Immaculate Conception - Wexford
1416 Great River Rd ~ Lansing, IA 52151
Pastor: Rev. John Moser

Recipes from the Hearth

People once referred to tomatoes as love apples because they were used in many love spells. Few people, including
my great grandmother, would not eat them because they were believed to be poisonous. (Irish lore)

County Wexford Irish Stew
(A Variation)
2 pounds mutton (or beef)
2 pounds potatoes, sliced
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 mushroom, sliced
1 turnip, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put the meat in the bottom of a heavy saucepan; add vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the water and bring to a boil. Skim, them simmer for an hour. Serve the meat in the center of a hot platter. Arrange the vegetables around it and pour a little of the broth over it. Garnish with parsley.

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All St. Patrick's Day Meals need to have soda bread served. This is a sweet version!

4 c. flour
3/4 tbsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar or 5 packets of Sweet 'N Low
1 1/2 c. raisins
3 beaten eggs
1 pt. sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add eggs and sour cream. Mix thoroughly place in a greased and floured 8 inch cast iron frying pan or cake pan. Score the dough with a cross on top. Bake for 1 hour.

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Here is an easy dessert that is scrumptious and sinfully delicious. It is not for anyone on a diet!

Brownie Delight

1 pkg brownie mix (13 x 9 in. size)
2 pkgs cream cheese (8 oz size) softened
2 C confectioners’ sugar
1 carton (16 oz) frozen whipped topping thawed, divided
2 C cold milk
1 pkg (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
½ C chopped pecans

Prepare and bake brownies according to pkg directions, using a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Cool Completely. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Spread over brownies. In another bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix; beat until smooth. Refrigerate for 5 minutes; spread over the cream cheese layer. Spread with remaining whipped topping; sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until serving.

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Irish Champ
    2 pounds potatoes, peeled and halved
    1 cup milk
    1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
    1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1/4 cup butter
    1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste
1.    Place potatoes into large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
2.    Drain well. Return to very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes. (It helps if you place a clean dish towel over the potatoes to absorb any remaining moisture.)
3.    Meanwhile, heat the milk and green onions gently in a saucepan, until warm. Mash the potatoes, salt and butter together until smooth. Stir in the milk and green onion until evenly mixed. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve piping hot in bowls. Set out some extra butter for individuals to add to their servings.

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Creamed codfish was always a favorite Lenten dish at the Curran household

Cream Salted Codfish over Potatoes    Marguerite Curran

Buy salted dried cod (might be in wooden box)

Cut salted fillets into 1” strips

Cover fish in water – soak for a few hours or simmer until fish flakes with fork

Drain off most of water

Add milk to cover fish (or enough for the number of servings you would like)

Make white sauce to thicken – (approximately ½ C flour with 1 cup cold water - depending on amount of milk used)

Slowly stir into milk & fish

Simmer to thicken stirring constantly

Salt to taste if needed.

Serve over boiled potatoes -  top with green peas and LOTS of butter

The thick white sauce recipe below (doubled) could be used for the codfish recipe. The salt may not be necessary.


Read more about it at,1655,129182-251198,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.

The recipes below may be doubled.


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water


3 or 4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or one half cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water

Melt butter in a sauce pan and whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in cold milk, cooking over direct heat and stirring constantly until sauce boils; reduce heat slightly and continue to stir until sauce becomes smooth and thick. When sauce thickens, simmer for an additional 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir carefully to avoid lumps. If sauce becomes lumpy, use a stick blender or rotary beater to blend out lumps or else press through a sieve. Wondra flour may be used to great advantage since this flour does not have a tendency to lump.

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Most farm families receive many magazines and newspapers. The "Irish" recipe below was discovered in the Iowa Farmer Today Nov. 12, 2011 edition. There are a lot of steps, but definitely worth the time!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
      submitted by Shari Curran
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flow
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 T softened butter
2 tsp Jameson Irish whiskey
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick softened butter
4 T Baileys Irish Cream

Make the cupcakes
: Preheat oven to 350. Mix and bring beer and butter to simmer in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl. Add beer-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and stir to combine. Add flour mixture and fold into batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling each two-thirds full;. Bake cake until the top bounces back when pressed, about 20 minutes. Completely cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Make the ganache filling:
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute, then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to easily scoop out with a spoon.

Make the Baileys frosting:
Whip the butter until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, a few table spoons at a time. Slowly add in the Baileys and whip it until combined.

Assemble the cupcakes:
Use a paring knife and cut a cone from the center of each cupcake, like cutting the lid from a pumpkin. Go most of the way down the cupcake, but do not cut through the bottom - aim for two-thirds of the way.
Tear off the extra cake from the cupcake "lid". Spoon a little ganache filling into the cupcake cavity and put the lid back on. Frost each cupcake with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting, being sure to hide the cupcake's "scar".

(Although this sounds complicated - it isn't. I divided the cake batter between two 9" square cake pans lined with parchment paper instead of cupcake pans. When they had cooled I removed them whole on to a cutting board to assemble. Spread the ganache on one cake and layer the second cake on top of the ganache, finishing with the frosting on top of all.)  Cut into small bars. Refrigerate.
These become better with age - must be the fine whiskey!

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Mark Wagner and Mary Dougherty were married at St. Patrick's church in Waukon on May 18, 1943. Mary was the daughter of Emmet and Irene Fitzgerald Dougherty. The Fitzgeralds lived on Sweet Ridge in Wexford for many years. Mark was the son of Henry and Mary Wagner and farmed in Wexford. The Mary's were known in Wexford as "Mary Hank" and "Mary Mark" until "Mary Hank" moved to Lansing. The following recipe was one of Mark and Mary's favorites - in fact the family used it as a sandwich filling for Mark's funeral.

Chicken Casserole   (Mary "Mark" Wagner)

1 chicken or equivalent of turkey (break up into small pieces)

Make a white sauce  - heat until thickened

¼ C. butter

1/4 C. flour

1 C. broth 

Mix together

5 C. bread crumbs

2 C. hot milk

1 onion (sautéed in butter)

2 eggs (beat first)

salt, pepper & sage to taste

Then add:

white sauce

1 can cream  mushroom soup

1 can cream celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

Mix everything together   (If you need more moisture add more chicken broth to mixture)

Put in a thoroughly greased pan or baking dish.

Bake at 350  - approx. 1 hr.

After Thanksgiving – I just use the left over turkey, dressing and gravy and add some soup (which ever flavor I want or have) Bake until heated through. (approx. 45 mins.)

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What to do with the tomatoes that have not ripened at the end of the season? You can make green tomato relish, green tomato pickles, green tomato chow chow, green tomato soup, and even green tomato cake! However, our favorite is baked green tomatoes!

Baked Green Tomatoes

4 large firm green tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coarse buttery cracker crumbs (or garlic bread crumbs)
4 Tablespoons butter
Cut green tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices; arrange slices in a greased glass baking dish. Season sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper and spread each with about 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Cover tomatoes with crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 350 until green tomatoes are tender but still firm, or about 25-35 minutes.
Recipe for baked green tomatoes serves 6.

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On a snowy December day in 1968, Mary Sharon (Shari) Wagner married Patrick Curran. Not many invited guests were able to attend because of about a foot of heavy wet snow. The scheduled 12:30 wedding, didn't take place until 2:00 because the bride and groom were not able to arrive until then. Chili could have been the menu of choice that day!!


Brown 3 # hamburger - rinse off grease in strainer with hot water
Put in large crock pot
Add 1 quart tomatoes
3 cans kidney beans
1 large onion - chopped
1 small green pepper - diced
1 - 16 oz can tomato sauce (tomato juice or Mr. & Mrs T may be substituted)
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp Lawry salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
Salt to taste
Chili powder to taste
Stir and slow cook for 6 - 8 hours

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In 1948, Jim Curran married Norma Fossum from the Waterville area. Norma brought wonderful Norwegian dishes to mix with the Irish cuisine. One of their children's favorite was her Sour Cream Raisin Pie. Of course, she had to make more than one at a time!

Norma’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie


2 C. raisins

1 C sour cream

1 ½ C sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 egg yolks

9 inch pie shell, baked


3 egg whites

2 T sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

Mix raisins, sour cream and sugar, and bring to boil. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla.

Slightly beat egg yolks and mix with a little hot mixture to prevent curdling.

Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Cool. Pour filling into pie shell.

For meringue, beat egg whites until frothy.

Add cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff.

Gradually beat in sugar and salt. Beat until stiff and glossy.

Spread meringue over pie and bake at 300 for 15 minutes or until slightly brown.

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An old staple in the Curran household was Grandma's goulash. When she had a busy day with laundry, garden or other necessary chores, and was unable to make her beef roast, potatoes and gravy, Grandma would make her goulash. She served it with toasted homemade bread. No one ever seemed to mind the substitution!

Goulash     Marguerite Curran

Brown 1 # hamburger with 1 diced onion– drain

Prepare ½ pkg spaghetti according to directions (break the spaghetti in thirds before cooking)

In large kettle mix hamburger and cooked spaghetti with 1 quart tomatoes.

Add tomato juice to desired thickness.

Add salt and pepper and a little sugar to taste. Bring to boil then simmer 10 minutes.

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Some families in the Wexford area still raise large gardens. The following recipe could be used for excess veggies. Substitutions of garden produce may be used or added.

Vegetable Salad

2 cups each



cucumber (peeled and seeded)

1 red onion

1 green pepper

1 cup radishes


½ C Miracle Whip

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 t. celery salt

¼ - ½ C sugar

¼ C vinegar

½ t. black pepper or to taste

Prepare vegetables and set aside.

Whisk dressing ingredients together until sugar and salts dissolve.

Combine dressing and vegetables. Chill and serve.

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A few years ago, Allamakee County in Iowa had a "Tour of Churches". Immaculate Conception in Wexford was one of the churches on the tour. We were asked to provide a sampling of food to show our heritage. Colcannon was one of the dishes that we served.

Potatoes and cabbage have been sustenance foods in Ireland for ages. This classic Irish dish combines the mashed potatoes and cabbage. Add some chopped boiled beef and you have a dish know as "Bubble and Squeak"!


  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large. deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.

      Kale may be used in place of the cabbage.

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This is a very good recipe from my sister-in-law, Sally Conway. My brother, Pat Conway, grew up on our farm near Wexford and married Sally (Koenig) Conway. They raised their family of 5 children and farmed near the Castalia-Postville area.  Pat died of cancer in 2001. 
Submitted by Mary O'Neill
          Hamburger Noodle Casserole
            Brown 1 1/2# hamburger with 2 chopped onions
            Cook 8 oz. noodles as directed on package with 1 bouillon cube added

            Mix hamburger and noodles with:
                         2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
                         1  -  4 oz. can mushrooms
                         1 cup cubed American Cheese (Velveeta)
                         8 oz. Cultured Sour Cream
           Bake covered 45 minutes at 350      
           If you wish you can uncover and add chow mien noodles and cashew nuts and bake another 15 minutes

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Mrs. William (Marguerite Bohrer) Curran (1899-1999) was the Treasurer of the Immaculate Conception Rosary Society for 30+ years. Marguerite (along with Ellen Hawes) was known for frying eggs with bacon grease in a seasoned black frying pan for the Wexford breakfasts until the 1990's.

The Date & Nut Torte was one of her family's favorite desserts.

Date & Nut Torte               

2 eggs

2 Tbsp flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ C sugar

1 C chopped dates

1C nuts

½ tsp vanilla

Beat eggs until very light

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar – Sift together twice.

Add beaten eggs, nuts and dates and vanilla, blend well.

Spread evenly in a well greased 8 x 8 pan.

Bake until brown @ 350 - about 20 minutes. Keep checking

Serve warm topped with whipped cream.