  In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk then remaining two eggs, pumpkin, then mix well.  Pour over crust then sprinkle with nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until set.  Cool, then chill and cut into bars.  Store in refrigerator.


1 lb. ground beef

½ cup finely-chopped onion

½ cup chopped green pepper

2 tbsp. shortening

2 tbsp. flour

1 cup milk

Brown meat, onion, and pepper in hot grease.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add flour and blend, then add milk and cook until thick.  For biscuit dough:

2 cups flour

4 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

3 tbsp. shortening

¾ cup milk

Roll biscuit dough into a rectangle ¼ inch thick, brush with melted butter, and spread with meat mixture.  Roll like a jelly roll and cut into 1-1/4 inch slices.  Place cut sides down in a greased baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Serves 6 to 8 people.


1 cup uncooked rice

1-1/2 quarts water

1-1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. butter

Cook rice in salted water until soft, then drain.  Add melted butter and mix thoroughly.  Press rice into a buttered ring mold and set in pan of hot water for 20 minutes or until rice has heated thoroughly.  Unmold on a platter and fill the center with creamed salmon or creamed chicken to which chopped olives have been added.  Serves 6 to 8 people.


1-1/4 cup cooked spaghetti

1-1/2 cups turkey, cooked and diced

¼ cup green pepper, chopped

½ can pimento

1 onion, chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup turkey broth

Dash of garlic powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp pepper

1-3/4 cups grated sharp cheese, divided (Use ¼ cup of cheese for topping)

Mix and pour into 2 quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


½ lb. box graham crackers

2 sticks butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

½ cup milk

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond flavoring

Layer graham crackers in a 13 inch pan.  Mix melted butter and sugar.  Beat egg in milk and add to sugar-butter mixture.  Cook over medium heat until thick.  Remove from heat and add graham cracker crumbs, coconut, nuts, and flavoring.  Pour over graham crackers, then top with a layer of graham crackers.

FOR ICING, mix ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, ¾ stick softened butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2 or 3 tbsp. milk.  Spread on top layer of graham crackers, then refrigerate.  Cut into bars.


1 well-drained canned pear half

1 large marshmallow

1 maraschino cherry

2 raisins

Toasted almonds

Shredded lettuce

On an individual salad plate, arrange a nest of shredded lettuce.  Place on it, cut side down, 1 well-drained canned pear half.  Make a tail at the larger end of the pear with ½ of the marshmallow.  The head is the stem-end of the pear.  Use half the maraschino cherry for the mouth.  For eyes, insert the two raisins.  Place almonds for ears.  This makes a funny bunny.


1 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

3 cups plain flour

¼ tsp soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla

5 egg whites, unbeaten

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, then add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk to which lemon juice and flavoring have been added.  Add egg whites, one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each addition.  Bake at 350 degrees in prepared 9-inch cake pans or 9-inch tube pan for 1 hour.

Icing for cake:

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2-1/2 cups granulated white sugar

¼ cup milk

½ cup butter

1-1/2 tbsp. corn syrup

Combine chocolate, sugar, milk, butter, and corn syrup in heavy saucepan.  Bring slowly to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil briskly for 2 minutes (on rainy days, 2-1/4 minutes).  Cool to lukewarm without stirring.  Add vanilla and beat until creamy and thick enough to spread.

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