Questions of the week — Readers ask about Trump, filings and old recipes

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The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers:


Q: Does a federal indictment prevent Donald Trump from running for president?

A: No. As explained by the Associated Press, “neither the indictment itself nor a conviction would prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.


Q: With next year being an election year, when will local individuals be able to start filing for candidacy to local offices that up in 2024?

A: Locals can start filing their candidacies for offices in December, for the 2024 election cycle.


Q: When was the last time a president of the United States was neither a Republican nor a Democrat?

A: Millard Fillmore, a member of the Whig party, was the 13th president of the United States (1850-1853) and he was the last president to be not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.


Q: Thank you for providing the latest population figures for York and surrounding counties. That’s good information to put out there, to see that our county is actually not declining in population. That’s a positive thing. My question is what is the smallest county in the state, based on population?

A: Blaine County has 346 residents. Also small are Arthur with 472 residents; McPherson with 475 residents; and Thomas with 562 residents.


Q: I know Randy Obermier is the chairman of the York County Commissioners. Who is the vice-chairman?

A: The vice-chairman of the York County Commissioners is Daniel Grotz.


Q: My grandma used to make this summer dessert she called an “ice box cake.” It had graham crackers in it and it was such a treat for us kids when we would go there to visit. Can you find an old fashioned recipe (I know you have a lot of old cookbooks, as you have referenced in your columns) for this type of dessert? I’d love to make it for my grandkids – and I figured that if you found one in an old church cookbook, it would likely be really similar.

A: We found this one in an old church cookbook from the 1960s – so hopefully it’s just like the one you remember.

Ingredients: 2 packages of vanilla instant pudding, 2 ½ cups of whole milk, 2 cups of whipping cream, 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 16-ounce package of graham crackers, 16 ounces of chocolate frosting, 1 cup toasted pecans

Blend the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Refrigerate.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled pudding mixture.

Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Do not crumble the crackers, leave them whole. You can fill in gaps with crackers broken in half if necessary.

Spoon half the pudding mixture over the crackers and spread evenly.

Repeat the process by placing another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Finish up by placing graham crackers as the final top layer.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to set slightly.

In a small bowl, whip the remaining ½ cup cream and stir it into the chocolate frosting. Spread the mixture on top of the cake up to the edges of the pan.

Sprinkle with the toasted nuts.

Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least six hours.

Slice and serve.

Ice box cakes keep great in the freezer. Just wrap tightly first.


Q: I have one more recipe question. I was at a potluck dinner many, many years ago, during the summer when everyone has so much zucchini. A lady there brought this wonderful dish made with zucchini that was like lasagna roll-ups, but there was zucchini in it instead of pasta. I never got the recipe and wondered if you could find one for me. 

A: We found a recipe for zucchini lasagna roll-ups, in a recipe book from the community of Osceola.

Take two large zucchini and cut lengthwise into eight slices (length-wise, planks) about ¼ inch thick. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil on both sides of the zucchini planks, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini on the hot grill and cook for about two minutes on each side until the zucchini is soft and pliable. Remove from the grill and cool until they can be handled.

Then make the filling. Mix together (in a blender is preferred) 8 ounces of ricotta cheese, 4 ounces of cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Blend it all together and then pour into a bowl. Refrigerate the mixture for 30-60 minutes.

Then it’s time to assemble.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spray an 11×7-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread a ¼ cup of marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish.

Blot any excess liquid off the cooled planks of zucchini with paper towels. Spoon about a tablespoon of the ricotta filling onto one side of the zucchini and spread it into an even layer. Roll up the zucchini and place them seam side down in the casserole dish. Top the zucchini rolls with marinara sauce (about ¾ cup) and shredded mozzarella cheese (about half a cup). Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.







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