Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dandelion Greens with Bacon and Vinegar

Remove the roots, carefully pick over (discarding all tough and wilted leaves) and wash dandelion leaves in several waters; to the last water add salt to free leaves from insects and vermin. It will require one peck (editor's note: about 8 quarts) of leaves to serve a family of six.

Cook leaves in plenty of boiling salted water until tender; drain at once and chop fine. Dress with butter and pepper; cut thin slices of bacon in shreds crosswise, try it out and pour over dandelions. (There should be one-third cup bacon fat.) 

The shreds of bacon are an attractive garnish; hard-cooked eggs may also be used as a garnish. Cut them in eighths or rings. Vinegar is sometimes added. 
Serve hot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baked Pork Roll with Macaroni and Carrots

From "Home Pork Making", a "complete guide for the farmer, the country butcher and the suburban dweller, in all that pertains to hog slaughtering, curing, preserving and storing pork product--from scalding vat to kitchen table and dining room", published in 1900.

Chop fine (a meat chopper will do the work well and quickly) 3 lbs. raw lean pork and 1/4 lb. fat salt pork.

Soak a pint of white bread crumbs in cold water. When soft squeeze very dry, add to the chopped meat with a large onion chopped fine, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon each of chopped sage and thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix together thoroughly and form into a roll, pressing it closely and compactly together. Have ready about a tablespoon of fat in a frying pan, dredge the roll thickly with flour and brown it in the fat, turning it until nicely browned on all sides. Then place it in a baking pan, and bake in a hot oven for one hour. Baste it every ten minutes with water.

Do not turn or disturb the meat after it has been put into the oven. Half an hour before dinner add 12 or 14 small carrots that have been parboiled in salted boiling water for fifteen minutes. When done, place the roll on a platter, surround it with plain boiled macaroni, dot with the carrots and pour over all a nicely seasoned tomato sauce.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Boiling with Bacon

Get a pound of streaky bacon, cut square if possible, scrape and wash clean, put on in plenty of water, with a young onion, a little thyme and parsley, bring to a quick boil, throw in cold water, skim the pot clean, then let stand simmering for two to three hours. Add to it either greens—mustard, turnip, or dandelion or field salad, well washed and picked, let cook till very tender, then skim out, drain in a colander, lay in a hot dish with the square of bacon on top. Here is the foundation of a hearty and wholesome meal. The bacon by long boiling is in a measure emulsified, and calculated to nourish the most delicate stomach rather than to upset it. Serve two thin slices of it with each helping of greens. You should have plenty of Cayenne vinegar, very hot and sharp, hot corn bread, and cider or beer, to go along with it.

String beans, known to the south country as snaps, never come fully to their own, unless thus cooked with bacon. Even pork does not answer, though that is far and away better than boiling and buttering or flooding with milk sauces. It is the same with cabbage. Wash well, halve or quarter, boil until very tender, drain and serve. Better cook as many as the pot will hold and the bacon season, since fried cabbage, which is chopped fine, and tossed in bacon fat with a seasoning of pepper, salt and vinegar, helps out wonderfully for either breakfast, luncheon or supper. Never throw away proper pot-liquor—it is a good and cheap substitute for soup on cold days. Heat, and drop into it crisp bread-crusts—if they are corn bread crusts made very brown, all the better. Pioneer folk throve on pot-liquor to such an extent they had a saying that it was sinful to have too much—pot-liquor and buttermilk at the same meal.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Community Cookbook Cornbread

Sift three-fourths cup cornmeal, three-fourths cup flour, two and one-half teaspoonfuls baking powder, three-fourths teaspoonful salt, one tablespoonful sugar. Work in tablespoonful butter, then add three-fourths cup sweet milk, into which one or two eggs have been beaten. Pour into greased pans and bake in a moderate oven. If sour milk is used, take one and one-half teaspoonful baking powder and one-fourth teaspoonful soda.

From "The Community Cook Book" from the Class of Willing Workers of the Winter St. Baptist Church, Haverhill, MA. "A practical cook book, representative of the best cookery to be found in any of the more intelligent and progressive American communities."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Corn Pudding

Slit lengthwise the grains in eight large ears of corn, scrape out the pulp carefully, saving all milk that runs. The corn should be full, but not the least hard—if it has reached the dough state, the grains will keep shape. Beat three eggs very light, with half a teaspoonful salt, a tablespoonful sugar, plenty of black pepper, and paprika, half a cup of very soft butter, and half a cup sweet cream. Add the corn pulp and milk, stir well together—if too thick, thin with a little milk. Pour into a pudding dish, cover and bake ten minutes, then uncover, and bake until done.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", Martha McCulloch Williams, 1913

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plain Corn Bread

Sift sound fresh white cornmeal, wet with cold water to a fairly soft dough, shape it by tossing from hand to hand into small pones, and lay them as made into a hot pan well sprinkled with dry meal. The pan should be hot enough to brown the meal without burning it. Make the pones about an inch thick, four inches long, and two and a half broad. Bake quickly, taking care not to scorch, until there is a brown crust top and bottom. For hoe-cakes make the dough a trifle softer, lay it by handfuls upon a hot-meal-sprinkled griddle, taking care the handfuls do not touch. Flatten to half an inch, let brown underneath, then turn, press down and brown the upper side. Do not let yourself be seduced into adding salt—the delight of plain corn-bread is its affinity for fresh butter. It should be eaten drenched with butter of its own melting—the butter laid in the heart of it after splitting pone or hoe-cake.

Salt destroys this fine affinity. It however savors somewhat bread to be eaten butterless. Therefore Mammy always said: "Salt in corn-bread hit does taste so po' white-folks'y." She had little patience with those neighbors of ours who perforce had no butter to their bread.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", 1913.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New Orleans Red Beans

1 lb dry red beans
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 bay leaves
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Pick through beans to remove bad beans; rinse thoroughly. In a 5-quart pot, combine beans, water, onion, celery, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir and mash some of the beans against side of the pan to thicken the mixture.

Add green pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until creamy, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Serve over hot, cooked brown rice, if desired.

Mixed Greens

2 bunches mustard greens or kale
2 bunches turnip greens
pepper to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (optional)

Rinse greens well, removing stems. In a large pot of boiling water, cook greens rapidly, covered, over medium heat for about 25 minutes or until tender.

Serve with some of the pot liquor (liquid from the cooked greens). If desired, cut greens in pan with a sharp knife and kitchen fork before serving.


10-ounce baby lima beans (frozen)
2 tablespoons margarine
10-ounce whole kernel corn (frozen)
10-ounce cut okra
15-ounce canned tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 cup chopped onions
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste

Combine lima beans, margarine, corn, tomatoes, onions, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper in a pan.Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add okra and cook for 10 more minutes.

Mock Southern Sweet Potato Pie

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
2 Tbsps vegetable oil

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup evaporated skim milk, canned
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sweet potatoes (cooked and mashed)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl.
3. Add milk and oil to the flour mixture.
4. Stir with fork until well mixed and then form pastry into a smooth ball with your hands.
5. Roll the ball between two 12-inch squares of waxed paper using short, brisk strokes until pastry reaches edge of paper.

7. Combine sugars, salt, spices, and eggs.
8. Add milk and vanilla. Stir.
9. Add sweet potatoes and mix well.
10. Pour mixture into pie shell.
11. Bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool and cut into 16 slices.