There’s an adage that if you want something done, ask a busy person.

Apparently that’s true because when Texas City’s Hospice Care Team Inc. began planning a cookbook to celebrate their 30th anniversary, their volunteers and staff stepped up with new recipes for everything from soup to squash pickles.

“The Hospice Care Team 30th 

Anniversary Cookbook” crew managed to compile the cookbook without taking time away from their primary purpose of providing hope, help and comfort to individuals diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and providing support to their families. More than 85 volunteers supplement the medical staff serving Galveston, Brazoria and southern Harris counties.

“The volunteers can help with things like walking the dog, picking up medicine or doing laundry, but mainly we’re there to listen,” volunteer Barbara Watson said.

Watson, who has been a hospice volunteer for 24 years, contributed six recipes to the cookbook project.

One of her favorites, for Vanilla Wafer Pecan Cake, was carried over from Hospice Care Team’s 20th anniversary cookbook.

“It’s a very easy cake to make, and it’s also good for breakfast,” she said.

Another longtime volunteer, Bertha Nelson, also contributed half a dozen recipes. Her No-bake Orange Balls have been a popular item on many occasions.

“Belonging to church groups and other organizations, I’ve entertained a lot, and these were always enjoyed,” Nelson said. “It’s a no-fail recipe that anyone can make.”

Nelson has been a Hospice Care Team volunteer for 19 years, serving as a Patient Care Volunteer and as a bereavement volunteer.

“It’s just part of me now,” she said. “The patients greet you so warmly. They’re so glad to see you.”

Because the Hospice Care Team serves a wide range of individuals and families, the cookbook features an equally broad range of recipes that reflect the many experiences and interests that the Hospice Care Team staff and volunteers bring to their mission.

In addition to the local flavors of seafood, barbecue and Mexican-inspired dishes, the cookbook includes Cajun specialties such as jambalaya, Italian appetizers and African peanut soup.

One of the more unusual recipes included is for Pickled Radishes, which accent the radish’s natural bite with Japanese seasonings. Similar to the pickled ginger served with sushi, the pickled radishes make an interesting addition to salads or relish trays, especially since they develop a vivid pink color.

The cookbook also features a recipe for Tropical Salsa, a colorful combination of fruit and vegetables with visual appeal seconded by zingy taste. The tropics, represented by pineapple, avocado and mango, meet the backyard garden staples of tomatoes, bell pepper and onion in one of the cookbook’s many outstanding recipes.

“Right now, the cookbook is available on line at our website, hospicecareteam.org, or by calling our office at 409-938-0070,” Hospice Care Team Executive Director Deborah Perryman said.

“We’re hoping that local merchants will begin carrying them soon, but we’re happy to ship phone or email orders at no extra shipping charge beyond the $30 cost of the cookbook.”

More information on ordering the cookbook or becoming a Hospice Care Team volunteer is available at hospicecareteam.org.

Tropical Salsa

  • 1 ripe mango, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup purple onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 11⁄2 teaspoon fresh jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup lime juice
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight. Serve with blue corn chips.

(SOURCE: Recipe from the “Hospice Care Team Inc. 30th Anniversary Cookbook”)

Pickled Radishes

MAKES: 1 pint

  • 1 6-ounce package round red radishes, trimmed and washed
  • 1⁄2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Put the radishes in a pint jar and set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 21⁄2 minutes or until boiling.

Pour the hot mixture over the radishes. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to a week.

(SOURCE: Recipe from the “Hospice Care Team Inc. 30th Anniversary Cookbook”)

No-bake Orange Balls

MAKES: 4-5 dozen

1 pound vanilla wafers, crushed

1 pound powdered sugar

1 stick butter, melted

6 ounces frozen orange juice, thawed and undiluted

3⁄4 cup coconut or chopped nuts

Mix together the first four ingredients.

Using a tablespoonful of dough, roll into small balls, then roll in the coconut or chopped nuts.

NOTE: If the dough is hard to work with, chill it for 30 minutes before rolling.

(SOURCE: Recipe from the “Hospice Care Team Inc. 30th Anniversary Cookbook”)

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