Quaker Haven Chef Steve Wilson (R) and staffer Jenny Shutters consult an early edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook and test dishes they will serve for “Christmas on the Air,” a dinner theater event by Lakes Area Players coming in December.
Quaker Haven Chef Steve Wilson (R) and staffer Jenny Shutters consult an early edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook and test dishes they will serve for “Christmas on the Air,” a dinner theater event by Lakes Area Players coming in December.
SYRACUSE — With a menu reminiscent of ‘50s-style holiday dining, the Quaker Haven chef staff are helping Lakes Area Players provide a dinner theater experience in the upcoming “Christmas on the Air” production.

Quaker Haven Chef Steve Wilson says to expect hearty fare with lots of flavor at the annual musical theater event, slated for 7 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Quaker Haven Camp dining hall, 111 EMS D16 Lane, Syracuse.

Jell-O molds, deviled eggs and crudités are just a few items planned, along with some entrees inspired by the classic ‘50s edition of The Betty Crocker cookbook, according to Wilson. “We have enjoyed researching recipes that have stood the test of time,” he explained. “Classics like a good pot roast, glazed ham and baked cod were standbys back a few decades and are still enjoyed today.”

Wilson has worked at Quaker Haven for six years and has the official title of food services director. Assisting him in the kitchen is a new hire, Jenny Shutters, and together they will be preparing a feast for those who attend Lakes Area Players’ annual Christmas dinner theater event.

Lakes Area Players is a non-denominational, nonprofit, Christian community theater group that offers theater events at Christmas and Easter on the Quaker Haven grounds.

“We have a wonderful partnership with the Quaker Haven staff, and are excited about the new menu, script and music for the Christmas season,” said LAP director Elaine Pearson. “Our heartwarming show will remind you of a simpler time when radio was in its glory days, and (the audience) will love the uplifting message that highlights the true meaning of Christmas.”

Space for the dinner theater event is limited. Tickets are $20 per person, $13 for children 12 and under. Call 574-834-4193 for more information.

Below are a few of Wilson’s holiday recipes:



Cheesy Fish Sauce

1 cup sour cream

½ cup Parmesan, Asiago, Romano or Bleu cheese

¼ cup melted butter

½ reaspoon pepper



Mix all ingredients together and slather on any firm white fish, preferably cod. Cook at 375 until cheese browns and fish flakes with a fork. Carefully drain excess liquid to avoid spilling.



Roasted Winter Root Vegetables

3 pounds each rutabaga, parsnips and carrots (Peel and cut into 2½ inch pieces; boil separately till tender, about 5 minutes.)

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste



Toss vegetables with oil, salt and basil, then spread onto baking sheets. Roast in oven till tender and golden brown at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

This is colorful, simple and delicious. Because we don’t eat a variety of root vegetables, this will impress your in-laws with almost no actual cooking skill re-quired.



Quaker Haven

Roll Dough

Fresh rolls are always welcome, but can be intimidating to make. This recipe eliminates a lot of the finesse required for most recipes and is very flexible.

Mix the first three ingredients using a whisk or fork but in a large mixer with a dough hook:

2¾ cups hot tap water (85 to 100 degrees)

¾ cup sugar

2½ tablespoons dry yeast



Let it rest till nice and bubbly (3 to 5 minutes). While it is resting, prepare the next three ingredients:

6 cups high-gluten flour

¼ cup corn or vegetable oil

3 fresh eggs



Mix till all ingredients are combined and smooth (about a minute.)

Let it rest again for five minutes while you gather the other two items:

2¼ teaspoons salt

4 cups high-gluten flour



Let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes till nice and smooth and no longer sticky. Use a cookie scooper No. 30 to make your rolls or make rolls a little larger than a golf ball.

Place smoothed rolls on greased cookie sheets, brush with melted butter and let rise till double in size (about an hour).

Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or till golden brown on top.

Brush them with more butter after they bake.