Volume I, No. 1, Fall 1973
The people of the Ozarks are very practical and down-to-earth. One proof of this is in their recipes. They make use of the foods that are available and do not require exotic ingredients. An Ozarkian table may not always suit the gourmet palate, but you can be sure that it will be weighted down with plenty of good wholesome food, that has been excellently prepared.
Every family has its prized recipes that are handed down from generation to generation. Here are a few of them that are appropriate for this time of year.
As the days get crisper and lunchboxes seem harder and harder to fill, this old-time recipe for sugar cookies can be a real help. This recipe has been a perennial favorite in my family for nearly one hundred years. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have. The original recipe contained only the list of ingredients, but for your convenience I have added directions for mixing and baking.
1 cup thick sour cream
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. soda
1 dessert spoon of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5-6 cups flour
Cream together the sour cream, shortening and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs. Combine the soda and salt with one cup of flour. Stir into the cream mixture, then add remaining flour until dough is stiff enough to roll. Chill, roll thin and cut into round cookies. Dust with sugar and bake on ungreased pan about ten minutes. 350°- 375°.
The widespread popularity of pie suppers in the Ozarks is proof of the hill people's love of good pies and good times. No collection of fall recipes could be complete without at least one pie recipe. The one I have chosen is truly an Ozarkian tradition. This recipe for green tomato pie comes from Ethel Massey of Grovespring, Missouri. She makes this pie as her grandmother did, "by guess and by gosh." When asked specifically, this is how she said to make this delicious and unusual dessert.
5 or 6 large green tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar ground spice butter pie dough
Line the pie pan with dough, leaving a small amount of dough for the top crust. Chop the green tomatoes into fine pieces into a bowl, using all the juice from the tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a bit of salt to take out the sweet taste, and mix slightly. Pour into uncooked pie crust. Sprinkle sugar and spice over the mixture and dot with butter. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips. Crisscross the pastry across the pie for top crust. Bake until-done in a hot oven.
A plentiful fall harvest in the Ozarks is persimmons. After frost these delicacies make scrumptious feasts for adventurous children. But many anxious youngsters have learned the hard way that you must wait until after frost. The persimmon also has a prominent place in many Ozarkian kitchens. When I was small, I remember an old man in our church telling how he made "Persimmon Sugar Plums" every year. As nearly as I can recall, this is the method he used.
As late in the fall as possible, gather firm ripe persimmons. In the bottom of a dry container place a layer of hulled persimmons. Cover this with a layer of sugar and continue alternating layers until container is filled. Cover and let mellow in a cool, dry place. These tasty morsels will convince you that in the Ozarks, we know how to eat.
If you have any special recipes you'd like to share with our readers, please send them to us. Be sure to include the history of the recipe and how it came to you.
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