An American Family

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Family Cooking

Some of these recipes are heirlooms, some are
just family favorites.  Represented here are
five generations of cooks.

Grandma Mobley’s
Home Made Sweet
Potato Pudding

    Wash and peel potatoes.  Use the coarse side of grater and grate 1½ qts. raw potatoes.  Add 2 eggs, 2/3 cup molasses, 1 cup sugar, ½ pt. flour and corn meal mixed (1/2 cup each), 1 pt. sweet milk, ½ teaspoon nutmeg.

    Combine all the above and mix well.  Put in a greased pan and bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and add ½ cup melted butter.  Stir in well.  Return to oven and bake until firm. 

    (Grandma Mary Caroline Morgan Mobley brought this recipe with her from Georgia when she came to Texas as a young bride.  In the 1800s everyone had large families.  Measured in qts. & pts.— comments of Lucy Hodge)

Aunt Fay's Date Loaf
(Fayth Hodge Branton)

for small cake:                                           for larger cake:
1 package dates                                1 package dates
2 cups boiling water                         3 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons soda                             3 teaspoons soda
3¼ cups flour                                      4¾ cups flour                                      
2 tablespoons shortening               4 tablespoons shortening
2 cups sugar                                       3 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt                                  ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla                              1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pecans                                       1 cup pecans

    Cut up dates, sprinkle with soda.  Pour on water.  Cool thoroughly.  Cream shortening and sugar, add salt, vanilla.  Add flour alternately with date mixture to creamed mixture.  Add pecans.  Bake in a greased, floured pan, 1¼ hours at 350 degrees.

The following recipes from the past were included
 in the memoirs written by Lucy Mason Hodge
and are given here in her own words.

 Home Made Cheese

Set 3 gallons of well flavored milk to clabber.  When clabber is firm, run a long knife through it, cutting the curd into cubes about the size of a grain of corn.  Place vessel containing clabber in another large vessel of water and place in stove.  Heat until the water boils.  About 30 minutes.  I just guessed at the temp that would heat the clabber and the whey would separate from the curd.  Stir every few minutes so that all the clabber would heat evenly.  When whey and curd separate pour into a cheese cloth (meal sack) bag.  Squeeze and drain until a dry curd is obtained.  With a fork work the curd into small particles.  To each quart of curd add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup firm butter, let stand 2 hours.  Stir 2 or 3 times.  Then add 2 teaspoons salt, 3 cups of heavy sour cream.  Place back in pan of hot water and cook until the curd melts.  Stirring all the time while cooking.  When it is all melted smooth and thick, pour into buttered bowl.  Let set 24 hours.  (It will slice and tastes about like the Velveeta of today.)  Cost almost nothing.  The soda and salt was all the ingredients that we had to buy.

 Home Made Mincemeat

I made this when we butchered hogs or beef.  Used the meat scraps.

3 lbs. lean beef or pork, 1 quart water, 1 lb. seedless raisins, 1 lb. white raisins, 3½ lbs. apples chopped, 2 oranges, 2 quarts cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves, teaspoon nutmeg, 1 tablespoon allspice, 3½ cups sugar.

Simmer meat in water until tender.  Drain.  Remove all bone or gristle.  Put meat and fruit through meat grinder or food chopper.  Combine all ingredients in large pan and simmer 30 minutes.

Pack in jars, adjust lid and place in pressure cooker.  Process 60 minutes for quarts, 30 minutes for pints, at 10 lb. pressure.  Remove from cooker and set to cool.  Makes about 8 qts.

 Corn Relish

6 green tomatoes, 18 ears of corn (roasting ears), 6 small cabbage heads, 6 onions, 6 green peppers, ½ cup salt.  Chop all of the above and cut corn from cob.  In a large pan.  Add 5 cups sugar, 3 cups vinegar, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon celery powder.  Combine all and cook at a slow boil for 30 minutes, or until thick.  Put in hot jars and seal.  Does not have to be pressured in cooker.

 Home Made Hominy

2 gallons of shelled corn, 4 gallons water and 3 heaping tablespoons of lye.  Put all in wash pot and boil until the husk and eyes begin to turn loose from the grain of corn.  Stir often with wooden paddle.  Dip out of pot into a wash tub half full of water.  Stir with wooden paddle and drain off water.  Keep adding fresh water and draining until most of the husk and eyes are off before you put your hands into it.  When the corn is no longer slick from the lye you can use your hands.  Rub the corn between your hands to remove the rest of the husk. When you are sure you have washed all the lye out put the corn in a pan with fresh water and heat to boiling, fill jars to within 1½ inch of top, put lid on and place in pressure cooker and process 1 hour at 10 lbs. pressure for qt jars.  40 minutes for pints.  Cook in a saucepan with salt and bacon grease.  Serve hot.

For a variation, cook with crisp bacon, onion, green pepper and celery.  Delicious.

Hog Head Souse

This is to be made in the winter after hog killing.

Wash the hog head after they have been scraped and remove the eyes, ears and any hair that might be on it.  Boil whole in a large pot.  Cook until it can be pulled off the bone.  Grind with food chopper or sausage mill.  After you drain off all the liquid you can add salt, black pepper, red pepper and sage or prepared sausage seasoning mix.  Add the seasoning to suit taste.  Put in a large bowl or crock.  Place a plate on top and weight down (a 5 lb. brick) place bowl in a large pan of hot water.  Keep warm several hours.   Use a spoon to dip off grease and fluid that rises on top of plate.  When no more grease rises remove from pan of water and let cool.  Keep cold, it will keep for weeks.  Slice like cheese.

Corn Meal Mush for Breakfast

Nettie McAfee Mason

I never did cook this for my family but my mother cooked it several times a year.

3 cups yellow corn meal, 2 qts boiling water, salt to taste.  Slowly add meal to boiling water stirring constantly to prevent lumping when it is mixed.  Stir until smooth, cover pot and cook in double boiler 2 to 3 hours.  Pour into oblong pan and let cool over night.  Next morning slice and fry slowly in butter serve with homemade molasses or honey.

Nettie Hodge West's
          Lemon-Coconut Pound Cake

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups sugar
5-6 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cups shortening
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring

    Sift dry ingredients together, set aside.  Cream shortening and sugar, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Add milk and flour alternately, beating continuously.  Mix in coconut and flavoring last.  Pour batter into greased and floured tube pan.  Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Glaze while still warm.

    Grate rind and squeeze juice of one lemon.  Add 1
½ tablespoons melted margarine.  Mix in powdered sugar (about 1 cup) and beat until smooth.  Drizzle over slightly warm cake.


Cindy Wilcoxen's Famous Apple Pie

3 cups flour
1 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
pinch of salt

    Cut Crisco into flour until mixture resembles coarse corn meal.  Add cold water (1/3 - 1/2 cup) and mix with fork until dough forms.  Separate into 2 parts.  Roll one part to make bottom crust (do not over handle; add flour as needed).  Second part may be rolled out for top crust or cut to make lattice top.

1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
2 quarts apples

    Peel and slice apples into prepared crust.  Combine dry ingredients and sprinkle liberally over apples.  Dot with butter.  Add top crust and bake at 375° until crust is lightly browned and apple filling is bubbly (about 50 minutes).  Cool at least 1 hour and serve  each slice with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream.