Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 14, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / August 14, 1999

LAPLACE – Hazel Landry Tamplain of LaPlace grew up cooking. One of fivegirls in her family, she watched her mother cook and learned to measure out ingredients without recipes.

When she married her first husband and had four children of her own, her cooking skills were a necessity.

“In those days you couldn’t raise children without knowing how to cook and bake,” says Tamplain, 69.

She says she now shares a special relationship with her only daughter, who also enjoys cooking.

“My daughter and I like to try new recipes together,” she says. “We have alot of fun. If they don’t work out we don’t tell anybody.”Diagnosed with diabetes many years ago, Tamplain has learned to adapt her recipes to her lifestyle, omitting sugar and fats and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although she has to restrict her sweets, shestill enjoys baking desserts for her children and 10 grandchildren to eat.

“When I bake cookies, I get my granddaughters to help,” she says. “Theylove decorating the Christmas cookies.”Tamplain and her current husband Dan have been married 10 years. Bothare retired and like to spend time traveling, eating out and entertaining the hordes of children and grandchildren who pop in to visit.

“We entertain his children and grandchildren at Thanksgiving and my children and grandchildren at Christmas,” she says.

Tamplain is looking forward to the births of two great-grandchildren within the next few months.

Hazel and Dan Tamplain are very busy with church activities at St. Joan ofArc Church, which is near their LaPlace home. Dan serves as treasurer forthe Knights of Columbus and helps with bingo. Hazel belongs to the KCAuxiliary and the Ladies Altar Society and volunteers at the St. Joan ofArc Thrift Shop.

Earlier this year one of Tamplain’s four sisters passed away. But the otherfour siblings still get together every Wednesday to spend time with each other, sharing recipes and favorite activities.

Tamplain says her husband doesn’t cook very much but does all the shopping and cleans up after meals.

“That’s a pact we have,” she says. “I cook and he cleans up. It works outvery well. We have a good life.”Here are some of Hazel Tamplain’s favorite recipes:

Crawfish Delight

1 lb. crawfish tails

2 cups raw rice (plus 2 tbsp. if you like it drier)

1 1/2 sticks margarine

2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can onion soup

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium bell pepper, chopped 1

handful shallots, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute all seasonings in margarine until soft. Add soups and tomatoes andstir until hot. Add crawfish, stir, then mix in rice. Pour into Dutch oven orheavy pot. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes. Stironce after 45 minutes.

Shrimp Broccoli Casserole

2 10-oz. pkg. frozen broccoli spears

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

2/3 cup chopped celery

1 lb. parboiled shrimp

2 4-oz. cans mushroom pieces, drained

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 8-oz. jar Cheez Whiz

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2/3 cup plain bread crumbs

Cook broccoli in water until tender; drain, chop, and set aside. Sauteonions, green pepper and celery in margarine until tender. Add soup, CheezWhiz, shrimp, pepper and garlic. Mix well over low heat. Stir in choppedbroccoli and bread crumbs. Put in casserole dish and heat. (You may putthis in a glass dish and heat in the microwave.)

Crab Meat Au Gratin

1 stalk celery

1 cup onion, chopped fine

1 13-oz. can evaporated milk

1/4 lb. butter or margarine

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. red pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 egg yolks

1 lb. crab meat

1/2 lb. grated American cheese

Saute onions and celery in butter, blend in flour well. Pour in milk, stirconstantly. Add 2 egg yolks, salt and peppers. Cook five minutes. Put crabmeat in a bowl suitable for mixing. Pour the cooked sauce over crab meat,blend well, then transfer into lightly greased casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. May also be used as a dipwith French bread cubes or crackers.

Coconut Cream Pie

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup milk

3 eggs (separated)

1/3 stick margarine

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. flour

1 cup coconut

Mix flour and sugar (so it won’t lump) and the milk. Cook until warm. Beategg yolks, 1 cup coconut, vanilla and margarine. Mix. Add to warm milkmixture. Cook until it bubbles and gets thick. After mixture is cool, pourinto baked pie shell. Top with meringue.

Meringue Beat three egg whites well. Add a pinch of salt, 3 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp.vanilla. Beat until it peaks.

Chocolate Nut Drops

2 cups sugar

2 sq. (2 oz.) chocolate

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. light Karo syrup

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. margarine1

1/2 cups oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine sugar, chocolate, salt, syrup and milk in medium sized sauce pan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often to 236 degrees, or until soft ball forms when dropped in water. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, butter,oats, coconut and pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.

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