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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meat - Meatball Platter

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup minced onions
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper

Combine and shape in 3" balls (about 14).  Place in covered pan for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Drain off drippings.

Combine 1 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Pour over meatballs and bake another 20 minutes uncovered.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Salad - 24-Hour Cabbage Salad

1 pkg gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup salad oil
6 - 8 cups shredded cabbage
1 onion grated
2 green peppers (optional)

Combine gelatin and cold water.  Heat vinegar and sugar together until sugar is dissolved.  Add seasonings and softened gelatin.  Let cool to the thickness of cream and then beat in the salad oil.

Combine the vegetables and toss with enough dressing to moisten.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.  Vegetables will stay crisp.

Makes 16 servings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pickles - Dill Pickles

Soak cucumbers in clear cold water overnight.  In the morning lay on towel to dry.  Then, pack into glass jars with dill.  Place a grape leaf on top if you'd like.

Make a brine of 3 quarts of water and 1 cup salt.  Boil

Add 1 pint of vinegar and 1/2 tsp powdered alum.  Pour hot brine over pickles and seal.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bread - Zucchini Bread

Grate 2 cups zucchini and drain for 1/2 hour

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup nutmeats or raisins
3 cups flour

Combine all ingredients.  Add grated zucchini before the 3 cups of flour.  Makes 2 large loaves.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hours.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sauce - Carrot Jam

Grind 9 medium-sized carrots.  Soak in cold water for 1 hour.  Drain and cook in boiling water until tender.  Drain off all water.  For every cup of carrots add 1 cup sugar, 1 lemon sliced thin (including juice) and 1 orange.  Cook slowly for about 20 minutes until clear.

This is delicious with meat at meal time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pickles - Chunk Pickles

Soak 7 lbs of whole pickles in strong brine (1 cup salt and 5 cups of water) for 48 hours.  Then soak them in fresh water for 48 hours.  Cut them in chunks and simmer for 2 hours in weak vinegar (1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar) enough to cover and to which a piece of alum has been added.  (I use white vinegar for all pickling.)

Drain.  Place in jars and pour the following boiled syrup over pickles.

3 pints vinegar
3 lbs sugar
1 oz cloves, 1 oz cinnamon stick, and 1 oz celery seed (tied in a spice bag)

Reheat syrup for 4 mornings and each time cover the pickles with the boiling syrup.  On the fourth morning, seal the jars after pouring the hot solution over the pickles.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wine - Beet Wine

8 lbs peeled beets
1 lb raisins
6 lbs sugar
1/2 dozen oranges (sliced)
1 cake fresh yeast

Boil 8 lbs of peeled beets.  Add 3 quarts of water.  Boil until beets are done.  Add enough water to make 6 quarts.  Put in a crock.

Add raisins, sugar orange slices, and yeast.  Mix and stir daily for 7 or 8 days or until mixture is done working.

Strain and bottle.  Leave caps loose.

Casserole - Luncheon Rice

3 carrots (diced)
1 large onion (diced)
3 stalks celery (diced)
1 lb ground beef
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Place in greased casserole and pour 1 can of diced tomatoes over the top and bakd 2 hours at 300 degrees.

Bread - Apple Orange Nut Loaf

2 large oranges
1 cup seedless raisins
2 cups canned apple sauce
4 cups sifted flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (if you don't like 'em, leave 'em out)
2 eggs (beaten)
6 Tbsp melted butter

Squeeze juice from oranges.  Using medium blade, put rind of 1/2 orange and raisins through food chopper.  Add orange juice, rind and raisins to apple sauce.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and slat; add apple sauce mixture and nuts.  Mix thoroughly.

Add eggs and melted butter or margarine; stir until thoroughly blended.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, 9 x 5 x 3".  Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.  The bread will slice better if allowed to stand 12 hours.  Makes 2 loaves.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Craft - A Christmas Tree made of Toothpicks

There are so many treasures to be found in my grandma's recipe collection.  The following newspaper clipping from January 1963 is one of many I've discovered.  I've scanned the image to share.  Simply retyping this article and not including the photo would not have done justice.  I wish there were a color photo available.  I'll bet this tree was quite a site when it was finished.  


Since this is difficult to read, the text follows:

Christmas is 11 months away, but if you plan to take on a project like that of the lady shown above, you better get an early start.

Mrs. James Hamm of Bethlehem, PA designed and built a 6 foot high Christmas tree out of toothpicks and styrofoam.  She used 50,000 colored toothpicks and 400 miniature colored lights, plus hundreds of tiny red ornaments.  

Mrs. Hamm built the tree on a 33" square styrofoam base, using chicken wire to attach ornaments and help support the tree.  She inserted the toothpicks in 2 sizes of styrofoam balls - 190 per small one and 270 in the larger size.  She then sprayed them with green paint, which also helped hold the toothpicks in place.  

She  strung the lights by weaving them among the toothpicks so as to hide the cord.  The balls were then attached to the chicken wire frame for support.  

Mrs. Hamm built the tree in her basement workshop and sprayed it with artificial snow.  She built it in 3 sections to make it easy to assemble, disassemble and store until next Christmas.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dessert - Cranberry Fruit Compote

1 can (1 lb 14 oz)  peach halves
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
dash salt
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 3" sticks of cinnamon
5 whole cloves
1/4 tsp grated orange rind

Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup syrup.  Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Stir in cranberry juice, reserved syrup, spices and orange rind.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove spices and pour over peaches.  Chill.

Sauce - Cranberry Jells

1 lb (4 cups) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
confectioners sugar

Combine cranberries and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop, about 10 minutes.  Add granulated sugar and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until mixture becomes thick.  Strain or put through a food mill.

Meanwhile, combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water; let stand five minutes.  Add gelatin to hot cranberry mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Pour into an 8" pan.  Cool, then chill until firm.  Cut into 1" squares and roll in confections' sugar.  Spread out on tray and chill for 24 hours.  Roll again in confectioners' sugar.  Chll.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dessert - Baked Plum Pudding

This recipe came from a newspaper clipping - Iowa Rural Electric News dated December 1964.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
6 eggs
1 cup chopped dates
14 cup finely chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup light raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup orange juice

Cream sugar and butter.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Plump dry, hard currants and raisins in hot water.  Pat dry between paper towels and combine with other fruits, candied rinds and nuts.  Sift flour and spices together and stir into fruits.

Fold bread crumbs and orange juice into the sugar - butter - egg mixture and finally, fold floured fruits into the batter.  Mix well, but gently.  Pour batter into buttered and lightly floured 2-quart ring mold.  It will about fill the pan but it doesn't matter because this kind of cake does not rise much.

Bake 50 - 60 minutes at 250 degrees or until tester comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack a few minutes before turning out.  When cold, wrap in foil to store in refrigerator or freezer.  Serve plum pudding warm and top with Hard Sauce (the recipe is below).

Dessert - Hard Sauce

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk

Cream butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  It if seems too thick to spoon nicely over the pudding, thin with a little milk.  Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meat - Sausage

For every 55 lbs of meat . . .

3/4 of the 55 lbs should be pork
1/4 of the 55 lbs should be beef
2 measuring cups of fine salt (yikes!)
2/3 cup ground pepper
3 handfuls whole peppers
3 handfuls mustard seed
Garlic to suit taste
1 level tsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp powdered salt peter

Grind all ingredients together and fill sausage casing.

This is one of those recipes that I wish Grandma had finished.  I'm afraid I don't know the rest of the details.  I guess I'll try Google when I plan to make it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Salad - Strawberry Salad

2 2/3 cups crushed pretzels
3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup margarine

Combine and press in 9 x 13" pan.  Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 cups Cool Whip

Beat these ingredients together and pour over top of the cooled crust.  Spread evenly.

Combine 2 cups of boiling water and 2 (3 oz) packages of Strawberry Jell-O.  Add 1 (10 oz) package of frozen strawberries.  Allow to set slightly.  Pour over the cream cheese mixture and chill overnight.

Cut into 3" squares to serve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cookie - Icebox Ginger Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
2/3 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the sugar and butter together.  Add the beaten eggs and molasses.  Sift the dry ingredients together and blend with the above mixture.  Shape into long rolls, about 1/2" in diameter.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  Slice in one inch segments and place on well-greased cookie sheets and bake 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bread - Basic Sweet Roll Dough

1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cakes or 2 pkgs yeast
5 - 6 cups flour

Add yeast to warm water.  User warm but not hot water for dry yeast and lukewarm water for compressed.  Add the milk that has been scalded and cooled to lukewarm, the beaten egg, salt, sugar, flour and kneed lightly.  Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.  Do not punch this sweet roll dough down.

For cinnamon rolls, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 x 15" and about 1/2: thickness.  Then the flattened dough is spread liberally with softened butter and a cup of brown sugar is sprinkled over the butter and rolled into the dough.  Use a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon over the sugar.

The dough is then rolled up lightly into a long roll withe the edges carefully sealed.  Cut in 1" slices and place in a well greased pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.  .

The orange dressing is made by grinding two oranges, rind and all, and mixing in one cup of sugar.  This is placed over a very low fire and cooked for 15 mins or until it is thick.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meat - Ground Turkey Patties with Mushrooms

I was surprised to find ground turkey recipes in Grandma's recipe box.  The following three recipes were all on the same recipe card.

2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup sliced fresh or canned mushrooms
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt

Finely chop 1/2 cup mushrooms and saute lightly with onion in 1 tsp butter.  Combine thoroughly with ground turkey and salt.  Shape mixture into six patties.  Broil 5 minutes on each side and serve immediately with remaining sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter.  Do not overcook.  Makes 6 servings.

Meat - Stuffed Turkey Loaf

2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup butter

3 cups prepared stuffing mix
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice

Brown onion and celery in butter in medium hot skillet.  Combine with stuffing mix, eggs, and water to make a stuffing.  Add half of stuffing to ground turkey, mixing well.  Pat out half of meat mixture in a 2-quart loaf pan with remaining meat mixture.  Pour tomato juice over loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Meat - Turkey Delish-Kabobs

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 tsp salt
24 cherry tomatoes
24 pineapple chunks
24 1" squares green pepper

Combine first four ingredients; shape into 1" balls; drop into marinade and coat well.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  On 8" bamboo skewers, alternate meat balls, cherry tomatoes, pineapple chunks, green pepper.  Broil 5 - 7 minutes, turning and basting.  Serve with seasoned rice.  Makes 12 skewers, 4 servings.

Note:  I don't like green peppers, so I may substitute small button mushrooms or maybe zucchini or yellow squash.

Savory Marinade: 
Blend together 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp each of dry mustard and garlic salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pickles - Cassia Bud Pickles

Put one peck of cucumbers in brine for 3 days.  Brine = 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of salt.

Leave cucumbers in clear water for three days.  Drain.  Cut cucumbers lengthwise.

Dissolve 2 Tbsp alum with 1 pint white vinegar with enough boiling water to cover pickles.  Let simmer on back of stove for 1 hour.  Rinse - drain.

Make syrup of 4 1/2 pints vinegar (white), 3 quarts sugar, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp Cassia bud, 1 tsp celery seed.  Pour over cucumbers.

Next morning, drain off and heat to boiling point.  Pour over pickles.  Second morning, reheat and pour over cucumbers.  Third morning bring pickles and syrup to boiling point.  Pack into jars and seal.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pickles - 8-Day Pickles

1st Day - Select one peck of small cucumbers.  Wash well and cover with cold water.  Let stand 24 hours.  
2nd Day - Boil enough water to cover.  Add one cup of salt and stir well.  Let stand for 24 hours. 
3rd Day - Reheat the salt water from the pickles.  Pour boiling solution over the pickles and let stand 24 hours.  
4th Day - Drain salt water off.  Wash pickles in cold water.  Boil enough water to cover.  Add about 1/4 lb of Alum.  Leave this on pickles for 12 hours. 
5th Day - Drain solution from pickles.  Boil enough water to cover.  Add vinegar for a weak solution (about 1 gallon) and 3 Tbsp pickling spice (place in cheese cloth).  Let stand for 24 hours.  Reheat the weak vinegar solution for the next three mornings.  Pour boiling mixture over the pickles and let stand for 24 hours.
8th Day -   Drain cucumbers out of the solution.  Pack in jars.  Put the jars upside down to drain water out of pickles.  Add pickling solution.


Pickling Solution
2 1/2 lbs of sugar, vinegar  (enough to cover y9our pickles and Pickling Spice to suit your taste.  


The pickles will be better if the sugar solution is drained and then boiled and poured over the pickles in the jars for three succeeding days.  


These do not have to be canned.  You don't have the problems that you do with tomatoes and string beans which have to be processed in a hot water bat in order for the jars to seal.  These jars are not sealed, although some lids may stick to the top of the jar.  

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meat - Norwegian Meat Balls

My grandma was of Norwegian descent and had many Norwegian recipes.

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
2/3 cup cracker crumbs
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg or ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 onion, chopped fine
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sage

Grind together beef and sausage three times.  Mix together with remaining ingredients thoroughly.  Shape in 15 - 20 balls.  Brown in butter until browned well.  Cover and cook on low until done.  Add 3 cups water and 3 beef bouillon cubes and simmer 20 minutes.  Mix 2 Tbsp corn starch to 1 cup water with whisk.  Add to cooking meatballs.