Thursday, July 25, 2013

What's Cookin' in Welch? With Tyson & Jeane Wynn (giveaway,too)

** Weds. 7/31 2:14 PM  Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Kristen Ethridge!!** 

Today I'm thrilled to introduce very special guests, quite familiar (despite this sneaky photo) to those of us in the book world-- and to the 600 citizens of their bustling Oklahoma home town. Please raise your wooden spoons in a rousing Authors' Galley welcome for the creative, dedicated, and often quite hilarious team of
 Wynn-Wynn MediaTyson and Jeane Wynn! 

Anyone who’s met or seen pictures of either or both of the Wynns behind Wynn-Wynn Media know at first glance that we like food. Check that; we love food! And we come by it honestly.

We operate Wynn-Wynn Media from a storefront in Welch, Okla., the small town (pop. 600) in extreme northeastern Oklahoma where we both grew up (Jeane, WHS Class of 1980; Tyson, WHS Class of 1995).

Back in 1976 the Welch Lions Club was raising money to build a civic auditorium, so the club published and sold a cookbook compiled from recipes submitted by locals. What’s Cookin’ in Welch was a hit, and it became as ubiquitous as the family Bible in area homes. It was such a success that a follow-up tome, More Cookin’ in Welch, followed a few years later. Both are still being printed and sold by the Lions Club.

Being so prevalent in Welch homes, it’s the first cookbook either of us knew. Jeane’s mom’s copy is so well used that the covers came loose from the spiral binding long ago, and the copy we received as a wedding gift in 1998 is showing significant wear, its pages splatters with evidence of many a tested recipe.

One benefit of the cookbook being compiled from community members (with each recipe’s author noted) is that it’s easy to find recipes from who you know are good cooks! Not to mention that you can also skip recipes from folks who’ve not impressed you at the church potluck.

The recipes in What’s Cookin’ in Welch are not pretentious, making liberal use of canned cream of mushroom soup, Velveeta, and Dream Whip. It’s real food that’s helped keep the local cowboys, coal miners of that day (all the mines are gone now), and the rest of us (including book publicists) a little thicker around the middle than we’d like. Each page, in addition to having been produced on a typewriter, has the secrets of concocting real people food from real homes right down the street.

Recipes run the gamut from the exotic (page 209 lists Pauline Darnell’s recipe for “Chicken Polynesian,” which is served over “Chinese noodles”) to the thrifty (page 247’s “Poor Man’s Cobbler” from Jack Bell), and More Cookin’ in Welch has a recipe for a version of Orange Julius that is better than what you can get from the official Orange Julius franchise today.

Ours, in addition to splatters on the pages we have used most, have sticky notes and dog-eared pages marking things we love or hope to try someday. Like most recipes, those in the Welch cookbooks are a good start, and everyone notes their changes and variations in their own copy.

One of Tyson’s favorite recipes is Jeane’s variation of Fonna Guest’s “Tasty Meat Loaf” from page 183.

As printed:

Tasty Meat Loaf (by Fonna Guest, What’s Cookin’ in Welch, page 183)

Mix together in a bowl:

1-1/2 lb. hamburger
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
3/4 cup cracker crumbs (5 large crackers crushed in wax paper with rolling pin)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Shape into loaf. Bake at 350 degrees on wire rack in cake pan for one hour.

There you have it. Easy-peasy. Jeane’s made a few slight variations. 1. She sweats the onions until they are translucent before mixing with other ingredients so that there’s no uncooked onion in the final product. 2. She omits green peppers because Tyson will divorce her if she doesn’t. 3. She substitutes catsup for the tomato sauce. 4. Though we assume the original recipe meant saltines for crackers, we’ve found that wheat or whole grain crackers are perfect. 5. Jeane cooks it in a regular loaf pan.

Tyson loves this hot from the oven, but maybe more so for meatloaf sandwiches from the leftovers.

As incoming president of the Welch Lions Club, Tyson is making one copy of What’s Cookin’ in Welch available as a giveaway for a lucky Authors’ Galley reader. We’re sure you’ll agree it’s a guide to good, stick-to-your-ribs (maybe too much) fare that is both filling and tasty. It’s not Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but it has become a faithful kitchen friend from the days before blogs, Food Network, and Pinterest. And just remember, when a recipe calls for oleo, just substitute butter. 

What a great post. I love it-- Oleo!  How many of you remember that word?

Huge thanks to Jeane and Tyson for taking time from their busy schedules to make a guest appearance at Authors' Galley. And for sharing so many of their talented author clients with us here,  as well as offering great giveaways. Speaking of which . . .

For a chance at a copy of What's Cookin' in Welch, leave a comment below including your e-mail address. US entries only, please. I'll draw the lucky winning name on Weds. July 31st (via Random.Org) and notify the winner by e-mail. For a chance to win, you must leave an e-mail address. 

Meanwhile, happy reading . . . and Bon appetit! 


Kristen Ethridge said...

I'm going to be the first to comment because I love this post...and I love Jeane!

L.O.L. My grandmother always called it oleo. Drove me nuts.

Mocha with Linda said...

Yes, please! Love the Wynns, love to cook, and love good old fashioned home cooking from real people!

And yep, I grew up on oleo! Parkay, to be exact. But I use real butter now.

Unknown said...

Meatloaf always reminds me of growing up. My mama made the best meatloaf.

Patty said...

Love these hometown cookbooks! One of my standby recipes is 'crockpot chicken cacciatore' from our church ladies cookbook.


Connie Brown said...

Love these kinds of cookbooks. I remember how margarine was called oleo. I am a frustrated chef but I love to take my mothers recipes and work from them. She taught me to follow the recipe the 1st time and them make it your own.
connie brown

CandaceCalvert said...

Kristin, I totally agree about the post,Mrs. Wynn, AND the oleo business. That was too weird!

Linda: Yes, Parkay! Our family used "Imperial margarine" or "Nucoa" sometimes--geez Loueeze.

Ann: meatloaf says comfort, for sure.
Patty: I love crockpot recipes and church cookbooks--so homey on both counts. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

CandaceCalvert said...

Hi Connie! Yes, nothing better than "local best" cook books. This one sounds teriffic. Good luck on the giveaway!

Michelle Prince Morgan said...

Great post I love old cookbooks.

Tyson Wynn said...

We also forgot to add that Jeane slathers the top with catsup before baking.

Kathleen Y'Barbo said...

Bon appetit indeed!!

Jack vanatta said...

I have been around Welch all my life and I was not aware that this Town I love so much even Had a cook book. About 8 years ago we did a cookbook at our church but, This would be a great edition to my cookbooks. I my self am a lover of food and would love to taste some history of Welch.

Anonymous said...

Tyson Wynn that was going to be my question, thanks for the tip! I love using ketchup too, it just tastes better. My favorite recipes come from my Grandma's old church cookbook. It is so old and broken in that I don't recall it ever having a front cover!
Orianna Chavez

CandaceCalvert said...

Hi Michelle (waving)!
TYSON: thank you for explaining the added catsup. In my opinion, one can never have enough! GREAT post, love your writer's voice. :-)

CandaceCalvert said...

Kathleen (SQUEE!)how wonderful to see you here. And--ahem--WHEN can we book you on Authors' Galley? I know you like to cook . . .

Jack: What a treat to have another Welckin (?) here--thank you for stopping by the blog!

CandaceCalvert said...

Orianna: Thanks for stopping by! Church cookbooks are SO great.

Library Lady said...

I'm always on the lookout for recipes especially quick and easy ones.
Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
Janet E.

bonton said...

Love cookbooks & the recipe looks delicious - would love to win the cookbook!


Anonymous said...

Loved the meatloaf recipe. Would like a chance to win this cookbook.

CandaceCalvert said...

Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Kristen Ethridge! And thank you all for stopping by the blog.