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No Cheating On Dessert

People who talk about the demise of family dinner haven’t spent much time with Evelyn Givens. When her oldest child, David, was married 20 years ago, Givens established a Wednesday night tradition to bring him and his wife, Lynne, back to the house.

“We have some good meat, vegetables, salad, hot rolls, dessert, and conversation,” says Givens. She says “nine to 19” people show up for meals, including friends of children and grandchildren. And though she has put the ritual on hold for the occasional political function (David is in the Kentucky State Senate), “My meals are usually not interrupted for other things,” she says.

The constancy is even more amazing because Givens works as a partner at her family’s business, Central Farmer’s Supply, in Greensburg.

Meals always include corn, coleslaw, fruit tray, and salad. Hash brown casserole, macaroni and cheese (homemade, not from a box), and mashed potatoes are among the rotating side dishes. Eggs for the salad come from the Givenses’ chickens. And beef for the roasts comes from Angus cattle raised on the Givens farm. One dinner might include chuck roast browned on top of the stove, then baked slowly in the oven with water, Kitchen Bouquet, Dale’s Seasoning, salt, and pepper. Broth is thickened with flour to make gravy. Round roast is cooked much the same way.

Tender beef is cut into strips and browned, then stirred into white béchamel sauce, which Givens makes with sour cream, beef broth, and a little lime juice. All that goes over noodles. Meals always include hot rolls. “I cheat,” says Givens. “I use Sister Schubert’s.”

But there’s no cheating on dessert. “Peach cobbler, chocolate chip pie, chess pie, apple pie, sour cream cupcakes…” says Givens of the choices, who also bakes 500 Snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies each week for Saturday shoppers at the store. “You can bake any time,” she says. On Sunday, of course, it all happens again, when the family gathers for a big meal after church.

“I have a routine,” says Givens, to explain how she gets it all done. “I just take time to enjoy every moment.”

Chocolate Chip Pie

1 C butter, melted
1⁄2 C brown sugar
1⁄2 C sugar
2 eggs
1⁄2 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 C chocolate chips
1 unbaked piecrust

Heat oven to 325°. Beat butter, sugars, eggs, flour, and vanilla together until well-blended. Sprinkle chocolate chips into the piecrust. Pour butter mixture over. Bake pie for 45 minutes. Serves 8.


Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 fresh banana
2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt (about 3⁄4 C)
2 heaping Tbsp of peanut butter (we use crunchy)
1 1⁄2 C vanilla almond milk or 1% milk

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy! Serves 2.

Submitted by Steve Wininger, Bowling Green, a Warren RECC member, who writes: “I starting making smoothies from a recipe book but have experimented with the recipes and tried to create my own. My two middle sons make this smoothie for breakfast almost every morning.”

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