Cheryl’s Cuisine: January 2018

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

One of the most rewarding things I’ve been doing since retirement is volunteering in the kitchen at  Corpus Christi, Church West Pittston, where my brother, Msgr. John Sempa, is pastor.    

soupFor years, I’ve been helping in the parish kitchen for brunches and the annual picnic in June, however, this past fall the Social Concerns Committee started a Soup Ministry. Once a month a group of volunteers meets to help  prepare 40 quarts of soup for the home bound of the parish.

We meet on a Thursday  when we peel, chop, and prepare  the soup.  The next day we skim the soup and pack it in quart containers. The soup and baked goodies, which are made by parishoners and requested through the church  bulletin, are delivered on Saturday by members of the Social Concerns Committee.  

The event has become so successful that my brother felt I should do a column on it to give other parishes the opportunity to start a Soup Ministry during these winter months.  Yes, it took a bit to judge amounts for 40 quarts of soup, however, the church has 40 homebound members, so it was a “must.”

We began this ministry in October with our Chicken Noodle Soup.  We boil the noodles and pack them separately.  November offered Beef Vegetable Soup, and December, Ham and Cabbage with Potato Soup. The volunteers who help in the kitchen are always bringing new ideas for new soups…a family’s treasured recipe for Tuscan  Bean  Soup is on our agenda.  All of us leave on Friday feeling such satisfaction that we have done something meaningful for those unable to venture out.

To give you an idea of ingredients, for the Chicken Noodle Soup we used  whole chickens, carrots, celery, onions, garlic,  parsley and seasonings.  We opted for small pasta such as ditalini, so it would be easy for the homebound to ingest. We cut beef chuck roast into small chunks for the Beef Vegetable Soup and sauteed it before adding vegetables, which included canned tomatoes.  We used orzo for this soup.  The Ham and Cabbage Soup is a recipe my Polish grandmother used to make.  You can use half of a ham, shredded cabbage, chunked potatoes and cans of baked beans.  Each has its own cooking time, but those are the ingredients.  

Winter, and especially this frigid winter, is a great time for soup.  As a matter of fact, this week I made Sausage Tortellini Soup for my husband.  This is also a great dish. We both like meat, so  I made sure to use plenty. Here is the recipe:

Sausage Tortellini Soup:

tortellini1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
4 cans College Inn Chicken Broth
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 large can Italian peeled tomatoes, chunked
1 pkg. frozen tortellini, cooked al dente

Saute’ sausage in large soup pot until brown.  Add chopped garlic.  Cook a few minutes, but do not brown garlic.   Add chicken broth and  tomatoes.  Let simmer together about 30 minutes.

Cook tortellini separately, according to package directions. Drain. Put a heaping spoonful of tortellini in soup bowl and ladle soup on top.   

NOTE: Taste for seasoning.  I did not have to add any salt or pepper due to using both Italian sausages and canned broth.  It was perfect.  


 Now for a few more of my favorite soups:

Hungarian Mushroom Soup:

2 Tbsp. butter
mushrooms2 cups chopped onion
1 lb. mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh minced dill
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1  1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1/2-1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute’ onion in 2 Tbsp. butter for 20 minutes or until soft.  Add mushrooms, dill, soy sauce, and paprika.  Stir.  Add just enough of the chicken stock to barely cover the vegetables.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  

Make a roux:  In saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter, then whisk in flour.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes, then add the milk.  Stirring constantly, cook this until the roux has thickened.

Pour into the soup and blend.  Add more stock if needed.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  


squashMaple Butternut Bisque:

3 oz. butter
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups canned butternut squash or fresh, cooked and mashed
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup

Melt butter and saute’ onion until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes.  Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly.  Add chicken stock and squash.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.  

Season with cayenne pepper and salt.  Add cream and maple syrup and blend well.  Let simmer a few minutes longer.  Taste for seasoning. 


parsnips-3Sherried Parsnip Soup:

4 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 Tbsp. minced parsley

Melt the butter and saute’ parsnips, carrots and onions for about 20 minutes or until soft. Add just enough chicken stock to cover, and simmer another 30 minutes.  Puree’ vegetables in blender, immersion blender, or food processor.  

Return to stove and reheat, adding cream and rest of chicken stock.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add sherry just before serving.  Sprinkle with parsley.


Tomato Cognac Soup:

1535530401 large Spanish onion
3 oz. butter
3 lbs. canned, peeled plum tomatoes
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 pt. heavy cream
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
5 Tbsp. cognac
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion and saute’ in butter for 20 minutes until soft and translucent but not brown. Squash tomatoes with your hands and add them with all the liquid in the can to the onion.  Add basil and stir.  Bring soup to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Set aside and cool slightly.  

Puree’ soup in processor or use immersion blender.  In small saucepan, heat cream with brown sugar, whisking often.  Pour this mixture into soup.  Reheat, but do not boil.  Just before serving, add cognac and season with salt and pepper.

Dunmoreans of the Year: 2017-2018 Dunmore Bucks Football Team


Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

Congratulations to the 2017 Dunmore Bucks football team, our Dunmoreans of the Year.

Dunmore, led by veteran head football coach Jack Henzes, won the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III title and fourth consecutive District 2 Class 2A crown.

Dunmore finished the season 14-1 after losing to eventual state champion Southern Columbia in the semifinals.

The 14 wins tied for the most in team history.

The 14-win season was the fourth in Dunmore’s history.

And the 14-win unbeaten streak was the longest in team’s history, beating the 1985 Eastern Conference team that finished 13-0.

Only the Valley View Cougars, which won 15 games in its state title run in 1992, won more games in a single season.

Jerry Longo and Michael Muracco are both members of four straight District 2 championship winning teams — a run that began in 2014 for the Bucks.

The icing on the cake came late last month when Shoemaker, a two-way starting lineman, was presented the prestigious Fiore Cesare Award and Scholarship. The Scranton Chapter of Football Officials and Peoples Bank Security presented the standout senior with the award at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.

Shoemaker is the fourth Dunmore player to win the award, joining Brett Trichilo, Miller Holmes and Michael Perry.

Shoemaker also earned All Region honors and his second berth on the Class 2A all-state team. He will continue his playing career at Monmouth University.

Dunmore’s Jerry Longo, Shoemaker, Stevs Borgia, Darcy and Nate Fangio were all named to the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III Coaches’ All-Star first team offense.

Dunmore’s George Mesko, Luke Yanisko, Shoemaker, Fangio and Borgia made first team defense.

Cristian Buckley rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries in Dunmore’s 35-6 win over Newport in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs. Darcy fired a 59-yard touchdown pass to Fangio in the win.

Dunmore moved its record to 14-0, with a 23-20 win over Ligonier Valley in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal at Hershey. The win tied the school record for consecutive wins in a season.

Darcy completed 5-of-10 passes in the win. He tossed 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah O’Malley.

Dunmore’s Kyle Harrity made the key play in the game when he blocked a punt for a safety giving the Bucks a 16-14 lead five minutes into the third quarter.

The Bucks then scored off the free kick, with Buckley cutting up the middle after a cut to the right for a 24-yard touchdown jaunt.

It was a football season the town of Dunmore will never forget.

The full team roster is as follows: Sean Pietruszkiewica, Mark Rinaldi, Luke Yanisko, Noah O’Malley, Thomas Lewis, Greg McDade, George Mesko, Caleb Kilmer, Steve Borgia, Gavin Darcy, Nate Fangio, Nick Stanco, Cristian Buckley, Joe Talutto, Charles Valvano, Billy Donvito, Kyle Harrity, Alex Reese, Frank Damiano, Jake Kalinowski, Tyler Summa, Anthony Santarsiero, Anthony Golden, Pat Donvito, Alec Yanisko, Louis LaCapra, Patrick Burke, Jake Sawka, Nick Shoemaker, Rocco LaCapro, Anthony Kashmer, Jerry Longo, Bobby McMynne, Seamus Cadden, Michael Muracco, Kris Patel, Mike Gianetta, Tyler Overholtz and Colby DeSando.

Calendar of Events: January 2018

marywoodWinter Concert at Marywood:

Marywood University will host the Wyoming Seminary Civic Orchestra winter concert on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m., in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts. The performance will be conducted by Rick Hoffenberg, D.M.A., associate professor of choral conducting at Marywood University, and it will feature Greg Hulse, lecturer in the music, theatre, and dance department and alumnus of Marywood University.

Mr. Hulse will be the featured soloist in Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto. The program will also feature three other orchestral pieces composed during World War II: two movements from Khachaturian’s ballet Gayane, Martinu’s Memorial to Lidice, and Copland’s popular ballet Rodeo.

For additional information, email Dr. Rick Hoffenberg, at, or call the music, theatre, and dance department at Marywood University, at (570) 348-6268.

Little MermaidCrimson Company to Present “The Little Mermaid”

Dunmore High School Crimson Company will present Disney’s The Little Mermaid for two weekends in March at the High School Auditorium, 300 West Warren Street. Tickets will be $12 for adults; $10 for students/seniors, and $5 for children under five.

Performances will be on March 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23 and 24 with curtain at 7 p.m. each evening and a matinee performance on Sunday, March 18, at 1 p.m.

Disenchanted: A New Musical Comedy

Phoenix Performing Arts Centre will present Disenchanted: A New Musical Comedy Jan. 12 to 21 with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at Phoenix Performing Arts Centre, 409 Main St., Duryea. Tickets are $12 and available by reservation at (570) 457-3589. Lee LaChette is director.

The show features 10 fairy princesses telling their tale after the Happily Ever After. Cinderella is obsessed with weight; Sleeping Beauty with narcolepsy; Snow White is demanding, and Mulan is a lesbian. Parental discretion is advised as there is adult humor and some language. The company is celebrating its 10th year in the 2018 as well as a new grand opening in March.

LCRA ShiverFest

Calendar of Events - River FestOn Saturday, January 13, 2018, only the toughest of the toughest will paddle the river and revelers will fill the banks of the Lackawanna River. A day of exercise and fun, ShiverFest draws the community outdoors during the cold winter to celebrate the valley and the river that runs through it.

This “Extreme Kayak & Canoe Race” will travel approximately 2.7 miles of the Lackawanna River in Scranton from Parker Street Landing to Sweeney’s Beach. Paddlers who are willing to brave the winter on the River should have their own vessel and wet-suit. Launch is High Noon. Entry fee is $30 per person & includes the “Thaw Party”.

The Race will be followed by a “Thaw Party” at the Backyard Ale House from 1 to 4 p.m. The paddlers, revelers and the general public are invited to join in! Entry to the “Thaw Party” is $20 per person & includes food, beverages, music and education.