Volume IX, No. 1, Fall 1981

Country Menus

by Deidra Morgan

Several years ago in the fall of the year, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the wives were busy preparing the food for the Thanksgiving feast. They went to the cellar and picked out some of the beautifully canned vegetables, preserves and fruits they canned during the summer months. Then they went to the kitchen and started a long day of preparing the food. They cooked all kinds of vegetables and meats, such as green beans, corn, potatoes, turkey and ham. They were also constantly baking breads, cookies, cakes and pies. Old-timers didn't have a heat thermometer to help them bake, but cooked so much they could feel when the heat was right by holding their hands in the oven. The following recipes are some they might have used on a Thanksgiving day feast.

This grape pie recipe is a delicious pie to make in the fall of the year when the grapes are ripe. Mrs. W.J. Delano, who lives near where the. grapes are grown, uses this recipe a lot. The grapes freeze well for use the year round. She freezes the pulp in one bag and skin in another. Then when she wants to make a pie, she thaws them out before combining them with the other ingredients.


3 cups concord grapes  1 1/2 T. butter
2 T. flour 2 eggs
2 T. water 2 unbaked crusts
1 1/2 cup sugar

Squeeze the pulp from grapes, reserving skin. Cook the pulp in the water until the seeds separate. Pour this through strainer to remove the seeds from the pulp. Blend the flour with a small amount of water, add it to the pulp and cook until clear. Then add the sugar and butter and let the mixture cool. When cool, add the well beaten eggs. Add grape skins last. Then pour into one of the crusts, placing the other over the top. Bake at 425° for 1/2 hour, then finish at 350°· Make the pie several hours before serving to let filling set a little.

Many farm wives used molasses not only because it was handy, but because they couldn't always go to the store and sugar was very expensive. Lutie Hooper often sent the cookies to her oldest son in World War I, as he liked mother's cooking. Doxey Dampier, Lutie's daughter, contributed the next two recipes from her mother's collection.


1 cup molasses 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup shortening 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
2 1/4 cups flour

Cream together the molasses and shortening. In a separate bowl sift together the soda, flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to first mixture. Mix and roll out on a floured board. Cut and lay on greased cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven, for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Persimmon pudding was a delightful treat to have in the fall. It was quite a task to know when the persimmons were ripe enough to pick and eat.


1 pint buttermilk 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 heaping pint ripe persimmons 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar 1 tsp. baking pwdr.
1 egg 1 tsp. soda
1 T. butter Flour (enough to make dough stiff 
1/4 tsp. cloves but not as stiff as cake dough)

Mix the buttermilk and persimmons together and press them through a sieve or colander. Then add the sugar, egg, butter, spices, baking powder, soda and flour as listed. Bake in a moderate oven until done. Don't worry if the pudding falls a little or seems soggy. Cut the pudding in squares and serve with whipped cream or sugar and cream.

If you have any old-time handed-down recipes you'd like to share, we'd appreciate it if you'd send them to us.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

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