As mentioned in a previous post, I traveled to Indiana for the annual Fields Family reunion in late July. It was hard to take a backseat to the cooking but since there was already a system set in place, I was happy to lend a hand when needed. I did get to at least make a caprese salad at dinner the night before.

The one dish I always look forward to is my Great Uncle Art’s Mac n Cheese.  I have made it several times for friends in DC with my Fieldsy additions but we will save that for another entry.

Uncle Art’s Macaroni and Cheese:
2 cups (4oz) elbow macaroni
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups of milk
16 oz of shredded Colby jack cheese

Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Cook macaroni in boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove from heat. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter then blend in flour (make sure it doesn’t clump). Add salt and pepper. Gradually stir in milk, 1 cup at a time while constantly stirring and mixture begins to boil.Slowly add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. In casserole, stir together macaroni and cheese sauce. Bake only until bubbly, approximately 30 min. After it is cooked, Uncle Art likes to broil for 15-20 minutes to let the top crisp.

Copious amounts of meat is at any Fieldsy family function. What do you expect, we are from the Midwest. My Aunt Christi’s husband, Jack is the master when it comes to cooking meat. This year ham, turkey, and beef tenderloin were on the menu.

Another favorite at the reunion is my cousin Pam’s taco salad. Since I hadn’t been in years I was anxious eat it but more importantly, get the recipe.

Pam’s (Fields) Taco Salad:
1 head lettuce (iceberg)
1 bag cheese Doritos
1 bottle zesty Italian dressing
1 green pepper, chopped
1 batch green onions, sliced
1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lb ground meat
1 1/2 package taco seasoning
2/3 cup water

Mix taco seasoning with water and cook with meat until browned. Allow meat mixture to cool. Combine all ingredients together and toss. Note: Do not add dressing until ready to serve.

One final recipe from my cousin Becky. I have always wanted a good homemade biscotti recipe and her Kahlua biscotti is very yummy.

Becky’s (Mihopulos) Kahlua Biscotti
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves (optional)
¼ cup Kahlua
1 Tablespoon milk or 1 more Tablespoon Kahlua for stronger flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup chopped hazelnuts
½ cup mini Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together dry ingredients, then add in beaten egg and the rest of ingredients. Divide dough into 2 or 3 logs with well floured hands. Press logs into rectangles about ½ inch thick. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temp to 300. Cut logs into ½ inch slices. Turn on side. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on other side. Bake another 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

A Fields family function is not complete without pie. I unfortunately failed to get the recipes but at least I took a picture.

Raspberry cream, butterscotch (my fave), and strawberry pies. I miss my Grams’ peach pie and can’t wait to learn how to make it so I can carry on the family recipe (I am not the best pastry chef). Needless to say with all these food options, I was put into food coma and as always there was enough food leftover for lunch before getting on the plan the next day.

It was a wonderful weekend of food and four generations of the Fields family. I can’t wait until next year.

Food for Thought::

Beside the food and of course seeing family, one of the best parts of the reunion was listening to people’s story. I really envy my Mom & Dad for getting to grow up with so much family around. It was also just Mom, Dad and I since we moved away from Venezuela when I was 2 and Indiana when I was 4. Luckily, I have always had wonderful friends who have felt like extended family. Below are some stories from the weekend.

  • Aunt Lavina (Beanie) was known as the kissing aunt. My Uncle Greg said you always had your running shoes on when she was around so you could get away.
  • Singing has always been a part of the Fields Family, Aunt Lavina and Uncle Mack would sing “Look down, look down that lonesome road” at family functions.
  • My Dad burned my Uncle Steve’s stuffed dog because he thought it he was too old to have stuffed animals. He also burned my Uncle Greg’s teddy bear (there is video evidence).
  • Uncle Duke and my Gramps (Francis Val) were always the first to buy things together: first radio, first TV, first home (although my gramps purchased his house first).
  • The Fields Family Farm was at Grass Creek, Indiana
  • It was a family affair to work at S.S. Kresge’s (later K-Mart). Uncle Art worked there first and my grandpa joined after returning from WW II.
  • My dad (Kerry) used to play the steel guitar and Uncle Duke remembered him playing “What a friend we have in Jesus.