Sharing Recipes from My Ancestors
We need to share the recipes from the battered recipe cards or those hand-written on scraps of paper. Future generations can enjoy a dessert or main dish prepared the way our ancestors made it.
Sometimes there are stories that go with the recipes. I wanted to preserve the recipe and stories. My mom wrote about the people and posted them on the Our Echo web site.
Here I link the recipe and story together. Sometimes the recipe is a little skimpy on directions as I'm sure grandma probably knew it by heart.
(Martin family butter churn)
A Recipe from My Grandmother - Ruth Vining McGhee
Ingredients for Potato Cakes
- leftover mashed potatoes (a cup or more)
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt and pepper
- iron skillet
- Beat the 2 eggs. Then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Heat up an iron skillet on the stovetop. You can grease the skillet with a butter wrapper to use up the remnants of butter or margarine. Grandma used a dab of plain lard or bacon drippings to fry the small cakes. Of course, bacon drippings add to the flavor. It's OK to use a cooking spray instead, but it won't have the same flavor.
- Drop the mixture by the spoonful on the greased, hot, iron skillet. You can try it on a non-stick skillet with that spray stuff, but I don't know how it will turn out.
- Lower the heat and fry until brown on one side. Turn them over and brown the other side.
- My dad liked his with ketchup on them. Mom liked hers plain. Some people like them with a little sour cream.
- Peel an extra potato or two whenever having mashed potatoes, so some will be left for potato cakes.
My Grandmother, Ruth (Vining) McGhee Feeding the Chickens
Background on This Heritage Recipe - and Ruth (Vining) McGhee
My mom's comment on this recipe, "One of my favorite recipes handed down from my frugal mother, who never let a bit of food go to waste, is potato cakes. Now my daughters and granddaughters make these too.
The eggs Mother used were from her own New Hampshire Red hens. This breed of chickens laid large, brown shelled eggs and Mother's chickens ranged on the open prairies of Greenwood county, Kansas where they ate grasshoppers, bugs and Bluestem grass. If you haven't experienced the joy of fresh farm country eggs you are in for the treat of your life. In the summer time the yolks will be a brilliant orange globe. No comparison to the store bought eggs that have been in cold storage for who knows for how long."
- We Gave Thanks Prairie Style (click to read the family story)
We Gave Thanks Prairie Style - Writer: Gail Lee Martin. Family memories of her parents - Clarence & Ruth McGhee and a 1930s Thanksgiving. Location: Teterville area Kansas USA. Year: 1930. Many eggs in basket card by inspirelove
Save Your Recipes and Family Memories to Pass along to Your Children
I've created a page if you want to learn more about the life of my grandmother, Ruth Vining McGhee.
A Recipe from My Grandmother - Cora Joy Martin
Baked Pineapple Dessert - a 1950s dessert
My grandmother, Cora Joy Martin of Emporia, Kansas made this. My mom says everyone loved it and it was easy to make and so tasty.
THURBER AND CO. PINEAPPLE by pjwuebker
Ingredients for Baked Pineapple Dessert
- large can of crushed pineapple
- 1/2 pound of rolled graham crackers
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin. If you don't have a rolling pin, just run them through a blender to make coarse crumbs.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, the crushed pineapple, and the sugar together.
- Stir in the cream, adding just enough to make the whole mix pourable.
- Grease a 1 1/2 quart cassarole and put the mix into it.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.
Cora Joy Martin and family of Emporia, Kansas
Background on This Heritage Recipe - and Cora (Joy) Martin
- My Mother-in-law Was Special (family story)
My Mother-in-law Was Special - Writer: Gail Lee Martin. Person: Cora (Joy) Martin Location: Emporia Kansas USA. Year: 1960.
Heritage Recipes from the Good Old Days
Recipes from Earlier Generations of Our Family
Corn Cob Jelly - This is the old fashioned way to make this jelly
This vintage recipe was passed down from my father's ancestor, Mary Black of Black Jack, Kansas. She was the granddaughter of the earliest doctor there, Moses O'Neil. The doctor's wife Eleanor (called Ellen) O'Neil was a sister to our great-grandmother, Elizabeth Jane (Rosebaugh) Kennedy. (wife of David Greacen Kennedy, my father's great grandfather).
Graphic from Zazzle: Jelly Jars Recipe Card by MouseCountry
It's amazing what you can turn into jelly.
Ingredients for Corn Cob Jelly
- 12 red corn cobs
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 package Sure-Jell
- Three pints of water
- To get corn cobs, you remove the dried corn from the cob. Boil the twelve red, clean corn cobs in three pints of water for half an hour. Mary Black would have boiled these on an old cast-iron stove, but you can use a regular stove.
- Strain the juice (and throw away the corn cobs). It makes 3 1/2 cups of corn cob juice.
- Use Domino or any sugar
- Add the 3 1/2 cups of sugar to the juice made from the corn cobs.
- Follow the directions on the Sure-Jell package. Mary Black would put wax on top to seal the jelly. If you're going to use it fairly soon, you can keep it in your refrigerator.
Historical Marker for Blackjack, Kansas
Video of Someone Trying the Corn Cob Jelly Recipe
On My Mother's Memory Blog, I Share More of These Vintage Family Recipes
- recipes | Search Results | Discovering Mom
Gail Lee Martin... gone but not forgotten
Publish Your Family Recipes in a Cookbook
© 2011 Virginia Allain