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The Friday 5 — May 1-3

Your guide to staying at home this weekend

C&G Newspapers | Published April 30, 2020

For this week’s stay-at-home edition of the Friday 5, Staff Writer Terry Oparka shares some recipes: 

1. Nana’s Noodles

I came across a version of this recipe in a magazine years ago. It was something my two children liked. Now they make it for their children. When you want to load up on carbs, make this. I like it, especially during quarantine, because I usually have these ingredients in the pantry. 


8 ounces of wide or medium egg noodles 

4 tablespoons of butter or margarine 

1/4 cup of olive oil 

* 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder 

* 2 tablespoons of parsley flakes 

*(feel free to use the fresh equivalents)

1/2 teaspoon of salt  

1/8 teaspoon of pepper 

1/4 cup of water 

1/3 cup of dry bread crumbs 

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese 

Cook noodles in lightly salted water, according to package directions. In a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish, combine butter and oil. Cover and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until butter melts. Stir in the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until steaming. Whisk in the bread crumbs and cheese. Add drained noodles, mix with mixture. Serve. 

2. Country sausage and potatoes 

Use your favorite sausage or kielbasa for this. My husband’s parents, Polish speakers and long-time Warren residents, made their own garlic-flavored sausage, which I used to make this often. My mother-in-law, Theresa Oparka, was a wonderful cook, and she taught me how to cook sausage.


1 1/2 pounds of Italian or Polish sausage 

4 large potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into bite-sized pieces 

2 medium onions, cut into quarters 

1 garlic clove or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1 head cabbage, shredded coarsely with a knife 

Boil the sausage for about 30 minutes in a 12-inch skillet, then brown the sausage. Remove sausage from the pan, leaving drippings in. Cook potatoes, onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until browned. Meanwhile, cut sausage into 3/4-inch chunks. Return sausage to pan. Add 3/4-inch chunks. Return sausage to pan. Add 3/4 cup of water — bring to a boil. Cover - reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add cabbage, simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Makes six servings. 

3. Egg rolls

If you can score these ingredients during the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, go for it. My mother, Lorene Haldane, worked at Kern Hospital in Warren and when we got married, a Filipino doctor she worked with hand wrote a number of Asian recipes for her to give to us for a wedding present. I’ve made these forever. It’s a lot of work, but worth it — my signature dish. 


2 pounds of ground pork (you could use chicken) 

1 cup of grated carrots 

1 cup of chopped mushrooms 

1 teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons of soy sauce 

2 scallions (green onions) 

1 egg

1-2 cups shredded cabbage

Egg roll wrappers 

Oil for frying (she recommended peanut or sunflower, but I use canola - good results)   

Fry meat/chicken until cooked through. Then combine other six ingredients. 

Make eggrolls: spoon cooked mixture into wrapper, fold envelope-style into an eggroll, using a bit of water to seal. Heat the oil and fry the eggrolls. I drain them on paper bags with paper towels twice to get rid of the oil. Serve with hot mustard and your favorite eggroll sauce. 

4. Brown sugar tarts

Good quarantine recipe: my grandmother, Katharine Itchue, made these tarts to use up extra pastry dough during the Depression. If you have an egg and brown sugar to spare — go for it. You can make them in standard or smaller muffin pans. Grease your pans well, they can be tricky to get out, but worth it. Feel free to double this recipe if you feel ambitious. 


1 cup of brown sugar 

1 egg

1 tablespoon of vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

Your favorite pastry dough (I use Martha Stewart’s food processor recipe) 

Roll out your dough, (use lots of flour) then use a cookie cutter or glass to cut a circle and put in your muffin pan. Mix up the brown sugar mixture then pour it into the pasty about 2/3 full. Bake it at 375 for 15 minutes. 

5. French toast

Use up your dry bread before it goes bad and make french toast if you have an egg and a bit of milk, a drop of vanilla, a pinch of salt and pepper to spare, use jelly if you don’t have syrup. Comfort food 101.