|"Come sit in the
swing under the shade tree and let me tell you of days
MAKING FROM SCRATCH...OLD TIME RECIPES
Written by a woman that has lived all of this! Paula Howard Thompson,[email protected] native of Weakley Co., Tennessee has graciously agreed to share her knowledge of the old time ways our ancestors lived by. Thanks so much, Paula!
Note: These stories remain property of Paula Thompson and may not be reproduced or used in any publication without her written approval and endorsement.
This is a 1937 wood stove taken from pictures of the wood stoves were copies from a recipe book that came with a new wood stove that was purchased for our family. (Watch this site for more pictures of earlier wood stoves to be added!) A wood stove was a god send to pioneer women, this meant that they could quit cooking their meals over an open fire, using kettles to cook their meals in no matter if it was 100 degrees in the shade or 40 below zero. By the turn of the century most rural homes had a wood stove, of course the city folk had them much earlier. I would like to take just a minute here to mention some of the parts of the wood stove such as the Fire Box, the Reservoir, Pressure Water Heater, Warming Closet, Chimneys. These are just some of the names of things found on wood stoves. The Warming Closet was a very poplar place, after a meal the left overs such as meat and biscuits or any kind of bread was covered and set up on the warming closet and as you got hungry during the day you could drop by and get yourself a bit to eat. Now it is on to the recipes that I promised in the "Hog Killing Story". All these recipes are from my family or close neighbors and friends. My grandmother, Mama Jones to me, my mama nor me go right by a recipe, we just simply cook from scratch, but we all collected and I got them to write recipes so I would never forget them. So on to the promised.
|HOMEMADE SAUSAGE||HOG-KILLING CAKE||CHOCOLATE AND/OR COCONUT PIE||PICKLED PIG'S FEET|
|HEAD CHEESE||STUFFED BEEF HEART||PORK HEARTS CASSEROLE||STEWED KIDNEYS|
|BRAISED FRESH TONGUE||SPICED SMOKED TONGUE||SWEETBREADS AND BRAINS||HASH|
|CORN LIGHT BREAD||OLD FASHION ROLLS||HOMEMADE BISCUITS (MY WAY)||BUCKWHEAT CAKES|
|WILTED LETTUCE||PIE CRUST||FRIED PIES||SMOKEHOUSE PICKLES|
|CHUNK PICKLES||BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES||PEACH PICKLES||RIPE TOMATO CATSUP|
|CANNED GREEN TOMATOES||FRIED RABBIT||RABBIT STEW||SQUABS|
|GAME BIRDS||ROAST WILD DUCK||DRAWN BUTTER||CANNED SAUERKRAUT (MY OWN RECIPE)|
1 gal fresh meat ; 5 teaspoons salt ; 5 teaspoons sage; 1 teaspoon hot pepper; 2 teaspoons black pepper
Note: If you want hot sausage, use 2 teaspoons hot pepper and 1 teaspoon cayenne peppers. Grind all together and place in sausage sacks.
Now let me tell you, this was the basic recipe but when nobody was looking I always added a little here and there, that is why I had so many fried up that we could eat them for dinner (remember mid day meal) I seasoned them to my own taste. I didn't go into detail about grinding in the "HOG KILLING " story so I'll take a minute here and tell you about that. A "Sausage Mill" was what we used, this was a grinder (hand of course) attached to a board or it could be attached as you needed it to a board. No electrical help here, all hand turning and grinding, if you have ever seen hamburg meat ground in the grocery store it looks a whole lot like that except it is a bigger grind. Of course and it doesn't say so in the recipe but you have to have enough fat in with the lean meat to make the sausage fry itself.
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1 box all butter cake mix; 1 can mandarin oranges with juice; 4 eggs; 1/4 c.oil; 1 c black walnuts
Icing: 1/2 stick butter or margarine;1 (8 oz.) cream cheese;1 small can pineapple, drain well;1 box powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients for cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool. Mix butter or margarine, cream cheese, pineapple and powdered sugar. Spread on cake.
Now I know you are thinking, they didn't have box cake mixes in the old days! Well the recipe was modified to fit in the 1950s or 1960s......the old way was to make a butter cake with lots of fresh country eggs and use the oranges or whatever was available and whatever nuts that you had on hand.
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CHOCOLATE AND/OR COCONUT PIE
For coconut pie: 2 cups coconut; For chocolate pie: 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
2 cans pet milk; equal amount of sweet milk; 3 c. sugar; 8 eggs, separated; 3 heaping tablespoons; cornstarch; 1 stick oleo or butter; pinch of salt; 2 teaspoons of vanilla
Mix dry ingredients well. Add pet milk and butter. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well. Cook over medium heat until thick. Add vanilla. Divide into half. In on half of mixture, add 1 cup of coconut and spread 1 cup of coconut on top of meringue. Brown in oven. For other half of mixture, add cocoa to very little hot water to melt cocoa, then add to mixture. Beat egg whites and put 1/2 on one pie, 1/2 on other pie and add coconut to top of coconut pie. Brown both in oven.
Okay before you start on me about my English and being repetitious about the meringues, hear me out. This recipe was handed down through the women of my family, word by mouth, nothing written down. I asked my mama, Beauton "Boots" Jones Howard to write the recipe down for me so I would never forget it. This is exactly the way she wrote it down and I would not change one word of it, I don't care how repetitious it may be. I make these pies still today, in fact made them for Thanksgiving and they were eat so fast I didn't even get a bit of either one! Of course you could make 2 coconut or 2 chocolate but never did she, nor do I make them this way. Always one of each!
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PICKLED PIG'S FEET
Cut off horny parts of feet and toes, scrape clean and wash thoroughly, singe off stray hairs, place in kettle with plenty of water, boil, skim, pour off water and add fresh. Boil until bones will pull out easily. Do not bone, but pack in stone jar with pepper and salt sprinkled between each layer: cover with cider vinegar. When wanted for table, take out sufficient quantity, put in hot skillet, add more vinegar, salt and pepper if needed, boil until thoroughly heated, stir in smooth thickening of flour and water, and boil until flour is cooked. Serve hot as a nice breakfast dish. Or, when feet have boiled until perfectly tender, remove bones and pack in stone jar as above: slice down cold, when wanted for use. Let liquor in which feet are boiled stand over night; in morning remove fat and prepare and preserve for use.
Well now what you think about this one? Me, I always ran and hide when the pickled pig's feet came out of hiding, I couldn't stand the sight of them. Now don't get excited, the liquor is the pot liquor. All old timers and I still do call any broth, pot liquor as in turnip greens, etc. My theory has always been drink the pot liquor and throw whatever you are cooking away! I like pot liquor of almost anything, especially turnips and greens beans. Just how would you like to look at pickled pig's feet for BREAKFAST? I may be old fashion but i still don't want feet in any form or fashion!
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Having thoroughly cleaned a hog's or pig's head, split it in tow, take out eyes and brain; clean ears, throw scalding water over head and ears, then scrape them well. When very clean, put in kettle with water to cover, and set over rather quick fire; skim as any scum rises; when boiled so that flesh leaves bones take from water with skimmer into large wooden bowl or tray; then take out every particle of bone, chop meat fine, season to taste with salt and pepper (a little pounded sage may be added), spread cloth over colander, put meat in, fold cloth closely over it, lay weight on it so that it may press whole surface equally (if lean use a heavy weight, if fat, a lighter one); when cold take off weight, remove from colander and place in crock. May add vinegar in proportion of one pint to a gallon crock. Clarify fat from cloth, colander and liquor from the pot and use for frying. This can also be canned.
I know I pretty well told you how to do this in the "HOG KILLING" story but this is the written down version from the family so this is my story and I am going to include it. My family was big into this stuff, I couldn't stand it either!
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STUFFED BEEF HEART
Wash, remove veins and clotted blood from beef heart and drop into boiling salted water. Simmer until nearly tender. Drain and stuff with this dressing:
3 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs; 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 cup boiling water ; 3/4 cup finely cut celery; 1 tablespoon poultry seasonings; 1/2 cup minced onion; 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; 1/2 cup melted butter or other fat.
Stew up stuffed heart, roll in seasoned flour, brown in 2 tablespoons of fat. Place in small deep pan, cover with boiling water or stock in which heart was cooked, bake slowly (covered) for about 1/2 hour. Serve with gravy made from thickened stock. Tomato sauce is good with heart. In this case, use canned tomatoes instead of other liquid. If you think I ever ate this, well you have another thought coming! My grandmother, Mama Jones and my Mama would cook this concoction and I would run for the creek or fishing hole or away I went on my bicycle. No Heart or such for this country gal!
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PORK HEARTS CASSEROLE
Slice hearts thin, and across meat grain; roll in flour, sauté with a little chopped onion in hot bacon fat; place in casserole with 1 cup water or stock; add any desired herbs and a chopped pimiento; season with salt and pepper. Cover, cook until tender, about 1 to 2 hours in moderate oven. When almost done, drop biscuit dough over meat and bake until brown and done through.
I just packed me some lunch and off to swing on grapevines in the woods.....I got to hid out till all this heart business is gone!
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2 pork or 2 beef or 2 veal kidneys; Red pepper; 6 onions minced (2 cups); Black pepper; Salt; Butter; Flour; Remove gristle from kidneys and cut them into 1/2 inch squares. Add onions and cover with boiling water. Stew gently for 2 hours. Cool. Add seasoning and cook 1 hour longer. Make gravy with stock, allowing 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour to a cup of liquid. If kidneys are old, soak first in cold water several hours. Vegetables may be added to kidneys during last hour of cooking as for other stews. Carrots, celery, green pepper and tomato are especially tasty.
Shhhhhhhh. Since this one has to be stewed, I am going to let "STEW" have it and I am going to ride my bike down to Miss Jennie's and Miss Allie's and get me something to eat. (Watch for that story)!
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BRAISED FRESH TONGUE
Place tongue, pork or beef, in boiling water and simmer one hour. Skin, remove roots and place on dripping rack in roasting pan. Dice 2 cups vegetables, carrots, turnips, onion, celery, etc., add 4 cups water, heated, in which tongue was boiled and pour around tongue. Cover pan closely. Bake tongue in slow oven until tender (about 2 hours for a large one). Remove tongue and place on platter. Strain vegetables and arrange around it. Thicken stock with flour or serve with Raisin Sauce, or with tomato sauce made by adding tomato puree or canned soup to stock. Prepare calf tongue same but bake only 30 minutes. This is for any smaller size tongue.
Now look I have had about enough of this fresh meat! I want some pork chops, fried tatters, butter beans and corn with a big piece of cornbread but we still have the smoked tongue, sweetbreads to go! Miss Allie and Miss Jennie is taking care of me so I won't starve. Thank goodness!!!!
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SPICED SMOKED TONGUE
Wash tongue and if salty, soak in cold water over night. Place in kettle with 1 teaspoon each pepper and cloves, a few bay leaves and 1 sliced onion. Let simmer slowly until tender, for 3 to 5 hours, or until the skin curls back. then remove from brine, pull off outer skin, cut off root and let cool in brine. May be sliced cold or served hot. Serve with horseradish or horseradish sauce.
It's almost over, but of course I could give you the recipe for Braised Liver, Pan-Fried Liver, Liver Baked in Sour Cream, Liver Dumplings and about 100 more of these ukie recipes but I won't bore you any longer and get down to some GOOD cooking!!!!
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SWEETBREADS AND BRAINS
Both sweetbreads and brains receive the same preliminary treatment, and although brains are generally "looked down upon" in comparison to the luxurious sweetbreads, they may be served in the same ways and will taste very similar. Soak either sweetbreads or brains 1 hour in cold water after removing membranes and arteries. Simmer 20 minutes in salted water with 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each quart. Vegetables suitable for soup may be added. Plunge in cold water and drain, reserving stock
BROILED SWEETBREADS OR BRAINS: Cut prepared sweetbreads or brains in halves or slices. Brush with melted butter. Cook about 5 minutes on greased broiler, turning to brown both sides. Serve with Melted Butter and Lemon Sauce.
CREAMED SWEETBREADS: Cut prepared sweetbreads in small cubes. Reheat in white sauce. Delicious combined with cooked mushrooms, chicken, oysters, celery or peas. Serve in patty shells or on toast.
SCRAMBLED EGGS AND BRAINS: Break prepared brains in small pieces. Put in skillet in which 1 tablespoon butter has been melted with 4 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons milk. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir constantly until set.
FRIED BRAINS OR SWEETBREADS: Break prepared brains or sweetbreads in 1 inch pieces. Dip in egg and crumbs or in batter. Fry in shallow or deep fat to golden brown, Serve with slices of lemon, tomato sauce or catsup or ripe tomato catsup.
Thanks goodness that is over with! Now I can eat at home. Mama is always ready to call the doctor for a house call. She don't think I am eating. Miss Jennie and Miss Allie took care of that one!!! Now on to bigger and better things to eat.....
HASH (Old Time)
To each cup chopped cold cooked fresh meat, mix 2 cups chopped cold boiled potatoes: season with salt and pepper; moisten with water, milk or stock. For each cup hash, melt 1 tablespoon fat in frying pan, put in hash, and cook slowly for about 20 minutes, occasionally shaking pan to prevent sticking; may be moistened to suit. If green pepper, onions or celery are used, chop fine, and add 1/2 cup with potatoes. For Spanish hash, moisten with tomato pulp. Hash may also be baked in moderate oven, covered with buttered bread crumbs and grated cheese, or covered with topping of mashed potatoes.
Now let me tell you one thing, this is some good stuff! Finally I get something out of these hogs that I like to eat. I might even carry Miss Jennie and Miss Allie some of this since they have been taking such good care of me.
CORN LIGHT BREAD #1
Scald 1 cup meal in 2 cups boiling water. Add: 1 1/2 cups sweet milk; 1 cup plain meal; 1 cup plain flour; 1 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle 1 cup meal over the top of batter and let stand over night. Be sure the batter is bubbly and a little sour before mixing. Next morning add: 1 cup sugar; 3 Tablespoons Shortening; 1 teaspoon soda Bake in a loaf pan. Note: If recipe is started too late at night or room temperature is cool, the mixture won't ferment to bake early the next morning.
This is ok but I like just fried cornbread better. Mama Jones could fry the best cornbread you ever put in your mouth.
CORN LIGHT BREAD #2
On the night before bread-baking time heat 1 1/2 cups water and make into a mush with 1/2 cup of meal. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water; let cool, then add another 1/2 cup water in which is dissolved 1/2 cake dry yeast. Add meal to make a thick mush, cover with dry meal 1/4 inch thick, put top on container, and let rise overnight. Next morning add to the dough 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 teaspoon soda, 4 tablespoons shortening, 1 tablespoon salt, a scant 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons sorghum molasses and 1/2 cup flour. Bake in greased and floured pan 1 hour in slow oven. The batter should be as thin as muffin batter.
Now this recipe is my favorite of the two, they are almost alike but this one taste better to me. I really like the fried cornbread better.
2 cups cornmeal (self rising);l cup buttermilk; 1 egg. Mix the above together and have batter sort of thin. Heat a flat iron skillet. Pour out like pancakes and fry on one side and then turn it over and fry on the other side.
Now I am here to tell you, this is good. It goes the best with wilted lettuce. Mama Jones and me could eat our weight in wilted lettuce and fried cornbread! Wish I had some right now!
Gather your fresh leaf lettuce from the garden. Gather your fresh green onions from the garden. Wash lettuce and onions and let drain good. Fry up quite a bit of bacon, save the bacon grease. Cut up lettuce by holding and cutting across making it like a long string, cut up green onions using some of the blades, into lettuce. Crumble you bacon into this mixture. Salt and Pepper to taste, mix all good. Get your bacon grease HOT and pour over your green mixture.
Now if you haven't ever had wilted lettuce, you just don't know what you have missed in life. That is some fine eat'n. Mama Jones and I always made our selves sick every spring on this. Mama would fuss at us but we would fry us up some cornbread and wilt that lettuce and eat till our bellies drug the ground! I make it today with the fresh leaf lettuce that you can buy in the grocery stores, not as good but it will do.
Melt fresh churned butter and brown slightly. Add lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Now you want something tasty just try this. Mama would fix this to put on fresh homemade bread and how good it would taste. Now get the old churn out and churn up some real butter and try it!
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I have talked about Miss Jennie and Miss Allie in the recipes so to keep you from wondering about these two fine ladies are I am going to tell you just what they meant to me as a child. Now Miss Jennie and Miss Allie was sisters-in-law. Miss Allie was a sister to Miss Jennie's husband. Of course you know we lived in the country on a dirt, then gravel road. Now picture this there is crossroads, Miss Allie lived on the right in the crossroads, go up the hill and Miss Jennie lived on the left, then go over and down the next hill and we lived on the right. You have got to have that picture in mind to appreciated this kid and her bike that I am going to tell you about.
I never to this day have had a new bicycle. Mama and Daddy brought home a used bicycle, bought at the Western Auto and of course it was a Western Flyer but very used, when I was about 6 years old. I was scared of it and wouldn't even think about getting on that thing! Mama jumped on the bicycle and took off down the road towards Miss Jennie and Miss Allie's. Daddy and Mama Jones was standing in the yard with me, I started squalling my head off because I thought Mama was leaving home on that blame bicycle. Now you got to understand why I didn't want the bicycle to start with, it was a bribe! Mama put an ad on the swat shop and sold my baby bed!!! I was still sleeping in that bed (6 years old and had started school). You should have seen me when the woman came to buy my baby bed, I had a fit! I wanted my baby bed, but I got an iron bedstead in Mama Jones's room instead! I was upset! Mama came back shortly and they tried every way possible to get me on that bicycle, no way I wanted my baby bed! I slept in that new (about 100 years old at the time) bed that night and it wasn't too bad but I missed my baby bed. Well I guess Mamas and Daddys and Mama Joneses are smarter than little 6 year old girls, the next day one of them asked me if I wanted to ride my new (old as the hills) bicycle down to Miss Jennie and Miss Allie's but NO further. Well now, I thought I was big to get to go down the road by myself so on that baby bed oh no bicycle (still missing it) and away I went, fell off a couple of times but when I got to the top of the hill and looked back there stood Daddy with his arm around Mama and Mama Jones holding Mama's hand. Over the hill I went.
I stopped at Miss Jennie's first (I bett yo' Mama called her, of course all we had was the old timey phone that was in a wooden box with a handle to ring somebody and a place to talk into, our ring was a long and a short) and knocked on the door. Miss Jennie came to the door with a great big smile on her face (she was Mama's brother's wife's mother) and said come on in, I have got a left over biscuit and piece of bacon you can have. Well a smile came on my face then. I ate the biscuit and bacon, cold grease and all. I think it was the best I ever had. I thanked Miss Jennie and was on my way to Miss Allie's, wonder if she was going to feed me too?
Down the hill I started to Miss Allies and had a wreck, skint my knees and the palms of my hands awful! I limped on to Miss Allie's and left that bicycle right where I went flying off it! I knocked on the door (sure she had been called also), took one look at me and grinned real big. I started crying. Miss Allie cleaned me up and asked me if I was hungry? Now what would you say? Of course I was hungry, I got another biscuit and a sausage this time. Well I stayed a little longer and done the right thing and thanked her.
I walked back to where that dang old bicycle laid in the middle of the road, picked it up, walked it to the top of the hill, got on it and went home. Mama, Daddy and Mama Jones was still in that yard waiting on me, but they had created a monster! I was six years old, remember?
That day started a trend in my life that went on until I was almost grown. Each morning when I would start out the last thing Mama would say "Don't you go down to Miss Jennies or Miss Allies and eat anything" (of course I had breakfast at home already). Well I headed straight to Miss Jennies, had whatever she already had laid out for me to eat and drink. Always thanked her and was off to Miss Allies to see what I had there. Thanked her, got back on my best friend now and headed back to Miss Jennies to visit and then back to Miss Allies. Back and forth all day long, remember at this time, 6 years old, I could only go to the crossroads. By the time I was 7, I could go up to Rella's house, pass the crossroads straight to next house, well you guessed it, yep I added another but not on my regular schedule (she was not as good a cook, shhhh don't tell anybody).
By the time I turned 8 years old I was meeting my cousin Patsy Jones half way from her house to mine, that was about 4 miles. The days of Paula and Patsy will come. I always got the spanking and she got nothing, except our first day of school! Another day another story!
Written by Paula (pj) Howard Thompson; cp1998pjThompson; A Native of Weakley County, Tennessee; December 10, 1998
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