Family Recipe Friday – a Sampling

In 1940, Grandma Blanche (Wilson) Montgomery wrote to her sister Mildred in Winner, South Dakota. Part of the letter is missing, but it includes another enclosed letter and recipes from a Mrs. Dickinson:

Sandwich Spread (cucumber)
Peel 14 large cucumbers, 3 red peppers, 3 green peppers. Take 1 qt onions, grind all in food chopper. Add ¾ cup salt. Drain over night. In the morning add 1 pint vinegar, ¾ cup sugar, 3T. flour, 1 t ground mustard, ½ cup butter and 4 well beaten eggs.
Cook well and add 1 cup sweet cream, 1 t celery seed, 1 t mustard seed. Cook and seal while hot.

Sandwich Spread (Tomato)
Grind enough green tomatoes to make a pint (without the juice); grind 2 green peppers and 2 red peppers. Mix the ground tomatoes and peppers and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and after a few minutes drain off juice. Put in kettle with ½ cup water and boil until tender. Add ½ doz. sweet pickles (ground) to the tomatoes and peppers and keep hot until the following dressing is prepared: 1 c sugar, 2 T flour, 2 T prepared mustard, ½ cup vinegar, 1 cup sour cream, 3 eggs, well beaten. Let come to a boil, stirring all the time. Then pour over the tomato and pepper mixture, stirring just enough to mix well. Seal while hot.

Tomato catsup
1 peck tomatoes
1 pint vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 “ allspice
½ “ cloves
1 “ salt
½ “ black pepper
Boil the tomatoes and rub through a find colander. Add the rest of the ingredients and boil until thick as desired. Seal hot.

(A little cornstarch thickening added to tomato pulp for catsup makes much more & keeps as well.)

Tomato Catsup
1 peck ripe tomatoes
¼ cup salt
½ pound sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 “ ground mace
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 “ ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon “ cloves
1 quart vinegar

Wash, cut up, cook and strain tomatoes. Add other ingredients and boil until the right consistence. Seal.

[the following recipes apparently in a different hand:]

Sweet Green Tomato Pickles

Slice the tomatoes and soak overnight in salted water that has been poured over them boiling hot.
In the morning drain and add 2 pound of sugar (brown or white) to each peck of tomatoes, and enough vingar to cover them. Add a few mixed spices. If you like a “hot” flavor a few green or red pepper my be added. Boil slowly until tender; can and seal while hot.

Green tomato Pickles

Pick small, green tomatoes. Boil in salt water until tender, “but not mushy,” boil just a few at a time, do not crowd. Drain in a colander, then when they are cool enough to handle stick 3 whole cloves in each tomato and place them in a earthen crock. Boil the following syrup. One part vinegar and 8 part of sugar till real thick pour over the tomatoes boiling hot and let stand over night. In the moring reheat to boiling point and seal.
Grand is no name for these
Happy, South, Dakota

Chili Sauce.
24 large tomatoes (ripe)
5 onions
1 qt vinegar
1 ½ c sugar
1 T ginger, cloves & cinnamon
1 T. salt, dash of cayenne pepper and one small pepper (red or green.)
Chop tomatoes, onions & pepper fine and cook over a slow fire until it is thick. Seal while hot.

(We like this on meat.)

Another even older recipe (not technically genealogical) is one I bought at an antique store years ago:

Excellent Cookies

6 eggs 3 cups of butter and lard mixed. 3 cups of Sugar 1 cup of thick butter milk 1 rounding teaspoonfull of Soda. 1 heaping teaspoonfull of baking powder 1 nutmeg Salt. mix very Soft and bake in a quick oven.

Aug 28th 1900
Mrs. Amanda Ground

Finally, one of the most prized of my 1092 cookbooks (that’s another story) is not technically a cookbook at all, but a tattered three-ringer binder with a red fruit-patterned cover, titled “My Recipes.”  This binder belonged to my other grandmother, Velma (Swing) Hoffmann, and bears the characteristic evidence of her repairs: blue electrical tape on the spine. The binder doesn’t bear a copyright date, but I suspect Grandma bought it early in her marriage: least some one of the recipe booklets it contains dates to 1938.

Most of the recipes included were cut from newspapers, booklets, and magazines, but a number are handwritten.  The following is one which is famous in the family – Aunt Leona (Grandma’s sister-in-law) was well-known for her baking and hospitality toward visiting nieces (and great-nieces):

Rhubarb Dessert (Leona)

1 bar butter
1 C. flour
5 tbsp. powdered sugar

Mix together & press into pie or cake pan, 8×8. Bake 15 min. at 350°. 

2 C. rhubarb, cut up
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten.

Pour over first crust. Bake at 350° – 35 minutes or until set.

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