My Darkest Secret (a confession by Sandra Weinhardt)

     Updated 14 March 1998. URL is

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If you love someone, don’t feed ’em

what will make the Reaper weed ’em.

Otto Food Pages:

  • A springtime fruit salad
  • Healthy Cream Soups
  • Spectacular and easy Darkest Secret cake recipe

  • A kicky chicken sandwich
  • Liver and Onions Club on another page

  • Purdue Dinner Series on another page too.

  • Amazing new cook book and other food links

    . Trust us, that book really is different.

My Springtime Fruit Salad


  • red apples, any amount

  • yellow apples and or green apples, any amount

  • bananas, sliced and added at the very last moment

  • fresh pineapple (this is the secret of your success)

  • orange sections (preferably seedless, you know)

  • dark seedless grapes (or green if you prefer)

  • 1 can of pitted dark sweet pitted cherries, drained and pitless

    (Did I mention you don’t want pits? Believe me.)

  • 1 jar of spiced apple rings, cut up

    (you can soak the bananas in the juice overnight)

  • 1 lg. can of spiced peaches, pitted and cut into chunks

    (this is the can you bought for a winter feast but forgot to serve)

  • In the winter, I add sliced kiwifruit and cheramoyas (star fruit?) just for garnish.

Don’t add any of those little marshmallows. They get all gunky.

One good thing is that this keeps. It keeps even better without the bananas. You can make enormous quantities and serve it every day. Nobody doesn’t like this, so serve it with Sara Lee muffins. Low-fat blueberry muffins. Or serve it with a side dish of itself.

Coming soon: my pasta salad.

Go back to the food pages contents

Mix together:

  • 1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk

  • 1T. dried onion flakes

  • 2 T. cornstarch

  • 2 T. chicken bouillion powder (what’s the vegetarian substitute for this?)

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper.

Store in airtight container. To make soup, add 2 C. cold water to mix in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat til thickened.

To make the flavoring, add main ingredient as soup thickens, and heat for a few minutes more. Thin with water or thicken with dried milk powder.

Change seasoning and make berry soup.

I guess the main ingredient could be whatever we want. We could add broccoli or mushrooms or chopped celery or —– whatever. Cooked carrots? Tomatoes? Asparagus. Cauliflower? Cabbage? Who knows. Might need to whiz it in the blender.

I was so please to find this recipe in a Heloise column one day. She is the greatest at saving us money.

Go back to the food pages contents

This cake breaks every rule in my cooking ethos.


  • 1 box chocolate cake mix. Pillsbury’s pudding-added cake is good.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1 more egg (besides those for the cake)

  • 1 Cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Grease and flour either

  • a cookie sheet with sides

  • or a 9 X 13 inch cake pan.

Prepare cake as directed on box. Use real eggs and actual butter. (Just this once. Do it.)

Cream the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Add the egg and cream until smooth. Fold the chocolate chips into this topping.

Spoon the topping onto the cake batter, making it as even as you can. It will sink in as it bakes. You did preheat the oven, right? Bake cookie sheet cake for 40 minutes, or bake the 9 X 13 cake for 50 minutes.

Even if you didn’t eat the cake, your house will smell so good you might gain weight from it.

Pat Wade heard this recipe on a cooking show from WIBC, 1070 AM, Indianapolis, Indiana. She pulled off the road to write it down. Thanks, Pat! The woman who called the recipe in said it had been her sister’s pride. After her sister died, the lady’s brother-in-law gave the recipe to her. There are cakes and cakes, but nothing like My Darkest Secret.

Go back to the food pages contents

The Memorial Day feeding frenzy was over, time had passed and the 500 Mile Race had not been run. (Rain.) Relatives and guests had departed. There were lots of intriguing leftovers.

In a reckless mood, I threw together

  • 1/2 a barbecued chicken breast

    (if vegetarian, substitute marinated cucumber or portobello mushrooms)

  • sprouts

  • no fat bean dip

  • romaine lettuce

  • no-fat Miracle Whip (trademark)

  • two slices of Brownberry 12-Grain bread

  • with a garnish of pickled carrots and blue-corn chips.

Okay, it does look ordinary on "paper," but it had a lot of zip and texture, and tasted great. Just an idea….

Go back to the food pages contents

The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead.

Mary Anne Kelly, author extrordinaire, wrote in FOXGLOVE, her sequel to Park Lane South, Queens, "The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead." Think about it.

Foxglove by Mary Anne Kelly, "A Thomas Dunne Book", St. Martin’s Press. New York, ©1992, ISBN 0-312-08195-2, hb.

Other Food Pages

Randy Wilson deserves a Food Nobel Prize

Look at this amazing new site for a bit, and you’ll want to do something equally kind for humanity. It all started when Randy Wilson’s wife had TMJ surgery. "By the way," added the surgeon after the fact, "you can’t chew anything for six months."

Whoa! Is that any way to start a recovery? Well, and here’s the odd part, it was Randy himself who wanted his wife to enjoy food with the rest of the family, so HE began to develop healthy recipes with no chewing involved. Now he has over 200 worthy of this book.

When he sent me a letter about it, I thought it was a prank letter. But I took a look, and I’m here to tell ya, this is the stuff! So go see Randy Wilson’s No Chew Cookbook, and please, please, tell you dentist and your local cancer society, and your doctor, and your friends…..

More food links:

  • Jennie’s Food Guide gives you light-hearted ideas for places to go in Boston and New York.

  • The Oneida Indian Nation sends us a gift from the Oneida People, the Three Sisters Cookbook. Do you know the legend of the Three Sisters? It is most interesting.

  • Did you want to read our strange page on liver

  • How about our page on the Purdue dinner series
  • We were truly honored to receive a serious award for this page. The Hall family sponsors the Chefcool award. It’s based on serious ratings. In a food mood, please visit Chefcool

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    The opinions expressed by the writers in Our Tentative Times do not represent the opinions of the sponsors, advertisers, publisher, man in the street, the peacock lobby, pundits, chickens, researchers, graduate students, Those Legendary Shack Shakers, tuna fishermen, drugstore cowboys or any governmental, educational. fraternal, patriotic or recreational organization. They are just the writers’ opinions.

    Would you like to contact Otto’s publisher? Write to Terry Miller, email

    Speed your corrections and comments to me, Sandra Weinhardt,

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