Sunday, October 16, 2016

Old Cookbooks

Old Cookbooks
I have a love affair with old cookbooks. I can find myself lost
in the recipes. I read the old ads, remembering what it is like
to buy everything at one store, not the malls of today, but
little country stores, where you could buy coffee, tea, sugar,
flour, spices, and a pair of overalls to cover your rear. I remember
the two and three story ones from my childhood.
I went to the flea market yesterday and found a treasure,
an old cookbook, 1931, Dungannon Community Cook Book
 from VA. I have really enjoyed looking over the old recipes,
love it when it reads to "use some lard the size of a hen's egg". 

I read the recipes, remembering as the hog was butched, how
we scraped the hair off after it was immersed in a drum of boiling
water, how the head was saved to make head cheese, and the
rendering of the lard,and the love of fresh cracklins and cornbread.
Pages of memories open to me as I read them.

"Scald one-half pint of  sweet milk", and I remember the old cow,
Bessie. She loved to switch my face with her tail, and a time or
two, I got kicked in the ear. I remember grandpa squirting a stream
of milk towards the cats, as they meowed loudly, each wanting a
lick of milk.

"Cream butter till fluffy" and I can picture grandma sitting on a stool,
the old butter churn beside, up and down with the paddles, until the
tiny golden dots began to appear, and soon, there was sweet, churned
butter, and buttermilk to drink. The butter was put into wood butter molds
so it would look pretty. Memories, down memory lane I go.

"Stone the dates".....or break a tooth, reminds me of cleaning the beans,
and when we would string almost dry beans for leather britches, I can
remember the little spiders that would pop out and run across grandma's
floor, giving me shivers, and her laughing at me. Where has time gone?
How many years has grandma been gone now? Memories, still alive, remind
me of her, and if I close my eyes and breathe deep, I can smell her lilac
perfume. She is always close, as close as I breathe. Her love always remains
around me.

"Everything is level measure"....."For measuring, use a cup larger than
ordinary size such as a glass goblet". There aren't many of them around these
days, but I still have about a dozen ice tea goblets found at garage sales,
their big bowls and frosted grapes on the outsides. Old timey tea glasses.
I remember the homemade sun tea with fresh mint or fresh lemon slices.
I remember grandma standing on top of the hill, we lived at the bottom
of the hill, and she would wave the teapot back and forth, time to climb up
to the top of the hill and have tea and biscuits with grandma.

"Do not stop folding the egg whites in until the cake is at the oven door"
Priceless advice, "Get the cake in the oven at once and do not open the
oven door for 20 minutes, and do not jar the stove". Sage advice from
the years past speak to me. I delight in the writings, knowing the love
special ladies have passed down from years ago. How precious they seem
to me, caring, loving , great cooks, teaching, helping, measuring, and baking.

"Line pie tins with pastry" many of us still love the old cooking utensils
and pans of the past. Some of my old pie tins have names of by-gone
products embossed on them. I love the old things. Cooking from "scratch"
used to be a way of life. You had to grow your own food, have your own
gardens, grow your own livestock, or have a hunter in the family.

There is a recipe in the book from THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON,DC.
It is for Spaghetti Croquettes.....the recipe from Mrs. Herbert Hoover.
I laugh to myself, as I have saved recipes myself from Mrs. Jimmy Carter,
Hillary Clinton,(and even Ann Landers). They have to be good, look at
the prestige from these recipes, they were used in THE WHITE HOUSE !

"These pickles will never wither or become white or pithy". I read the
recipes for cucumbers with a smile. "Wash carefully without removing
the prickles". I definitely want a pickle with a prickle, and I remember
trying to grow gherkins, and what a disaster that was !

Who knew, a cook book could bring such a flood of memories. We cook
on our stoves, gas, butane, electric,wood, we are all kinswomen with
heart, cooking and sharing our recipes to the next generation, wanting
the best only for our friends and family.
And I end this little story with
my favorite quote.....'You can sprinkle it with sugar and bake it in the
oven with love, but a cow pie is still manure". My deceased Uncle
Arthur Leo acturally covered a cow pie with icing, and sent it to the
neighbor's daughter, Annie Papcun, on her birthday. Talk about a
feud ! My poor grandmother never could understand why Mrs. Papcun
threw it over the fence back at her. My mother still laughs about it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mustard Pickled Eggs

Amish Horseradish Mustard Pickled Eggs (Holly Curry)
12 hard boiled eggs...
1 thinly sliced medium sweet onion

Mustard Pickling:
4 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. mustard seed
2 tsp. turmeric – OPTIONAL (enhances color) or a few drops of yellow food coloring
1 heaping tbsp. prepared horseradish
Combine above ingredients in a medium saucepan and
bring to a boil (except onions). Simmer for 10 minutes and remove
from heat to cool.
Place hard boiled eggs and sliced
onions in lidded jar/container.
Pour mustard pickling mixture over eggs and onions.
Place in refrigerator for 10-14 days.
Give a swish every day to make sure everything is