Join in for Sunday lunch at the Newtons

Published 12:06 am Saturday, August 20, 2011

Even though I like to cook, I always enjoy being invited to someone’s house. A fellow choir member at Grace Church who grew up on a nearby plantation invited us for lunch after church recently. She and her husband, George, had been away for many years but returned to the Feliciana’s a few years ago and built a charming French Creole-inspired house facing a courtyard in the golfing community of The Bluffs on Thompson’s Creek. The back of the house overlooks the creek.

We started the afternoon with a favorite drink of theirs, Milk Punch, an icy concoction of milk and bourbon. There was talk of family and the Louisiana art on their walls; of the heirloom furniture descended in Ann’s family and of Ann’s garden. Ann’s parents had been good friends with the couple who lived at our home in the 1950s and Ann shared with us stories from that era. Then, it was a sit down summer luncheon served seemingly effortlessly by Ann.

All the food was delicious, and Ann gave me all the recipes. I enjoyed the meal so much I thought I should share. You should try these. They are wonderful recipes for a hot summer day. They came from an old Junior League cookbook called River Roads. I noticed that Ann had contributed the Asian Salad to the original cookbook. Last Sunday at church, George was praising a cold avocado soup Ann had done. I may need to get that recipe, too.

Asian Salad

8 servings

2 c. cooked Quigley’s rice or Mahatma’s saffron rice

1 c. sliced carrots

2 c. cooked, chopped chicken

2 Tbsp. green onion, chopped

1 c. frozen petite green peas (Ann unthaws these peas by heating 2 minutes in the microwave)


1 c. mayonnaise

¼ c. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. ginger

1 Tbsp. curry

1 tsp. garlic salt

2 Tbsp. salad oil

White pepper to taste


1 c. coconut

1 c. chopped peanuts

1 c. green onion

1 c. Peach chutney (recipe given below)

Boil and remove chicken from bones and chop. Cook rice and cool. Mix with chicken, green onions, carrots and peas. Combine sauce ingredients and fold into salad. Chill for several hours, then taste and adjust seasonings. Stir and chill overnight. Stir again before serving on bed of lettuce surrounded by small dishes of condiments. Homemade rolls and fresh fruit complete a delightful cool summer dish for a luncheon or poolside supper.

Peach Chutney

1 c. (any brand) peach preserves

½ c. yellow raisins

¼ c. small pecan halves or coarsely chopped large ones

¼ c. cider vinegar

1 tsp. Oriental ginger

Combine ingredients in saucepan and boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring. Chill after cooking. (Ann says this makes more than you need, but is good with goat cheese on crackers).

Mango Salad

Serves 20

1 (32 oz.) can mangoes with syrup (Can use just mango juice)

8 oz. cream cheese

2 pkgs. apricot Jello and 1 pkg. lemon or orange

2 c. boiling water

Blend mangoes with syrup and cream cheese in a blender or food processor. Dissolve the three packages of Jello in boiling water and combine with cream cheese mixture. Pour into a mayonnaise lined 2 ½ quart mold, or in an 11×13 inch pan. May add a dollop of mayonnaise and fruit on top.

She also served some small biscuits with the meal. Combine one cup bisquick, ½ stick soft butter, 4 ounces of soft cream cheese (She noted she added about ¼ cup cheese, and sprinkled with cayenne). Bake 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes to get about a dozen tiny biscuits.

Bon appétit, as Ann wrote when she sent me the recipes.