Recipes of Pioneer Homemakers

| 2/26/2015 11:00:00 AM

Fly device

From 1851 is a sketch of a device to fan flies from the table while rocking. (From the January 11, 1941 “Centennial” issue of The Prairie Farmer.)

These recipes appeared in The Prairie Farmer magazine over the years and were gleaned from back issues and published in their “Centennial Number” of January 11, 1941. They bear little resemblance to today’s recipes that give precise amounts and specified cooking times and temperatures. I guess back then farm women knew how to cook and mainly just wanted new ideas to add a little variety to the monotonous round of meals they served day after day.

Wisconsin Mince for Pie–1841. Take the usual quantity of meat and substitute beets for apples, but in only one-third the quantity of the latter. Boil the beets, pickle them in vinegar 12 hours, chop them very fine, and add the vinegar they were pickled in. Add 1/8 of grated bread and spice to suit you. (And that’s it! I don’t understand the “1/8 grated bread”–1/8 of what? A loaf, a cup, a handful? No clue–possibly it’s a misprint.)

Flannel Cakes–1849. Take 2 eggs for a quart of sour milk, a tablespoon of melted butter, one of sugar, and a half a one of salt. Put all together without beating the eggs. Mix into a batter stiff enough to drop off a spoon like an oyster. Then have some saleratus dissolved in water, and stir in slowly until your batter begins to rise. Be careful not to put in enough to turn the color. If the milk is only sour enough to thicken, a teaspoon of saleratus is enough for the quart. If it has fermented, it may require two, and your cakes will be nicer. Have a griddle hot and bake like buckwheat. (Saleratus is sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda.)

Boiled Brown Bread–1852. Take 3 cups Indian meal, 2 cups rye meal, 1/2 cup molasses, 1-1/2 pints sour milk, 1 tablespoonful saleratus, 1 teaspoonful salt; boil 4 hours in a tin kettle. (By Indian meal, I’d guess they mean corn meal. I never before heard of boiled bread, wonder what its consistency was like.)


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