Family Recipes

You probably have cherished family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Most of us do.

Food is inseparable from family. Those who love us, feed us. And we love to feed those we love. If someone shares a family recipe with you, that’s saying something. You matter to them.
Our ancestors were no different. They loved they’re family, their friends, and their community. That love of community is why the ladies of the First Presbyterian Church in Houston compiled all their favorite recipes back in 1883.

Here are a few that caught my eye. If you try them, let us know how they turn out.

Chicken and Ham Pie – Line a dish with paste; season with pepper and salt a few slices of ham and chicken, place them alternately in the dish, covering each layer with the yelks (that’s how they spelled it then) of hard boiled eggs; fill up the dish with gravy, in which half a cup of tomato sauce has been put; cover with paste; cook until well done. If too dry, add gravy when served.

A Nice Breakfast Dish – Take a little bacon gravy or a spoonful of butter, put in a hot frying pan, pour in some molasses and let it boil a few minutes. Serve hot.

Good Coffee – To one teacup of fresh ground coffee, add one egg and water enough to wet the coffee. Stir together, then add three pints of boiling water. Let it come to a boil, then set aside where it will keep warm.

Silver Pie – One lemon, one large white potato, one egg, one cup of white sugar, one cup of cold water. Peel and grate the potato, add the juice and rind of the lemon, the beaten white of the egg, and the sugar and water. Bake in one paste (crust). After baking, spread on the top the whites of three eggs, frothed, sweetened and flavored with lemon. Set again in the oven to brown. Lay on small pieces of jelly or jam just before taking to the table.

Green Corn Soup – Six ears of corn, grate and boil the cobs in water enough to cover them. When done, remove the cobs and use the water in which they have been boiled to stew the grated corn, add one quart of sweet milk when ready to serve, letting it boil after the milk is poured in. Season with butter, pepper and salt.

Apple Meringue – Stew six apples, and, while hot, put in a piece of butter the size of an egg. When cold add a cup of cracker crumbs, the yelks of three eggs, one cup of sweet milk, and sugar to taste. Bake in a large plate, with an under crust. When done, beat the whites of the eggs with a cup of sugar to a stiff froth, pour on top the pie and brown.

Brown Bettie – One third bread, two-thirds apples, two cups brown sugar, one-half cup butter, two teaspoons cinnamon, a little nutmeg; crumb the bread and chop the apples, mix them together, then mix thoroughly the sugar, butter and spices, and spread this mixture over the apples and bread. Bake very brown. Serve with sauce made as follows: One teaspoon of butter, one-half cup of brown sugar, one pint of boiling water, one teaspoon of flour, vanilla or wine to flavor it.

To Barbecue Fish – Salt the fish well; put it in a baking-pan nearly full of water and boil until almost done, then pour off most of the water. Have ready a cupful of vinegar, black pepper and Worcester shire sauce and butter, melted together. Pour this over fish, a little at a time, until the fish is done. Sift a little flour over the fish between the times of putting on sauce and it will brown nicely.

Black Cake – Two cups molasses, one of sugar, two of butter; mix, set on the fire until the butter melts, take it off and let it cool. Beat five eggs separately, pour the mixture in the yelks, add three cups flour, one of cream, a spoonful of yeast powder, then put in the whites, beat them well, and bake as a pound cake; add about three-fourths of a cup of ginger, spices and cinnamon together.

Pork Cake – One teacup of raw salt pork, chopped fine, one cup of sugar, one cup of molasses, one cup of raisins, one cup sweet milk, one egg, all kinds of spice, one cup of currants, one teaspoon of soda, flour enough to make a little thicker than common cake. Bake.

Ammonia Jumbles – Three-fourths of a pound of lard, two pounds of sugar, two eggs, one ounce of carbonate of ammonia (known as baker’s ammonia) dissolved in one and a half pints of warm water; flour enough to roll; mix as jumbles and bake quickly. This recipe is especially recommended for its great excellence. 

Categories: Texas Folkways, Texas Food

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