FC: Down on the Farm
1: Down on the Farm Recipes from the Kitchen of G-Mom Lura Diantha McAllister Hall April 12,1894-Feb.14,2001 Compiled by Lura Diantha Roberson Swift Granddaughter January, 2013
2: Thanks to my family who encouraged me to complete this project and who assisted with my technical ineptitude to make this collection a reality. "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." John 6:27 | Many thanks to my patient and kind family who encouraged and supported me with my technical ineptitude to make this project a reality. L-R: Trudi, G-Dad, G-Mom, Margaret L-R: G-Mom, Verle Ellis (Vera's Mom), Bill Ellis (Vera's brother), Phil, G-Dad Back L-R: Phil, Don, Andy Front L-R: Vera, Trudi, Andy "That which thy fathers have bequeathed to thee, earn it anew if thou woulds possess it." Goethe:Faust My Family, You now possess it. Savor every memory, enjoy every bite. With love, L-R: Trudi, Andy, G-Dad, Don, Margaret, Vera Diane
3: Introduction This is one project that started off as a very simple idea. Collect G-Mom's recipes, put them all together and send them out to family. I believe that recipes, pictures, letters, documents or memorabilia should be shared with the family as they truly are a part of our collective family heritage and history. To that end, I began working on Down on the Farm, sharing what I have. This project quickly became much larger than I had originally intended. Seems that a few pictures of G-Mom's creations would be more interesting and appealing and would at least give the cook an idea of where one may be headed. What about the pictures of G-Mom and G-Dad and family celebrations, with food, should that be included? So I wanted more than just a manila folder with recipes. I wanted to capture the essence of G-Mom's cooking, personal memories, and just a little family history that could be created and shared with those I love. Down on the Farm attempts to do just that. One of my earliest memories is of me in a brown apron cooking with G-Mom. Cooking was a frequent topic of conversation when I was down on the farm. I would sit at the copper tile counter in her kitchen, watch her cook, copy her recipes, and take notes and ask questions as she cooked. Apparently I did not ask enough questions. Hence, some of the original recipes did not have quantities, cooking times or other specific directions, making it next to impossible to replicate her recipe. I spent time trying to "fill in the blanks" to the best of my ability. As we know, G-Mom was not an "exacting" cook. She cooked by taste, touch, and experience. She could measure the amount of a teaspoon in her hand and it would be exact. It is said that smells and tastes evoke very specific memories in us. Food does both. So to that end, may you enjoy these great culinary delights not only for the taste and smell, but for the wonderful memories that come to mind, the fun we had, and the meals we shared so many years ago, down on the farm.
4: The most famous of all... | What else would be on the first page in a collection of recipes other than G-Mom's famous cherry pie? Those who have actually tasted this delectable delight know that this is the best. However, even after all these years, I still have not been able to replicate the pie or the crust. First of all, G-mom and G-Dad had that cherry tree at the edge of the front yard and they spent the summer canning cherries. G-Mom used sour cherries known as Montmorency cherries, which are traditional cooking cherries. You can find them at some farmers' markets, co-ops or they can be ordered on line for a small fortune. Just finding sour cherries is a project unto itself. They are also marketed as "Red Tart Cherries" in water. Nothing says "homemade" as a pie made with these cherries. It is just so hard to come up with the same cherry pie without sour cherries. Red Tart cherries are as close as you will come to the cherries on the farm. I guess you can plant a cherry tree at the edge of your yard and if you live long enough, you can spend your summers canning cherries. Finding the cherries is the first obstacle. But then there are some conversion issues with the recipe as it was given. How do I determine how many cups of cherries equal a quart that she canned? How much in her quart was cherries and how much was water? SInce 4 cups equals a quart, I'm going with that and worry about the water later. You are now asking, "How can anyone write paragraphs about cherries?" You just don't know..the gift of gab, I guess.
5: As an alternative, I have tried Bing cherries canned in syrup, but it is just not the same. The cherries in water work the best, but it can be costly at $4.00 a can. For economical reasons, I settled on buying fresh cherries in the summer and freezing them. They are sweet cherries, not sour ones. It works best to freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then put them in zip-lock bags. I leave a tiny portion of the zip lock bag open and suck as much air as possible out of the bag. Country version of vacuum packed. The cherries freeze well and have a good consistency when cooked. The quart bags hold about 4 cups of cherries which is about what you need for one pie. I found this amazing cherry pitter at Bed Bath and Beyond that pits 4 cherries at a time. Works great and what a time saver for $12.00. Give it to your significant or insignificant other as a gift. On the following page is G-Mom's pie recipe as she dictated it to me. Many of us remember that nothing was as good as this pie made by G-Mom. I have two Fool Proof Pie Crust recipes and I am including both. They are very similar in texture and the taste. The first one is the recipe dictated by G-Mom (#1) and the other one came from Kim Hall Lanning (#2). Try both and see what you think. Try as I may, pie crusts just ain't my "thang" as they say in the south. Am I really going to have to take a cooking class to get this right? Maybe.
6: G-Mom's Famous Cherry Pie Add 1/2 cup sugar to a quart of cherries. Use tapioca to thicken. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Add 1 cup sugar. Cook until thickens. Pour into uncooked pie crust. Add top crust. 1974 You can use 2 cans of tart cherries (14.5 oz.) in water which is almost a quart. This will give you 4 cups of cherries. I have used as many as 3 cans of cherries so there is more filling but do not use the juice from the 3rd can. You are going to need about 3 tablespoons of tapioca. I like the filling a little runny and not stiff. The trick is how long you cook it to reach the right consistency. Good luck on this one.
7: G-Mom's Fool Proof Pie Crust #1 4 c. flour 1 3/4 c. Crisco Mix these ingredients 1 tsp. salt together. 1/2 tsp. baking powder Mix separately: 1 egg --beat egg in bowl add 1/2 c. cold water and 1 T. lemon juice Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix until it forms a ball. Chill ball before rolling. Gently roll out crust to 1/4" thick. Place in pie pan. Yields 3 pies in small pan or 2 bottoms and 2 tops in large pan. | G-Mom's Fool Proof Pie Crust #2 3 c. flour Kim Hall Lanning 1 c. lard (veg. shortening 1/4 c. more) 1 tsp. salt Mix: I egg 5 T. cold water 1 T. vinegar These two recipes are for the most part the same. I do imagine that this is the oldest recipe as she uses lard, which still can be purchased. Recently, I have used butter instead of shortening. Try it...
8: Look closely at this recipe. The teacher in G-Mom came out. She used the quotation marks (") on the ingredient for water, but the quote mark (") above it was singular (1 c. grits). She added the "s", so you get " s-- meaning cups and not cup. She needed the plural form for 4 cups. I don't remember Garlic-Cheese Grits,but they sure sound good. As a true Southerner, I don't know how I made it this long without loving grits. The recipe on the next page is as close as I could find to her original. So, having recipes that are over 60 years old can create all kinds of issues for the cook. I have been on a mission to find a roll of garlic cheese. This must have been a specialty item at some point. I spent an evening in a high dollar grocery store and the only thing that looked like a roll of cheese turned out to be goat cheese. After some research, I discovered that Kraft discontinued a Garlic Cheese Roll several years ago. It was popular in the '60's. I found a Garlic Cheese Roll substitute on line, but it contained Velveta cheese and Cheese Whiz. How awful! Sounds like a quick trip to the coronary unit. In place of it, I did find a Southern Garlic Cheese Grits recipe that is at least more nutritious, as far as eating cheese goes. I could eat cheese 3 times a day, which is why I take Crestor. | Garlic Cheese Grits
9: Southern Garlic Cheese Grits 4 c. water 2 T. unsalted butter 6 small garlic cloves, minced well 1/2 c. heavy cream 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 c. uncooked quick grits 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese Additional salt/pepper as needed Put water on to boil. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Finely mince the garlic and add to the melted butter, cooking just until tender. Remove and set aside. Just as the water is about to boil, turn down to medium and stir in the cream. Add the salt, and then slowly add in the grits, stirring constantly the entire time you are adding them in. When the grits begin to bubble, turn heat down to a medium low simmer and continue cooking, stirring often until mixture is thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and butter from the skillet and stir in the cheese. Cook the grits only long enough for the cheese to melt. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with a couple of dashes of hot sauce if desired. You don't have to be a Southerner to enjoy these grits. Even those of us who think grits are a heated version of Elmer's glue, will go back for seconds for these cheese grits.
10: Biscuits Kim Hall Lanning 2 c. flour For sweet biscuits add: 1 T. baking powder 1 T. sugar 1 t. salt 1/4 c. butter 1/2 c. shortening 1/4 c. shortening 3/4 c. milk 2/3 c. milk 450* 12-15 minutes The sweet biscuits are a puzzle. Seems that if you are adding so much more milk, you should also add flour, baking powder and salt. Remember that some of these have not been test kitchen approved. I am only giving you what I have been given. On the other hand, this buttermilk biscuit recipe below has been tried and true for a long time. This came from G-Mom by way of Mom's kitchen. Buttermilk Biscuits 2 c. self rising flour 1/4 t. soda 1/4 c. shortening Using a fork or your fingers, blend all together in a small bowl until it has a "mealy" texture, with shortening blended the size of rice. Add 3/4 c. buttermilk. Stir from inside out with a fork. Whip it out. Roll out on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 times. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Place in greased pan. Bake at 450* for 10 minutes.
11: This was one of G-Mom's classic recipes. How many times did we come to the table to find these delicious homemade rolls, hot out of the oven? The original recipe is so stained and tattered that it was almost impossible to read some of it. But I think I got it. I am including another roll recipe that she gave me. However, in true G-Mom style, she does not include amounts and the recipe on the next page, does not have eggs. This recipe is the one that we most remember. | doubled. Then place dough on floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into small rounds, a little larger than golf balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover with towel for 5 min. then brush with egg. Bake at 425* for 15-20 min until golden brown. Brush with butter when done. | Sweet-Roll Dough Mix the first three ingredients. Mix eggs, milk, shortening and add to yeast mixture. Mix 6 c. flour, 3 t. salt and add to egg mixture. Knead dough until smooth. Place in greased bowl, cover with cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hour until
12: Sweet Roll Recipe #2 Don't you love the "melted stick of battle." She was probably multi-tasking when she wrote this! | G-Mom frequently clipped recipes out of the local Howard paper. The column Home Town News provided interesting recipes. This is very similar to the other roll recipes. On the back of this recipe was an advertisement for the movie Harriet Craig starring Joan Crawford and Wendell Corey, putting this clipping at 1950. Most of you were not even born then.
13: Dishes were never left to sit in the kitchen. Even later when G-Mom's knees made standing difficult, she still found a way to get the dishes done. | G-Mom always enjoyed her first and second cup of coffee and was always willing to put on another pot, anytime of the day. | Homemade Egg Noodles--Yum, Yum! This recipe is from the 1950's. I found the same recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cookbook which also provided directions. Mix the following ingredients: 2 cups flour, 3 yolks, 1 egg, 2 t. salt. Add 1/4-1/2 c water, adding water one tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to add too much water. Measure flour in bowl. Make well in center and add egg yolks, whole egg, and salt. WIth hands, mix eggs into flour. Add water, 1 T. at a time, mixing well. Add enough water to form dough into a ball. Turn dough onto a well floured cloth covered board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll dough one part at a time into paper thin rectangle, keeping remaining dough covered. Cut dough into 1/8 or 1/4 strips using a noodle cutter. Shake out strips and place on towel to dry, about 2 hours. When dry, you can break strips into smaller pieces. Cook in 3 quarts boiling salted water 12-15 minutes or cook in chicken broth for richer noodles.
14: Can you taste these? Bread and Butter Pickles For 7 qts. cukes: Kim Hall Lanning Peel, remove seeds and slice 1/2 in. thick, soak overnight in 1 c. salt and 5 qts. water. Drain in the morning. Bring to a boil before adding cukes: 6 c. vinegar 3 c. sugar 9 small onions, sliced 1 T. tumeric seed 1 T. celery seed 1/2 t. alum (makes them crisp) Add cukes and bring to a good boil. Can hot and seal. There are some assumptions that we all know how to can. If you have never done any canning, you might do some research before attempting this project. I am not sure how many pounds of cucumbers you need. Give it your best guess...7 quarts? A less common recipe Crispy Pickles 7 lbs cucumbers This is a very old pickle recipe. After 5 lbs. sugar reading about it, it is no longer a 1 T. salt recommended method of pickling. 3 T. pickling spices (in cloth) The key is changing the water every 3 qts. water hour. Soak cucumbers in lime water, 3 c. lime to 1 gallon water. Soak for 24 hours. wash and soak in clear water for 4 hours. Change water every hour. Mix sugar, spices, salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil and add cucumbers. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let stand overnight. In the morning, heat and put in jars. This sounds a little more complicated and time consuming. Lime, really? The only place I use lime is in the yard. This may kill us off. I think it means pickling lime.
15: 24 Hour Cole Slaw 1 med. head cabbage Dressing (cook 3 minutes) 1 small onion- shredded or chopped 1 c. white vinegar 1 finely chopped green pepper 1 t. salt 6 stuffed olives, sliced 1 t. celery salt 1 c. sugar 1/2 t. pepper Mix above ingredients and set aside. 1/2 c. salad oil While mixture is still warm, pour over cabbage mixture. Refrigerate for 24 hours. 1971 This Pineapple and Cheese Salad is one of those "go to" recipes that was probably served at most any large gathering down on the farm. Pineapple and Cheese Salad Kim Hall Lanning 1 can (2 1/2 c.) crushed pineapple 1 pkg. lemon Jello 1 pkg. lime Jello 1 c. dry cottage cheese (large curd) 1 c. Miracle Whip 1/2 c. nuts Drain pineapple juice and measure as part of Jello water. Combine Jello and mix according to directions. Let Jello cool until it starts to thicken. Add cheese, Miracle Whip, pineapple and nuts. Mold in square glass dish. Cut in squares to serve. Some more recent adaptations of this recipe, suggest that you can substitute Cool Whip for Miracle Whip.
16: I don't know how old I was when I realized that most folks didn't need a dish pan to make dressing for Thanksgiving. How well I remember G-Mom with her apron on making dressing. This picture was taken in the early 1970's. There were probably 30 or more for Thanksgiving that year. The recipe below is believed to be her dressing recipe. | Turkey Dressing 1 small pan of corn bread Turkey or chicken broth 2 c. or more Approximately 12 biscuits 2 eggs Any day old bread on hand 1+ c. chopped onion 1 can mushroom soup 1 can celery soup Crumble corn bread, biscuits, bread and any other bread you want. Add remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add sage as well. You can either stuff the turkey with the stuffing or you can cook the dressing in a greased pan at 400* for an hour. Make gravy out of other broth. Add water or milk and thicken with flour. Cook slowly until thick. Put on top of cooked stuffing if desired.
17: This was a birthday card sent from G-Mom and G-Dad on my 10th birthday (1959). G-Mom really enjoyed the Peanut Brittle recipe and the Popcorn Balls recipe found on the next page.
18: This frozen Ice Cream Pumpkin Pie is unusual, quick, easy, and very good. This is perfect for the cook who hates to cook. This was in the Howard paper in 1953.
19: Read carefully at the right, the editorial notation of 1958, "S'pose teenage girls can make this cake?" (Hint, hint to "Home Town" editor's kitchen-capable daughters!" Did the editor have any sons?) Also, G-Mom determined that the editor had omitted the egg. Can't make a cake without that...
20: Grandmother's Eggnog is the best eggnog recipe ever, hands down~A few glasses of this eggnog and it won't matter what you are celebrating~
21: This recipe was held together with a straight pin and had signs of great use. The American Weekly was a Sunday newspaper supplement published by the Hearst Corporation from November 1, 1896, until 1963. Morrill Goddard, editor of the New York Journal from 1896 to 1937, launched Hearst's Sunday magazine, later commented, "Nothing is so stale as yesterday's newspaper, but The American Weekly may be around the house for days or weeks and lose none of its interest." Apparently, that was so true, some 57 years later, we still have a portion of it.
22: This is the famous Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe It was published in the Howard paper in 1956.
23: G-Mom's Uncooked Oatmeal Cookies 2 c. sugar Mix, heat and boil for 1 minute these four 1/4 c. cocoa ingredients. Remove from stove and stir in 1 stick Oleo while hot: 3 c. Quick Oats, 1/2 c.chunky peanut 1/2 c. milk butter, 1 tsp. vanilla. Drop by spoonful on oil paper and cool. As I am copying these recipes, I am tempted to make changes. But I want to give you the exact terms as G-Mom had them. For you "youngsters", you may ask, "What are oleo and quick oats?" You can research it on your Smart Phone. As for the oil paper, it doesn't mean to grease your newspaper. G-Mom's Sugar Cookies 2 c. sugar 3 eggs 1 c. butter 1 t. cream of tartar 1 c. sour cream 2 t. baking powder 5 c. flour 2 T. vanilla or lemon extract Mix all ingredients. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet. Flatten with spoon and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 325* for 10 minutes.
24: Cliffie Farley's Applesauce Cake 1. Cream together 1 1/4 c. sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 c. shortening 2. Mix together 1 1/2 c. sour applesauce, 2 t. soda in 1/2 c. boiling water, 1 c. raisins 3. Sift together 2 1/2 c. flour + 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. cinnamon, 2 cloves Combine #1 with #3. Add #2. Bake one hour in greased (and floured?) loaf pan at 350* This recipe was copied exactly as it was from G-Moms file around 1968. G-Mom said this recipe was over 50 years old at that time. I am not exactly sure what "sour applesauce" is. Either it is applesauce that has "gone bad" or isn't sweet. According to Mom and verified by Uncle Phil, Ben and Cliffie Farley lived across the street from G-Mom and G-Dad when they they lived on 14th Street in Wichita. They had no children and "adopted" the Hall family. | Aunt Kittie's Spice Cake Cream 1 c. sugar and 1/4 c. butter. Add it to 1 well beaten egg, 1 c. sour milk or buttermilk. Add 1 tsp. baking soda. Sift together 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. cloves, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t.baking powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Bake in greased/floured pan for 35 min. in layers or flat pan at 350* This is one of G-Mom's "go to" recipes. This was one of her traditional desserts and most frequently served. She usually topped it off with a butter icing. Aunt Kittie McAllister (Mrs.Fred) Rustenbach,1906-1999, was G-Mom's youngest sister. Its interesting that this recipe seems to be an adaptation of Cliffie Farley's cake. Maybe Aunt Kittie didn't know what sour applesauce was either.
25: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." Jesus John 6:35 | G-Mom~ "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:27-29