July 30, 2008
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Arrange remaining raspberries and chocolate shavings
on top of pie. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Yield: 8 servings.