HED:Great Performances cookbook quantities limited

By Phyllis Harper

Daily Journal

It is the best local cookbook, successful in more ways than one, and there are still a limited number available.

"Great Performances," published by the Symphony League of Tupelo to critical acclaim, has garnered about $50,000 to support the Tupelo Symphony, according to spokesperson Nancy Diffee. The money is in an endowment, she said, and will help with symphony and league projects for years to come.

"Our community supported this book," she said. The book is a good one, as I've heard from so many people, all of whom say you can depend on the multi-tested recipes.

Nancy called me on a recent day after I had mentioned the book in a column, or at least had tried to mention it, though I got the name wrong. (Nancy, I think it has to do with those provoking brain glitches that cause me to call the roll when I'm trying to address one of my children or grandchildren.)

Nancy and I had a nice chat and I was glad to learn that "Great Performances" has almost - but not quite - sold out. The books are available at Reed's Gum Tree Bookstore, Village Green, The Basket Case, and the NMMC Gift Shop at $18.95 per copy.

"Great Performances" is about 300 pages of great recipes.


4 cups cooked cubed chicken

1 16-ounce can Blue Lake green beans

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

2/3 cup vinegar

1 16-ounce can pineapple chunks, drain and reserve juice

4 tablespoons margarine

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 cups cooked rice

Heat green beans for 15 minutes while combining other ingredients. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in vinegar, 2/3 cup pineapple juice and margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in pineapple chunks, chicken and tomatoes. Drain beans and add to mixture. Continue to cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.


1 5-pound beef brisket

1 tablespoon meat tenderizer

2 to 4 tablespoons liquid smoke

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

(Serves 25 to 30 at a cocktail buffet.)

Pierce meat with a fork and place on large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with next 6 ingredients. Wrap securely and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Approximately 4 to 5 hours before cooking, open foil and add nutmeg, paprika, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Rewrap securely until ready to cook. Cook at 275 for 4 to 5 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate until cold so meat will slice easily. Can be returned to drippings and frozen. When ready to serve, heat and serve in juice.


4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 and 1/3 cups olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 pound spaghetti

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Toss tomatoes, cheese, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let mixture stand covered at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cook and drain spaghetti. Toss with oil mixture. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature. Do not heat. May be used as a main dish or side dish.


6 2.15-ounce Milky Way candy bars (or equivalent weight)

1 cup margarine, divided

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 and 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt candy bars with 1/2 cup margarine in microwave or in top of double boiler. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream sugar and 1/2 cup margarine. Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and soda together; add alternately with buttermilk to batter. Add melted candy bars and pecans. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. When completely cool, frost with Milky Way Icing.

Milky Way Icing

3 2.15-ounce Milky Way candy bars

1/2 cup margarine

2 cups powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Melt candy bars and margarine in microwave or top of a double boiler over low heat. Remove from heat and beat in sugar. Thin with milk to spreading consistency.

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