If it is July in Dayton, that means hot weather, anxiety and anticipation about the fast-approaching new school year and time for the Scopes Festival. I am delighted to see the festival back in full swing this year along with the great play.! I have always felt Dayton could and should do more to capitalize on its unique history and legacy, and it sure looks as if we are moving in that direction more and more! This week I decided to have a little fun and focus on the trial that literally put Dayton on the map! To start things off I am including an excerpt about the Scopes Trial from the introduction in my cookbook Trial by Taste. And by the way, the book is available at The Gathering Place, the Herald office and from me directly.

Then, of course, there are some fun recipes this week! Stay in touch!

During the 1920’s many new fads and ideas of the so-called “Roaring Twenties” were sweeping the nation, and 1925 was no different except that the citizens of Dayton, Tennessee, went blithely about their business, serenely unaware that a storm the likes of which they had never seen, was about to hit their peacefully quiet little town and change it forever.

One bright April morning when the people of Dayton got up and began their daily routines, opening their shops, tending their animals and gossiping over back fences, most had no idea that the storm had already been brewing. The good people of Dayton had determined that the worldly ideas and teachings of the times not infiltrate the hearts and minds of its people, particularly its children. One such idea was the teaching of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. In February of 1925 a bill introduced by John Washington Butler was enacted which made it unlawful to teach in any state-funded school in Tennessee any theory which contradicted the story of Divine Creation as written in Genesis. Thinking that if Tennessee got by with this, other states would soon follow and pass similar laws, the American Civil Liberty Union offered to support and defend anyone willing to put the law to the test. So on that April day, as they sat at a table in F.E. Robinson’s drugstore, several Dayton businessmen, including Dayton attorney Sue Hicks (later immortalized in a song by Johnny Cash as The Boy Named Sue) decided to take the ACLU up on its offer, knowing full well attention would be focused on Dayton and that it would no doubt be good for business…. The rest, as they say, is history!

Bryan Bars From Doyle Argo

Richard’s Note: This really is the name of this recipe! Mr. Argo created this recipe when he was master chef at Bryan College, and they are incredibly delicious and are just as popular now as they were then! At Bryan these never tasted the same twice because Mr. Argo would typically use whatever cake he had left over with the icing trimmed off. Regardless of how it’s made, Bryan Bars are delicious! Mr. Argo was a prince of a guy and my friend, and I miss him. May his memory be eternal!

2 & 1/2 cups sugar

4 & 1/2 sticks butter or margarine

3 eggs well beaten

2 Tbs. vanilla

1 box vanilla wafers, crumbled coarse

1 yellow cake mix baked according to package directions, crumbled

6 oz. shredded coconut

10 oz. chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Fold in cookie and cake crumbles. Do not overmix! Pour into 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Gently mix in coconut and pecans. Bake 350°, until lightly brown, about 20 minutes.

Monkey Bread

This fun little treat takes its name from the back that one pinches off bite-sized pieces of it, much as a monkey would. How I loved this Monkey Bread after church on Sunday nights!

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tsp. cinnamon, divided

1 & 1/2 sticks margarine

1 cup sugar

3 cans biscuits (10 to a can)

In a bag put the two-third cup sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon. Cut the biscuits into quarters and toss in the bag with the cinnamon and sugar. Butter a Bundt pan and put the tossed biscuits into it. Sprinkle the pecans over the biscuits. Boil one cup sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, one and one-half sticks margarine. Boil and then let simmer until dissolved well. Pour over the biscuits and pecans. Bake 50 minutes at 325°. Turn out onto plate.

Publicity Cake

Perfect for summer cooking! It is easy, fast, and delicious!

1 box Butter Recipe Golden cake mix

1 can mandarin oranges, undrained

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil

Mix well and bake at 350 in 3—4 layers for 30 minutes or until tests done.


9 oz. Cool Whip

20 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained

1 box instant vanilla pudding

1/4 cup sugar

Mix and spread on cooled cake. Keep in the refrigerator.

Courthouse Casserole

Tip: This is a delicious way to use some of your zucchini and is different from most zucchini casseroles. Since this dish freezes well, make two and freeze one for another day when time is short!

2 small zucchini thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds very lean hamburger

1 6-oz. box of chicken Stove Top stuffing

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Cook zucchini, carrots, and onions in salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Brown the hamburger with salt and pepper. Prepare stuffing according to box directions. Spread half the meat in the bottom of a 3-quart casserole and top with half the stuffing mix. Combine zucchini mixture with soup and sour cream and pour over the stuffing. Add rest of meat and then top with remaining stuffing. Bake 45—60 minutes at 350. Freezes well.

Monkey Monkey Cake

First Layer:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter until fine. Press into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 400 for 12—15 minutes.

Second Layer:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 stick margarine

Beat until fluffy and spoon onto the cooked and cooled crust.

Third Layer:

Use 1 large can crushed pineapple, drained. Spoon onto creamed mixture and top with three sliced bananas.

Fourth Layer:

Blend one regular size Cool Whip and 1 prepared package Dream Whip. Spoon onto top of cake and top with ground nuts. Chill for several hours.

Procecution Rests Diabetic Pie

4 cups apples

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. butter

1 12-oz. can unsweetened frozen apple juice

1 Tbs. corn starch

2 pkg. Equal artificial sweetener

1 pastry shell

Cook apples, cinnamon, apple juice and corn starch for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Add the equal and put into the pie shell. Add 1 tsp. butter. Bake for 40 more minutes.

Jury’s Out Pie

5 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1 1/2 cups pecans, halved

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 325. Place eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat slightly. Add sugar, syrup, nuts, salt, and vanilla. Mix until blended. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Roarin’ Twenties Spare Ribs and Monkey Hips

Tip: Although this recipe is for in the oven, I think it could be easily adapted for the grill. Just use low indirect heat since the ribs are mostly cooked in the water, which also has the advantage of removing most of the fat!!! Also try boiling your ribs in rootbeer or Doctor Pepper-flavored water for a little extra flavor boost. A lady I know puts a good bit of soy sauce in her water and those ribs are wonderful!

4 lbs. country style spareribs


1 medium onion diced

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

1 cup Ketchup

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. mustard

1/4 cup vinegar

Boil ribs with water and salt and simmer 1 hour or until nearly done. Drain and place in 9 x 13 pan. Simmer sauce 20—30 minutes on the stove. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Baste ribs and bake for about one hour. Sauce may be used with chicken also.

Witness Cake

Crust Ingredients:

2 c graham cracker crumbs

¼ c sugar

1 stick butter, melted

Directions: Mix crust ingredients and press into bottom of 10-inch spring form pan and 1 inch up sides.


6 Tbs. fresh Key Lime juice

1 (1/4-oz) pkg. unflavored gelatin

2 1/2 c. heavy cream

10 1-oz. squares Baker’s premium white chocolate, chopped

6oz. white chocolate, shaved into curls

3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 c. sugar

1 1//2 Tbs. lime zest

Directions: Mix gelatin and lime juice. Bring ½ cup of heavy cream to simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add 10oz of white chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in gelatin and lime juice and allow to cool. Using an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese, sugar and lime zest. Slowly beat cooled white chocolate mixture into cream cheese mixture. Using clean, dry beaters, beat remaining 2 cups of heavy cream until it peaks. Fold into white chocolate mixture, then pour into crust. Cover and freeze overnight. Remove from freezer and run a sharp knife around inside of springform pan to loosen. Cover with the white chocolate curls. Cut into wedges with a knife that has been dipped into hot water.

Temperance Punch—NO WHISKEY HERE!!!

Perfect for hot July in Dayton day!

1 (12-oz.) can frozen orange juice, thawed slightly

1 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade, thawed slightly

1 (12-oz.) can frozen pineapple juice, thawed slightly

4 c. Orange Juice

4 c. Lemonade

2 (33.8-oz) bottles ginger ale, chilled

Directions: Mix frozen juices with orange juice and lemonade. Pour into one or two large containers and freeze. Thaw slightly 2 hours before serving. Place frozen juice mixture in punch bowl and pour ginger ale, stirring. Serve as slushy mixture with ice crystals. Yield: 40 1/2-cup servings.

Defense Attorney Cobbler


4 c. fresh blackberries or 24 oz. frozen

1/2 c. sugar

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. butter

Directions: Toss berries, sugar and flour and place in an ungreased 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle berries with lemon juice and dot with butter; set aside.


2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 c. heavy cream, whipped

1 Tbs. sugar

Directions: In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Gently fold cream into flour mixture. Place dough on floured board and knead for 1 minute. Roll dough to 1/2 -inch thickness. Cut into lattice strips or place the entire sheet of dough on cobbler. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes then reduce heat to 325°. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 8 servings

Bryan Blackberry Roll


1 package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

2 c. sugar

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

5 cups fresh blackberries

1/4 to 1/2 c. butter

2 Tbs. sugar

Directions: Roll out thawed puff pastry dough to form a thin rectangular crust. Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together 2 cups of sugar and flour in a small mixing bowl. Sprinkle over berries, making sure all are evenly coated. Spread half of berry mixture to within 2 inches of dough edges. Dot with half of butter. Roll up jellyroll style. Either fold edges under or pinch to seal. Carefully place on a greased baking dish. Repeat this procedure with remaining dough and berries. Cut several slits on top of each roll. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Gospel Bird Salad

Someone once asked why chicken is called “Gospel Bird.” It’s because it has fed more preachers than any other thing!


2 c. chopped cooked chicken

2 c. chopped celery

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1 c. salad dressing

1/2 t. salt

2 Tbs. lemon juice

2 Tbs, minced onion

1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese

1 c. potato chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Combine chicken, celery, pecans, salad dressing, salt, lemon juice and onions. Pour into greased casserole dish. Mix cheese and chips and sprinkle over casserole. Bake 10-15 minutes until heated thoroughly. Yield: 6-8 servings

End of Trial SUNDAES

6 unfrosted brownies (about 3-inches square)

3 cups Vanilla Ice Cream, softened

1 (21-oz) can cherry pie filling

Whipped Cream, toasted pecans and chocolate sauce for garnish

Directions: Place brownies on individual serving plates. Top each brownie with a scoop of ice cream and cherry pie filling. Garnish with whipped cream, pecans and chocolate sauce. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.