MY MOTHER-IN-LAW, PAULA JEAN, was a loving woman who adored her family. She enjoyed entertaining at her house and making gatherings special for everyone. Paula started her career as a medical technologist and earned her master’s in business administration and public health. She later became a high school business teacher, but she had a creative side too. She used her talents to create a lovely home by cooking, painting, knitting, and sewing clothes, toys, and other items for her family and friends. She shared her food and hobbies with people she loved. An avid gardener, she spent hours planting, potting, and nurturing her flowers and vegetables in what she called her “secret” garden. When harvest was good, our family had plenty of fresh strawberries, tomatoes, squash, beans, and peppers.
My favorite dish Paula made was Copper Pennies. She prepared it in the summer for folks to snack on around the pool, at family barbecues, or at church potlucks. It was simple and easy to make—this is how Paula liked to cook. The combination of marinated sweet and sour carrots, onions, and bell peppers makes my taste buds very happy! My father-in-law, Ernie, loves it too and fondly recalls how he would smile whenever she told him she was going to make it and asked him to pick up frozen carrots at the store, which he happily agreed to. To me, this dish is always better the day after. The longer it’s allowed to rest, the better it gets. It’s good kept in the refrigerator for three to four days, but in our house, it never makes it that long. After Paula passed away five years ago, I kept the round dish she used to make Copper Pennies in so I can continue making it and remember her legacy. It’s a family heirloom I love to share with others and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 (10.75-ounce) can tomato soup (undiluted)
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 32 ounces frozen crinkle cut carrots
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, chopped
- In a large glass dish, whisk together sugar, vinegar, oil, soup, mustard, Worcestershire, and salt.
- Gently stir in carrots, onion, and bell pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold as a snack or a side dish.
You can discover more in “Heirloom Recipe” when you pick up your copy of the May/June 2023 issue or by visiting tasteofthesouthmagazine.com.