Denfeld News

July 30, 2008
Duluth News Tribune

Recipes from the Radio
Simple foods for families were Joyce Lamont's hallmark
By Candace Renalls

It's the voice that people remember most.

Rich, smooth and soothing, the voice of former Duluthian Joyce Lamont was perfect for radio. During her more than 50 years on Twin Cities radio, Lamont was part of people's daily lives as she shared recipes, household hints and told them what was happening in the community.

The lone woman radio broadcaster on WCCO radio during its heyday in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Lamont was the reassuring voice that saw baby boomers off to school in the morning, workers off to their jobs and supplied housewives with plenty of recipes and household hints. With the slogan "Good Neighbor to the Northwest" and a powerful AM signal, WCCO was heard in Duluth and throughout much of the Midwest.

The tried-and-true Midwestern recipes Lamont dispensed on-air -- gleaned from a variety of sources -- were sent to as many as 10,000 people who requested the monthly packages.

From those thousands of recipes, 300 were selected for Joyce Lamont's Favorite Minnesota Recipes & Radio Memories by Lamont and Linda Larsen. The new nostalgic cookbook, recently published by Voyageur Press, features Lamont's best recipes from the 1960s and 1970s.

In the book's introduction written by Lamont, now 92, she describes why she opted for simple comfort food:

"Gourmet recipes are wonderful, but many of us are simply too busy for complicated recipes. We need nourishing recipes that can be made quickly and easily; that's where these recipes come from."

Along with the homestyle Midwestern recipes are plenty of black-and-white pictures of Lamont's time on the radio. We see Lamont as the only woman in WCCO's team of 25 on-air personalities in a 1960s promotional picture. We see her interviewing a farm wife in a root cellar in the 1960s and working with the likes of radio personalities Howard Viken and Roger Erikson.

Born in North Dakota, the daughter of a doctor, Lamont's family moved to Duluth when she was a teenager. She graduated from Denfeld High School in 1933 and attended Duluth Junior College before her family moved to Minneapolis, where she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and journalism.

She became an on-air broadcaster purely by accident. While working at WCCO radio as a script and ad writer in 1950, she was asked to read a couple of lines on air because a woman's voice was needed and no other woman was in the office. Her voice was perfect for radio. Soon, she was recruited for on-air segments that led to the popular "Morning Program." There she served as the on-air home economist despite the fact that she had little time to cook herself.

Lamont remained with WCCO radio until 1989, when she moved to KLBB radio. She worked there until her retirement in 1992. She was inducted into the Minnesota Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.


The Recipes

In the 1950s and 1960s, when fewer women worked, ladies would regularly gather for club, church and other luncheons. Old-fashioned chicken salad was often served, along with homemade rolls. This classic recipe for creamy chicken salad and the recipes that follow appear in Joyce Lamont's Favorite Minnesota Recipes & Radio
Memories.

Chicken Salad with Green Grapes

3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup green grapes
1 cup red grapes
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup lemon yogurt
1/2 cup mango chutney
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salad greens

Combine chicken, celery, grapes and pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine. Beat cream until stiff peaks form and stir in mayonnaise, yogurt, chutney, onion, lemon juice and salt. Fold dressing into the chicken mixture, cover, and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving on salad greens.

Yield: 6 servings.

For those looking for a new (or more accurately, old) way to prepare freshly caught fish from Minnesota's lakes, Joyce Lamont shared this recipe for fish fillets that she describes as rich, delicious and excellent. Serve it with roasted asparagus and a fruit salad, the authors suggest.

Fish with Sour Cream

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
6 fish fillets
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Dip fillets in the flour mixture to coat both sides.

Coat a shallow baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Arrange coated fish in the dish. Pour milk over the fish. Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until fish is tender.

Remove fish from oven and increase oven to 450 degrees.

In small bowl, combine bread crumbs with 1/4 cup melted butter and mix to coat.

Carefully remove most of the milk from the dish, using a turkey baster or a large spoon. Then spread sour cream over each fillet and top with buttered bread crumbs and parsley. Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until bread crumbs are browned. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings.

In the 1970s, raspberries weren't available year-round as they are now, so raspberry pie was a very special summertime treat. This one has a creamy filling, with the raspberries and jam creating swirls of color.

Fresh Raspberry Pie

1-1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped coconut
24 large marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup dark chocolate shavings

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, butter and coconut and mix well. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crust is set and coconut is lightly browned. Cool completely.

In microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue microwaving at 1-minute intervals, stirring after each, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside.

In small bowl, combine cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into marshmallow mixture. Carefully fold in 2 cups raspberries, then add jam and fold together just to marble. Pour into cooled pie crust.

Arrange remaining raspberries and chocolate shavings on top of pie. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Yield: 8 servings.

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