The Mailbox: Grandmother’s recipe

Grandmother’s recipe

I am in need of your help once again. About 55 years ago, when our grandmother was still alive, she used to make a sausage meat mixture (either German or Italian) every fall. It tasted something like the summer sausage we know today.

She made it in large batches. She used a sausage hand crank machine to mix it, then she stuffed the sausage meat into casings by machine. She would then tie off each sausage at both ends and then one or two times in the middle, depending on its length.

The sausage was then taken up to the attic and hung to air dry for about three to four weeks. It was taken down and wrapped for the freezer.

It could be lightly simmered until cooked through or put into a large frying pan and cooked over low to medium heat.

My grandmother also made a pork sausage in large batches with all types of seasonings. She made 1-pound packages of this sausage and froze it.

When we wanted something special, we would pull out a package from the freezer and cook it for breakfast with fried potatoes, toast and coffee.

I hope someone has recipes for these sausages. Thank you for your help.

– John J. Capaul, Sacramento



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Corn, zucchini and tomato pie

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 8

Jennie Short of Wilton lost a recipe she found in The Bee for a zucchini corn casserole with tomatoes on top.

Nancy Fuller of Lincoln just made this dish from the recipe she found in The Bee. It sounds like a match for Short.


3 cups fresh or frozen and defrosted corn kernels

5 small zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces

2 teaspoons salt, divided use

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided use

1 tablespoon dill weed

2 tablespoon melted butter

3 to 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking dish, combine corn, zucchini, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, dill and melted butter, tossing to coat the vegetables. Cover the vegetables with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake the pie for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove pie from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 171 cal.; 6 g pro.; 19 g carb.; 9 g fat (4 sat., 4 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 15 mg chol.; 749 mg sod.; 2 g fiber; 46 percent calories from fat.

Chicken divan

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves 8 to 10

Mary Brown of Paradise used to make her family chicken divan. Her family has been requesting this dish recently and she can’t find her recipe. It was a layered casserole of chicken, broccoli, cheese and other ingredients.

Jeanne Young of Sacramento used to make this dish for church suppers in the 1980s when she lived in Cupertino.

She says it’s a real crowd-pleaser.


Two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed but not cooked, or one large bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided use

10 to 12 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, poached and chopped into bite-size pieces

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Two 11-ounce cans cream of chicken soup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Paprika, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste


If using fresh broccoli, lightly steam or blanch. Spread broccoli in the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch Pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle broccoli with Parmesan cheese. Place chicken on top of broccoli and cheese. Cover chicken with cheddar cheese.

Mix soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper and pour on top of cheese layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Per serving based on 10 servings: 571 cal.; 44 g pro.; 9 g carb.; 39 g fat (14 sat., 3 monounsat., 2 polyunsat., 20 other); 145 mg chol.; 1,046 mg sod.; 2 g fiber; 63 percent calories from fat