Recipe Column: A long standing Ripco tradition
Food and Friday have been synonymous at Ripco Credit Union for more than 45 years. That’s nearly a half century of recipes experimented with and exchanged, and food devoured. Hard to imagine. The food celebration, called ‘Slush,’ by employees for decades, started out as a weekly event. Fridays were busy and employees didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to get out for lunch, or even take a lunch break. Eating in was a great option, and thus, a tradition began.
“We take Slush very seriously,” said Melody Shaltis, who is one of the organizers. “Food is put out for the morning break, and we make arrangements to meet downstairs in the break room at a certain time. I am going down at 10:10 this morning!”
Due to the amount of work involved, and the amount of calories consumed, Melody says with a chuckle, the employees have pared Slush down to once a month. Usually held the second Friday of each month, there are sometimes conflicts that require rescheduling, but Slush is never skipped entirely . In the ‘old days’ everyone in the office participated. Today there are fifteen dedicated ‘Slushers’ divided into three teams, and each team member brings a different course.
“We have five categories; main course, salad, fruit, dessert, and other,” according to Shaltis. “It never gets boring.”
Of the participants, there are some who may not have a stash of fall back recipes to contribute to a feast of this magnitude. But not to worry; Shaltis acts as chief Recipe Keeper, and with a thick manila folder bulging with options, is always available to make a suggestion.
“It’s just a great tradition here at the credit union,” Shaltis said. “Slush is fun, makes Fridays go faster, and we look forward to it.” And with that, here are a few of their favorites.
Kristina’s Tomato, Basil & Bocconcini Salad
½ Red onion
¼ C red wine vinegar
2 T Olive oil
1 Pkg cherry tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Sliced green olives
1 Pkg Bocconcini (or mozzarella pearls)
Salt & pepper to taste
Thinly slice red onion. Put on plate in single layer. Cover with red wine vinegar and set aside (allow to pickle about 20 minutes).
Cut tomatoes in half. Put in large glass bowl. Add basil (may chop if desired), cheese, olives and olive oil. Add pickled onions and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve.
The Best Crab Dip You’ll Ever Have!
1 Pkg of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz imitation crab meat – chopped
Finely chopped onions
Mix together. Best when refrigerated overnight. Serve with crackers.
Kookie Fruit Salad
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1 C Buttermilk
12 oz container cool whip
Gently stir in:
1 Lg can mandarin oranges, drained
1 Lg can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained
1 C Seedless Red Grapes
½ Pkg crumbled fudge stripe cookies (about 12 cookies)
Sprinkle additional cookie crumbs over the top. Keep refrigerated.
Our Favorite Chili
2 cans diced and seasoned tomatoes
2 cans chili or kidney beans
2 cans tomato soup
2 lbs hamburger
1 large onion, diced
4 T brown sugar
2 T chili powder
Salt & pepper
¼ teas. garlic
1 T parsley
1 teas oregano
1 teas basil
Brown hamburger and onions. Add all other ingredients. Simmer at least one hour.
Butterscotch Layered Dessert
1 ½ C graham cracker crumbs
Sugar substitute equivalent to ½ C sugar, divided
6 T butter, melted
2 Pkgs (8 oz each) reduced fat cream cheese
3 C cold skim milk, divided
2 Pkgs (1 oz each) sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
8 oz Lite whipped topping
½ t Rum extract
In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, half of the sugar substitute and butter. Press into a 9×13” pan coated with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, ¼ C milk and remaining sugar substitute until smooth. Spread over crust.
In another bowl whisk remaining milk with the pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes until soft set. Spread over cream cheese layer. Combine whipped topping and extract; spread over the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.