I truly believe that good food with good fellowship hold family and friends together. During our almost 50 years of marriage, my husband, Loyal, and I have enjoyed entertaining both large and small groups of relatives and friends.

A delicious menu that always pleases those around our table includes Beef Brisket in Gravy, green salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, Golden Carrot Coins, Pillow-Soft Rolls and Lemon Tart.

Since most of the recipes can be made ahead, you can be at ease as you serve the meal and enjoy spending time with your friends and family.

The beef brisket is flavorful and becomes very tender as it bakes. It's my family's most-requested main dish.

Many years ago, our Sunday school class sponsored a progressive dinner, and we were asked to prepare brisket for 50. It was so good that I downsized the recipe. I usually fix the brisket and gravy 1 or 2 days ahead of time and reheat it in the oven or microwave the day of the dinner.


Dressing Brightens Greens

A tried-and-true recipe, Blue Cheese Vinaigrette is very tasty and goes well with any type of greens. The recipe was shared by one of the "helping moms" at a cooperative preschool where I was a teacher and director.

Later, I worked as a home economics teacher. I still use many of the quick and easy recipes created especially for our 45-minute classes. Loyal was a teacher and administrator for 30 years. Upon retirement, we moved from Ohio to our current home in Tennessee on Watts Bar Lake.

Golden Carrot Coins are colorful and easy to prepare. Our oldest daughter, Kathy, said, "Mom, you've got to try this recipe from our church cookbook." It's such a simple method, but the carrots taste wonderful!

Often, I include this popular side dish in our everyday menus.

Our two daughters, one son and their spouses have given us 10 grandchildren. The families are scattered throughout the United States, but when we do get together—what fun!


Can't Eat Just One

Pillow-Soft Rolls are light, fluffy and tender. Without realizing it, you can easily devour several! After the rolls cool, they can be wrapped in foil and reheated in the oven.

My first recollection of large meal preparation was helping my mother, grandmother and aunts take hours to fix supper for 12 to 15 neighborhood farmers who had spent the day threshing wheat or oats.

We made all the bread and even churned butter from cream skimmed off the milk. The threshers made it all disappear in about 15 minutes!

Lemon Tart is a delicious ending to any meal. For a fun variation, you can divide the creamy filling into individual tart shells.

I can't count how many times I have made this dessert at our cottage in Ontario, Canada.

We spend time there in summer, when we swim, water-ski and boat. Loyal cuts and splits wood for the cottage stoves. I wish you could taste the biscuits I bake in our wood-burning cookstove! In winter, we go back to cross-country ski and snowmobile.


Satisfying Volunteer Work

No matter where we are, I'm often working on my quilt projects. And now that we have retired, we have time to volunteer. My most consuming job is working at "Our Daily Bread," a thrift shop. With the proceeds, we purchase food and pass it on to those in need.

Also, Loyal and I are volunteer tour guides at a unique electric power generating facility at Raccoon Mountain near Chattanooga.

It's a privilege to be one of Taste of Home's 1,000 editors, and it's a thrill whenever a friend, former home economics student, acquaintance or even a stranger contacts me to say they saw one of my recipes in print.

I hope you'll enjoy our family's favorite meal…and that it becomes as popular at your house as it is at ours.