By Janet Christensen
The singing Cowsills are back in their native New England today.
At 2:30 this afternoon they perform in Boston at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade (in case of rain tomorrow night).
Their appearance is in conjunction with this week’s June Daily Festival on Boston Common. And The Cowsills are a natural choice for singing commercials about milk – the king size family takes to food in a big way!
“I cook five chickens at a time,” said Barbara Cowsill, “and at Thanksgiving and Christmas I cook two 25 pound turkeys! And I always make each of the children their own favorite pies.”
“Basically we’re meat, potato and vegetable eaters. They love roast beef, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and ice cream. I’ve never had to do any fancy cooking for the kids.”
“I make clam chowder, too,” added Barbara, “we used to dig our own clams.” Both she and her husband William are natives of Rhode Island. Their family grew up in Newport, though they now live in California.
“My husband did 20 years in the Navy – and I was a housewife and mother all that time. It’s only a year ago that I began singing with the family.”
The kids began their rock-folk-country group playing at Brown University, Boston University, in Worcester and other New England cities. Dad got them started on their professional career about five years ago, and now that momma’s joined the group, the family can travel together.
“We perform only on weekends – the children attend the Hollywood Professional School. When we’re traveling by car, we rent two station wagons. We have a lot of fun and they love to drive. They see so much more than the average kid.”
“I like the traveling very much – although it takes getting used to – but Newport is still our home, and it’s where we’ll end up.”
Here are recipes from Barbara Cowsill.
OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS
24 chicken drumsticks
½ cup flour
2 ¾ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
½ cup butter
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Push skin of each chicken leg over broad cut end. In heave brown paper bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika, curry, and poultry seasoning. From double thickness of regular foil or single thickness of heavy-duty foil, fashion two pans each 13x9x1 inch. Lay each pan on cookie sheet: place ¼ cup butter in each. Set in oven to melt butter.
2. Place about three chicken legs at a time in bag with flour mixture. Shake to coat legs well, remove, and arrange in one of pans. Repeat till 12 coated chicken legs are in each pan.
3. Bake the two pans of chicken, uncovered, on two racks in oven for 30 minutes. Then turn legs, reverse position of pans, and bake chicken 15 minutes longer, or until fork-tender and golden brown.
4. Serve hot or cold. Makes 8 to 10 servings, Serve with French fries and tossed green salad.
BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE
½ lb. macaroni, in 2 ½ inch pieces or elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
1 small onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
½ lb process Cheddar cheese
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
4 teaspoons melted butter
1. Cook macaroni as label directs. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 1 ½ quart casserole.
2. Meanwhile, mince onion (about 4 teaspoons); put in double boiler with 2 teaspoons butter. When butter is melted, stir in flour, mustard, salt, pepper. Slowly stir in milk; cook until smooth and hot, stirring often.
3. Slice about three fourths of cheese right into sauce; stir until cheese is melted. (If preferred, grate cheese ahead, using medium grater, or slice it.)
4. When macaroni is tender, drain into colander; turn into casserole. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, toss lightly with fork so that all macaroni gets nicely coated. Top with rest of cheese.
5. Toss bread crumbs with 4 teaspoons melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese.
6. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings as main dish, or 6 servings when served instead of potatoes. Nice with crisp bacon.
FABULOUS CHOCOLATE CREAM CAKE
2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ lb bar German sweet Chocolate
½ cup boiling water
1 cup shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg yolks, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, then line with wax paper, bottoms of three 9-inch layer cake pans. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. Melt chocolate in boiling water, cool.
3. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, mix shortening with sugar till very light. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and melted chocolate; mix to blend.
4. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating till smooth. Fold in egg whites.
5. Pour batter into layer cake pans.
6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness, then cool in steps as follows: Set it, in pan, on cake rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, with spatula, loosen cake around edges. Place rack over top of cake; invert pan and rack together; then place rack on table. Lift off pan: peel off paper. Place second rack lightly on cake; invert both racks with cake to turn cake right side up. Finish cooling; frost with slightly sweetened whipped cream or as desired.
Note – This cake may be baked in tow 9x9x2 inch cake pans, lined on bottom with wax paper, at 350 degrees, for 40 to 45 minutes.