From Guilty of Entertaining in the First Degree
1 lb whole fresh mushrooms
1 C. Finely ground, dry garlic toast
1 C. Beef Bouillon
1/2 C. Velveeta cheese
Salt & Pepper
1/2 C. Finely chopped onion
1/2 C. finely chopped mushroom stems
Clean and remove stems of mushrooms, setting aside caps. In small saucepan, mix bouillon on medium heat with cheese to melt. Add onion stems, salt, and pepper. Gradually add garlic toast crumbs, making a paste. Spoon into mushroom caps, heaping the filling. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Test Kitchen Notes
I substituted finely ground dry garlic toast for Italian bread crumbs, and added a few minced garlic cloves into the mix. The end result was tasty, but a little dry. I will be making this recipe again, but adding in some oil or butter to the mushroom caps, and potentially topping them with melted cheese. The stuffing mixture was fantastic, and we found ourselves eating the leftovers that didn't make into mushroom caps with a spoon.
Guilty of Entertaining in the First Degree was published in 1979 by the Saginaw County Lawyers Auxiliary – or what was then known as the Lawyers’ Wives of Saginaw County Michigan. The introduction notes:
“The purpose of the book is twofold, primarily, we wish to raise funds to continue our support of law-related services in the Saginaw County community. Such services which we have been associated with in the past include: Youth Protective Services, Child Receiving Home, Underground Railroad, and Boysville. Secondly, there has been a demand among our own membership for some of the recipes of the delicious dishes prepared and served by our members at our annual brunch, smorgasbord and benefit cocktail parties.”
It seems the first edition was a success because a second edition with all new recipes was issued in 1993. Although we do not have a copy of the second edition, the Saginaw News article announcing its publication suggests that eating habits had evolved and noted: “Wholesome hors d’oeuvres don’t have to look or taste like “healthy” food, however. With a little planning your holiday nibbles can be low in fat if that’s what you want.” (A not too subtle hint - If one of our readers has a copy of the 1993 edition of Guilty of Entertaining in the First Degree that they are willing to donate, the Castle Museum would like to have a copy for the collection.)
The organization supported a variety of causes with the funds from the cookbook sales and other fundraising activities. “The Saginaw County Lawyers Auxiliary (SCLA), established in 1955, is the largest local auxiliary in the state. The SCLA conducts courthouse tours for students in grades 5–12, presents a $500 scholarship to college students studying law-related curricula, and hosts several social events each year. Its members participate in Law Day activities, high-school mock trials and billboard contests, the “Constitution in Every Fifth Grader’s Pocket” program, lawyer-mentored law-related education projects for middle schools, and elementary-school poster and coloring contests. The SCLA and the Saginaw County Bar Association have joint activities including talent night, a holiday party, and a couple’s event. The SCLA’s main fundraiser is a wreath and poinsettia sale that raises approximately $3,000 annually, with proceeds presented to law-related organizations in the community. The SCLA is also setting up a fund at the Saginaw Community Foundation for an endowed scholarship.” (‘Michigan Lawyers Auxiliary: 1956 -2011,” Michigan Bar Journal, November 2011, https://www.michbar.org/file/journal/pdf/pdf4article1946.pdf)