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Old weird recipes from the past


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I have lots of old recipes too....they were / are my grandma's (she would be 104 now) and my mom's. JJ your hassenpfeffer & spaetzle rocks!!! That was a family favorite and we had it at least 4 times a year, one of those times was on my cousin's bday. We each got to pick our favorite meal for our birthday, his was ALWAYS rabbit and dumplings (the english translation :biglaugh: ) with chocolate cake and boiled frosting. She also made kick foot squirrell with mashed potatoes, alot of fabulous food was a "poverty food," which is what most of our forebearers had to make do with.

There is an old Frugal Gourmet cookbook called "Our Emmigrant Ancestors'" which is full of poverty recipes, I have a recipe book I bought at Ellis Island, that has recipes from emmigrants that came in at Ellis Island...........what a treasure.

Fun thread!


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ROR - great to cyber see ya!

Your post made me think of a dinner my dad used to cook for me when I was a kid. Dad was born in 1915 - grew up during the Great Depression. He could make meals out of scraps - and they were all GOOD. My favorite was fried salt pork with boiled potatoes and white gravy. Yeah, that's some serious artery hardening going on there, but YUM!

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ok i'll try

here is my great gradnd ma's recpie for what my wife callsmonkey brain soup

this is not written any where as far as i know,

boil the hell out of a nice ham bone

woops soak yellow eyed beans over nite

add a bunch of barley toy the bone and the beans

cook til it is tender

add a few cans of green beans and hominey corn

it don't look good but yum yum yum

when i make a big pot of it i always bring some up to my uncles whe love thier grandma'soup

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That sounds GOOD, coolchef!

OK, another recipe from my collection for today:

THIS ONE IS THE BOMB GOOD STUFF!!!!!! I bring it to work sometimes, and it gets eaten so fast it's unbelievable.

Jezebel Sauce - this makes a ton.

Miz together until blended:

1 10 oz jar apple jelly

1 10 or 12 oz jar of pineapple or apricot preserves

1/2 c hot grated horseradish

1/2 1 5/8 oz box of dry mustard

1 tsp black pepper

Cover and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Serve on crackers (Ritz are good) with cream cheese. My notes on the recipe card say it would be good with cold meat - probably would work great as a glaze for a ham or chicken, too.

It can be stored almost forever in the fridge.

It sounds strange, but tastes SOOOOO good.

In fact, I bet it would be good on those bacon wrapped water chestnuts!

Edited by JavaJane
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From my great-grandfather's collection of recipes for wine (made during Prohibition). I haven't tried these, but would like to at some point when hubby and I have settled down and put down some roots... another few years before that happens!

By the way, no instructions with most of these, let me know if any of you have tips:

Banana Wine

2 bananas, peeled

1 lb sugar

1 cake of yeast

1 qt cold water

Dandelion wine

1 or 2 qts dandelion blossoms

2 lemons

2 oranges, ground

6 lbs sugar

1 cake of yeast

2 gallons of water

Boil water, put in blossoms, lemons, oranges, and sugar. When tepid, add yeast and let stand for 3 days, then strain and let workfor 6 weeks before bottling.

Rhubarb wine

Cut rhubarb (no quantities listed) into chunks, boil in water until done. Add 1 cake of yeast. Let stand for 26 hours and strain. Put in bottle to work.

Clover Wine

4 qts red clover

1 gallon of boiling watr

Let above stand overnight. Squeeze out enough water to make 6 quarts, add 4 lbs sugar and boil 20 minutes. Then add 2 lb seedless raisins, 2 oranges, and 2 lemons. Pour boiling juice over 1 cake of yeast and let stand for 36 hours. Strain and bottle to work.

Any help deciphering these directions would be helpful.


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This one is special for Belle....

Scarlett O'Hara Cake

2 sticks butter

2 c sugar

3 beaten eggs

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 c milk (or bourbon) (??)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp molasses

1 tsp grouund cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

2 c finely chopped raisins

1 c finely chopped pecans

preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 4 8" pans.

in large bowl cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat until well mixed. At low speed add beaten eggs.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk (or bourbon) to the creamed mixture. Add vanilla - mix well. Divide batter evenly into two bowls. In one of the bowls add the molasses, cloves, nutmeg, raisins, and nuts. Mix well.

Pour the spiced batter into 2 of the 8" cake pans and the plain batter into the other 2 pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes... remove from pans and cool thoroughly.

Frost (no description of the frosting is given here, but a cream cheese one would be nice, or a plain white frosting) alternating the plain layers with the spiced layers. Sprinkle the frosting with coconut.

I'm trying this one tonight. I'll let y'all know how it comes out.

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That sounds DEE-LISH!!

I'll use the Bourbon instead of milk, of course. :biglaugh:

Please do let me know how it turns out. Maybe I'll make that for the family reunion next week-end. It'll totally fit with the theme we're using this year.

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Dandelion wine-----Never tried it

I have eaten fried dandelion flowers and also wilted dandelion greens, though.

Too bitter for my tastes. Be careful where you harvest them.(Pesticides and herbicides to consider.)

Rhubarb---Again, be careful (as the greens are toxic.)

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how about blueberry wine??

chef - If you get to the seacoast area this summer, stop by Tully's Beer and Wine - they have a WONDERFUL blueberry wine that you'd swear was a light merlot. I just finished up a bottle the other night with my mom (gotta love being an adult - you can get buzzed with your mom!)

Dandelion wine-----Never tried it

I have eaten fried dandelion flowers and also wilted dandelion greens, though.

Too bitter for my tastes. Be careful where you harvest them.(Pesticides and herbicides to consider.)

Rhubarb---Again, be careful (as the greens are toxic.)

The trick to harvesting dandelions is to pick them BEFORE the bud opens for the first time - get them when they first come up and just before they bloom.

I love them - and beet greens (actally - any greens - but beet are my favs!)

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That sounds DEE-LISH!!

I'll use the Bourbon instead of milk, of course. :biglaugh:

Please do let me know how it turns out. Maybe I'll make that for the family reunion next week-end. It'll totally fit with the theme we're using this year.

Too tuckered out to try it last night. I got off the computer, took one look at my Kitchen Aid mixer and said... "I'm going to bed."

Hubby is making me leave town this weekend to keep me from going into work, so I won't be able to try it until next week sometime. If you make it, let me know. It does sound good, doesn't it? Since it came from Gramma's recipe box, it will turn out well. She only put in recipes she tried and tasted good. Sometimes the hardest thing is just reading the handwriting.

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WHAT?!?! Sleep over Sweets???


Perhaps I'll get off my high horse and do something productive, including this recipe this week-end.

In fact, I was just thinking on the drive home today that this is about the time I should be getting started on the Jamaican Wedding Cake recipe I want to try - based on the instructions, if I start this week-end, it should be ready by Christmas.

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In fact, I was just thinking on the drive home today that this is about the time I should be getting started on the Jamaican Wedding Cake recipe I want to try - based on the instructions, if I start this week-end, it should be ready by Christmas. [/color]

Woman that is just plane rude, not that I've been addressing "rude" people lately, but how dare you drop bait like that and not post the recipe! Hmmm....?

Well I'm waiting.....


You know I'm joking right?

Edited by Eyesopen
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Ya know, I "had the thought" that I should explain myself when I posted that, but was too darn lazy to do it. :biglaugh:

It's a semi-long story, as are all my stories :redface2: , so I'll try to give the Reader's Digest Version:

The year before things really started going downhill between me and TWI, then my husband, we had gone to see my family in Madison, Mississippi and, being the good little TWIts that we were, we looked up the TWI fellowship that was nearby. The WC alum running the area was Jamaican.

They offered us coffee and these really small (to me) slices of what they called "Jamaican Wedding Cake". She hands me the saucer as I'm thinking, "It's either really bad so she only wants to subject us to having to suffer through a small amount or they are extremely stingy people."

She explained that the cake is only made for the most special of occasions, hence the name - not something that's even traditionally served at an annual holiday dinner for the average family. The rich may make it to have at Christmas every year, but that's not the norm. It takes about six months to make because you wrap it up good and keep it in a cool, dark place where every few weeks you pour more rum over the cake and by the time it's ready you have a really good, really potent cake. The time, the special-ness of the occasion and the cake is why it is only ever served as really small slices like that.

The recipe was a heavily guarded secret for eons and, she said she doubted that any non-Jamaicans had the recipe, especially not some white-bread, American born girl like me. :biglaugh:

Indeed, it was the most heavenly thing I've ever tasted!! And, the small slice was really all I needed to thoroughly enjoy this delicacy and appreciate all that goes into it. It's not so secret anymore, but I wonder if the "published" recipes are missing some special ingredients or instructions.....

So, that's the story of the Jamaican Wedding Cake and this is the recipe that I have but have yet to try:

Jamaican Wedding Cake

The elements of this fruit cake are prepared on separate days. It is divided it into three sections - the early preparation, caramelizing sugar, which can be done the day before, and the day of cooking. This is euphoria.

* 1 pound currants

* 1 pound raisins

* 1 pound prunes

* 1 pound dried figs

* 1 (16 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained

* 1/2 pound mixed peel

* 1/4 pound almonds, chopped

* 1 tablespoon angostura bitters

* 2 1/2 cups dark Jamaica rum

Caramelizing Sugar

* 3/4 pound brown sugar

* 1/2 cup boiling water

Final Cooking

* 2 teaspoons grated lime peel

* 2 teaspoons vanilla

* 4 cups flour

* 4 teaspoons baking powder

* 1 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1 pound butter (4 sticks) softened

* 2 1/4 cups sugar

* 9 large eggs


Equipment: Two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans or 1 10 inch tube pan.

Prep Day

Chop currants, raisins, prunes, figs and cherries. Put in large bowl with mixed peel and almonds. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on bitters and pour rum over mixture. Soak for a minimum of 24 hours, extending to one month. Dream about this cake for whatever period of time you have chosen.

Caramelizing Sugar

Put brown sugar in heavy pot. Stir, letting sugar liquefy. Cook over low heat until dark, stirring constantly, so sugar does not burn. When almost burnt, remove from heat and stir in hot water gradually. Mix well, let cool, and pour into container for use in final cooking.

Final Cooking

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Bring fruit from its resting place. Stir lime peel, vanilla and caramelized sugar into fruit. Mix well. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder and cloves. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light. Add the eggs, one at a time until blended.

Stir in dry ingredients gradually. When mixed, stir in fruit mixture.

Pour into tins lined with buttered parchment paper or waxed paper. Place pan (or pans) in large shallow pan of hot water. Cook in preheated 250°F oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cake should have shrunk from sides of pan.

Cool for 24 hours in tins. When cool, moisten with rum, remove from tins, and wrap in aluminum foil or a rum drenched cloth. Cakes may be stored to ripen. If keeping for any length of time, check occasionally to add more rum.

Edited by Belle
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Back to the bacon...

...Slice russet potatoes 1/4 inch thick (length wise), sprinkle them with black pepper and garlic salt...fry them in olive oil until 3/4 done...

...remove potatoes and wrap each slice with a strip of bacon...place back into skillet and fry (turning only once), until bacon is done...


Edited by GrouchoMarxJr
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That does sound good, Groucho!

Waysider, good question! I think it's probably some combination of citrus peel but I'll ask.

Oh darn now that I have the recipe it is too late for Christmas but maybe just in time for New years! My first one off in about 5 years! Gonna have fun this year!

Thanks Belle!

And Groucho that sounds really yummy! My German Grandma used to make German fried potatoes they are tiny diced potatoes with a bit of bell pepper fried in Bacon grease until fully saturated. I hadn't had them in years until we had a "World Cuisine" festival here in Reno and one of the countries represented was Germany. Complete with non English speaking Germans! So you just know I had a plate of Brats, Kraut and Taters with a Black and Tan from the English "pub" across the square. Yumm! Of course I couldnt stand afterwards, but nobody noticed 'cause they couldn't either! :biglaugh:

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This is from Martha Washingtons Rules of Cooking

A favorite of Dolly Madison

Green Apple Pudding

Two cups of flour:one teaspoon of baking powder;one-fourth teaspoon of salt.

Mix this with one and one half cups of shortening and three-fourths cup of bread crumbs.

Moisten this with cold water and make into a dough, set aside one fourth of it. Line a well greased deep bowl with the larger piece.

Fill this with about 2 pounds of chopped green apples, adding one cup of brown sugar and a few cloves.

Add one-third cup of water and cover the rest of the dough. Cover this with your pudding cloth, knot the corners well

and tie tight with a cord around the dish. Steam for three hours in a kettle, taking care not to let the water reach the top of the pudding dish.

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Alright I'm just the official taster here so forgive me for not knowing how ya'll do things or what the thingies are that you do it with; but what in the Sam hill is a "pudding cloth". Help an ole redneck out will ya?

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Good question eyes...

but as the topic says "old weird recipes"

Dolly Madison lived when...I'll let you do the math.

Perhaps a cheese cloth or old flour sack cloth. Your guess is as good as mine. :unsure:

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OMG! Why wasn't learning this much fun when I was a kid and grades were important?!?

I googled around a bit and here's what I found:

Finally, you need a pudding cloth and some string. Scrote doesn't have these things and doesn't use them himself, but you should be aware that it is surprisingly difficult to extract a heavy, well-boiled bowl from within a deep pan containing boiling water without scalding yourself - unless you have something to haul it up by. A pudding cloth is a foot-square white cotton cloth, placed over the bowl and tied under the rim with ordinary (i.e. untreated, un-meltable) string. The corners of the cloth are then knotted over the bowl, thus preventing the string simply falling down and providing a useful means of extracting the bowl later.

But here's a really interesting discussion about pudding cloth with pictures and everything:


The oldest type of pudding is one that is boiled in an intestine or other membrane of animal origin. Deriving its name from the French word boudin, this ancient delicacy is the mother of all British puddings. Among its surviving relatives can be numbered the black pudding (bloodings), the haggis and the mealy pudding of Scotland, all of which are savoury foods. Extinct now, but once very popular, were leveridge, or liver puddings, an early form of liver sausage.
The trouble with making puddings in skins were the the intestines or stomach linings, which needed a lot of cleansing and were akward to fill. The method of boiling the pudding mixture in a cloth proved to be a much more practical alternative and became widespread during the course of the seventeenth century.
A large pudding tied in a cloth about to be submerged in a set-pot boiler with the poaching meat. These cloths or 'clouts' were given a coating of butter and flour before they were filled with pudding mixture. Suet puddings were tied loosely to allow the pudding inside to expand as it cooked, while batter puddings were tied tightly in order to keep their shape. The cloths were never washed with soap, as it imparted an unpleasant flavour and could spoil a delicate pudding. They were thoroughly scoured and boiled instead.


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