Not a Sunday goes by that Orval and Marge Pounders don’t have a houseful of after-church company at their Franklin County home.
It’s just their four children and their families, but all total, that’s 18 folks to feed, virtually every Sunday. Doesn’t that get a bit rough on the host and hostess?
“Not one bit,” Marge says. “We wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re a very ‘family-oriented’ family. Having everybody here is how we like it.” Cooking every week for that size a group does call for what Marge describes as “large amounts of each dish.” But to her and Orval, it’s no big deal; they’ve got cooking for a crowd down to an art.
And, yes, Orval does share the cooking duties with Marge. In fact, Marge insists that her husband is a better cook than she is.
This time of year, Sunday dinner at the Pounderses’ farm home in the Trapptown community often moves to the patio, where Orval grills chicken, ribs, or, more likely, steaks and burgers—since Orval is a cattleman and always has a freezer full of beef. No matter how delicious the main course and all the side dishes, everybody always leaves room for dessert. Golden-brown Fried Apple Pies, creamy Banana Pudding and irresistible Oatmeal Cookies are among the favorites. The Pounderses use sugar substitute in most of their desserts because Orval is a diabetic—but from all indications, that doesn’t bother the rest of the family one bit.
Orval and Marge both were widowed when they got married 17 years ago. In the years since, especially after Orval retired from the U.S. Farm Service Agency and Marge from her career with Home Interiors, they have done some big-time traveling. They’ve been to all 50 states and 650 miles down into Mexico, mostly with their fifth-wheel travel-trailer. Not surprisingly, at least one camping trip a year is a family affair, with the whole Sunday-dinner crowd taking off together.
With Orval and Marge in charge, you can bet those campers don’t have to live on beanie-weenies.
Here for your enjoyment are several of the Pounderses’ favorite recipes. If you don’t have to cook for as big a crowd as Orval and Marge, these recipes easily can be cut down to size.