The very first Queen of the Potluck had to be someone SUPER special. I could not award this illustrious title to just anyone. Not just any queen could be the very first. There are so many wonderful cooks out there I had to choose carefully.
June Creasy is the blue-ribbon champion. If ever a woman embodied the spirit of what we have in mind for the Queen of the Potluck it is Mrs. June. She has a amazing ability to cook magnificently but she also has skills unmatched in entertaining!
It is not surprising that she has spent years honing her abilities. She worked for the Martha White company for 8 years in the test kitchen developing new recipes. Martha White sponsored the Lester Flatt and Earl Scrubs Show and Mrs. June was featured in the commercial breaks introducing the new recipes from the test kitchen!
Her culinary expertise did not stop there. She worked for 3 years as a nutritional consultant in the Madison Country School System and then went on to become the Associate Professor of Family and Consumer Science at Lambuth College (later to become Lambuth University.) Her career there spanned 27 years.
Although I knew Mrs. June at Lambuth I really did not get to know her until we attended church together. I had the privilege of standing in potluck lines looking for her dishes.
One year she offered a cooking class for the young wives and mothers from church. We met once a week in her classroom at Lambuth. It was absolutely, hands down, one of the best classes I have ever taken. She taught us things that I have remembered all these years. She shared ideas about entertaining as well as introduced recipes and had us prepare them. The cookbook that she gave us is still a mainstay in my kitchen.
The recipe she is sharing is one that we made in her class and she said that it is still a recipe that is highly requested. (Taylor asks for this one more often than he asks for any other recipe I have.)
Crock Pot Chicken with Mushroom Sauce (click on the title for the download)
4 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces; salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoon dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed mushroom soup, undiluted
2 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed (do not substitute with fat-free)
1/2 cup of sherry (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped onions
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and brush with butter; place in a crock-pot. Sprinkle with salad dressing mix. Cover and cook in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours. About 45 minutes before serving, heat the canned soup, cream cheese, sherry and onion in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over chicken in crock-pot, and replace the lid. Cook for 30 more minutes. Serve with rice or pasta. Serves 6.
All of our Queens will be asked what their favorite tool/pot/pan in the kitchen is. When I asked Mrs.June her response was swift and sure. She loves her Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven.
We talked about the cost of these pots and she gave me advice that I had never heard before. I want to share it with you. She said when you are considering the cost of something you count up the amount of years you expect to use it (in this case 30+ years). Then you divide the total cost of the item by the amount of years.
I am so thankful for June Creasy. Even though we met in Jackson she has since moved near Mountain View, Missouri. If you are ever invited to a potluck at Pomona Christian Church be sure to go...and ask which dish belongs to Mrs June.
I hope her recipe is one you and yours enjoy for years to come.
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