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Miss Halfyard’s Busy Day Cake

1 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
One egg
2/3 cups lard or butter melted
Pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg if you have it
One tablespoon vanilla if you have it

Mix or sift dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, add milk or buttermilk if batter is too dry
Bake in a pan in a medium hot oven


Pick yourself a pile of them and soak them in a bit of lightly salted water so any creepy crawlies come out
Melt at least 1/2 cup butter in frying pan
Sauté those mushrooms with some salt and pepper for about ten minutes
Do not put on a cover!
My granddaughter, Lily, daughter of my Evelyn, adds a splash of white wine and that is nice especially when she gives me a glass to go along with the mushrooms! (I am no teetotaler) 


Apples, about five or as many as ten depending on how much you want and your family. Don’t use those damn red delicious from the supermarket. Get yourself some good ones from an orchard.
Pinch of salt (brings out the flavor)
1/3 cup sugar (I once used brown sugar and when Tom brought home maple syrup I used that once too)

Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon to your taste. I like Nutmeg.
Pare the apples, cut and core and put in saucepan. Put in salt and sugar and stir. Cover! And put on low burner. After about ten minutes check and make sure they are not burning. If you burn them you will have to feed it to the hogs or chickens. The sheep will eat it too but it cannot be saved.
Sometimes you have to add a little water if a nice juice is not developing. Cook uncovered until it looks like apple mush—not too dry and not too wet!
Take off of stove and add your spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice

Roast Chicken

Wash the chicken inside and out, pulling out any pin hairs that you find.

Dry it.

Tie the opening closed and tie the legs into place.

Rub with butter.

Prick the skin with a fork and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put in a very hot oven and reduce the heat to medium after 1/2 hour.

Keep basting with butter and liquid from the pan. This should take about 1 and 1/2 hour.

My daughter, Evie, adds rosemary and I have to admit that is a very nice addition. 

As soon as you take out the chicken pour off the liquid for gravy.

The chicken should be served as soon as it is taken out of the oven.

Pound Cake

1/2 pound cold fresh butter
1 2/3 cup white sugar
Pinch salt
5 eggs
2 cups sifted white flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Tube pan or loaf pan
Work that cold butter in a mixer or with a wooden spoon until it is shiny.

Add sugar and salt and turn that until all that sugar is completely mixed in. It should not be gritty!

Add two eggs and beat well. Then add some flour and alternate with the rest of the eggs. Last add in the vanilla.
Butter and flour the bottom of your pan. Place cake in a low heat oven, which today is about 300 degrees.

Bake about 40 minutes for a tube pan or about 50 minutes for a loaf pan, then raise the heat to about medium heat—325-350. It kind of depends on how the cake is going that day. A good cook knows weather, the cook’s mood; your ingredients will alter the cooking process a little. When you take it out run a knife around it and turn it over on a rack to cool. Cover with clean dish towel so the cake does not dry out.
Some vanilla ice cream on the side is a good addition.

Tom’s Apple Pie

Quart of good moonshine
Jug of apple cider
Stick of cinnamon (take the cinnamon stick out after a week or it will be too strong)
(Some people cut up apples, put in nutmeg, cloves, but Tom did not. He did not like “stuff” floating in his drink).


1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup flour (or you can use another cup cornmeal)
1/4 cup of sugar because that is the way I like it!
A pinch or two of baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk or milk
1/4 shortening or lard, melted
Mix dry ingredients.

Make a well in the dry ingredients. 

Mix the wet ingredients together than add to dry ingredients and mix together until just combined! Do not over mix.

Turn into a heated greased skillet and put in medium hot oven or fire or Dutch oven.

Bake about 20-30 minutes depending on how hot your fire is.

Custard Cornbread

This recipe I came up with on my own when times were good and we had lots of corn and cream.

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
Pinch of baking powder and baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup corn
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter
Mix all together and place in a baking dish. Place baking dish in another dish so that water can be poured into bigger dish.

Bake in medium oven for about 40 minutes or until set.

Lemon Cake With Lemon and More Lemon

2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 cup butter 
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Grated lemon zest- another teaspoon
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
6 tablespoons butter 
3/4 cup white sugar 
4 egg yolks, beaten 
4 cups confectioners' sugar 
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
2 tablespoons milk 

Mary’s Mother’s Ice Tea

Pour 8 cups boiling water over your favorite ten tea bags
Squeeze the juice from ten lemons
Heat 1 cup sugar with  1 1/2 cups water—low heat until melted—keep stirring!
Heat 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of mint leaves—strain
Pour all together and sweeten to taste


Pork scraps
4 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon ground savory
1/8 teaspoon allspice (start with less)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (start with less)
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3 cups cornmeal
Place the pork scraps and water in an 8-quart stock pot. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 2 hours.

Place the meat on a large plate; reserve the stock. Add the thyme, sage, savory, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

Bring to a boil and gradually add the cornmeal, stirring or whisking rapidly until it is all combined.

Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture is very thick, so that a spoon almost stands up by its own, about 15 minutes (if it gets too thick, just add a little more of the broth and stir well). 

Stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After a couple minutes, taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Scrapple must be well-seasoned or it will taste very bland when fried.
Place a piece of waxed paper into the bottom of two 9x5 loaf pans so that the ends extend over the two long sides. That will make it easier to lift the chilled loaf out of the pan later.

Pour half the mixture into each pan. Cover with foil and chill overnight or until chilled and solid.
Fry it.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

This tea is just over all good for a woman of childbearing age and tones the uterus.
1-2 full tablespoons of raspberry leaves. It is best to pick the leaves before the fruit is ripe, but you can pick green healthy leaves up until the first frost.
2 cups boiling water
Bring water to boil. Put in leaves and cover with a firm fitting lid. Turn off heat. Let steep for at least fifteen minutes. Pour your first cup while letting the rest of the leaves sit. In about 30-45 minutes strain and drain the raspberry leaf from the tea. Put the raspberry leaf in the garden and the tea where it can be lidded and chilled.
I add some sugar or honey, but then I add sugar to everything because I need to remember life is sweet.

Mountain Pie With Luanne’s Pie Crust

This recipe is for one double-crust 9" pie. To get a flaky crust, the key is COLD. I have put the butter (or lard) and water in the well house.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add butter and cut in with two knives to combine until resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water in a steady stream, starting with just 1/4 cup. Work it just until the dough pinches together. If necessary add a little more water or flour until you get to this state. You need to work from your instinct. Turn the dough out onto your kitchen table and divide in half. Shape into flattened discs, wrap each with a damp towel and let rest for 1 hour. 
Take one disc and roll it out onto your floured table until about 12" in diameter. Roll from the center out and rotate your crust quarter turns occasionally to avoid sticking. Transfer the crust to a 9" pie pan (to transfer, I gently fold the dough into quarters and unfold in the pan). Trim the edges, leaving about 1/2" overhang and then fold them under. Cover with a cool towel for about 30 minutes.
2-2 1/2 cups mixed aged fruit
1/2-2/3 cup sweetener(I have used both white and brown sugar, molasses, honey, whatever I’ve got or just want to use).
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour to help absorb and thicken juice
Pie spices of your choice
Mix it all up and put in crust
Bake in a medium oven for about 40 minutes—you might want to put a pan under the pies to catch any juice that might bubble over.

Ruth’s Nerve Tonic

1 pint of brandy
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar 
Motherwort, or lemon balm leaves and flowers
Fill pint jar packed full with plants. Pour over brandy, honey, and juice. Cap tight. Put in a dark place and shake occasionally. Let sit for at least three weeks and strain.
Helps women’s nerve.

Luanne’s Farmers Cheese

Bring a pot of at least two gallons of milk to simmer. We always used milk that had not been separated and was just on the verge of turning.

Bring to just about a boil to where it begins to steam—make sure you watch it, because if you burn the bottom it's ruined and you just as might as well feed it to the pigs.

When it’s just about to boil put in 1/4 cup of vinegar. It should immediately start to curdle, if not add a bit more vinegar till it does.

After about three to five minutes take off the heat and let sit and cool. Give it a stir or two.

When it has cooled, strain the curds. Sometimes I would use the left over whey for baking and other times I would feed it to the pigs or chickens as a treat. The dogs will drink it, but not the cats.

Hang the curds and let drain. Cheese cloth or a fine colander is good.

When you have gotten out the liquid, salt to taste.

Now, if you want cottage cheese, mix in a bit of heavy cream and add herbs if you like. If you want farmer’s cheese, continue to hang and get out ALL liquid then put in a mold or some type of container so the cheese can set up. You might want to put something heavy on it to continue to press out the milk.
I love farmers cheese spread on toast or with fresh berries.

Egg Bread

Make in the spring when you’re drowning in eggs!

Put 1/4 cup warm water and a packet of yeast with some sweetening in bowl to bubble. You can use anything—molasses, honey, white sugar, brown sugar.

Heat about 1 cup milk and a palm sized amount of butter till warm. Let cool and add 3-4 eggs.
When yeast has bubbled mix in 2 cups of flour. Add milk mixture. Add flour 1 to 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency. Knead.

Let rise twice. After first rising, divide dough into three steps and braid.

Bake in medium oven after second rising.

Louise Foxe’s Irish Stew

With one pound lamb meat cut, clean it and cut in one inch cubes. Salt, pepper flour and fry. You can use butter or lard to fry the lamb—but not too much. 

In a stew pot fry up onion, carrots, garlic, and if you have them and like them you can add turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas. After the lamb has browned, you can add it to the vegetables once they are soft. Add a bit of water if the vegetables start sticking. 

Add water and a few bay leaves, thyme, and more salt and pepper. You can cook it like this or add a jar of tomatoes.
(Louise does not add potatoes. Her people came over during the famine. I just don’t like them so I don’t add them).

Soda Bread

Sift 2 cups flour—Louise uses a mixture of oat flour, white flour, and sometimes wheat, 1/4 cup sugar, a teaspoon or two of baking soda and baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Add caraway seeds and raisins.

Make a well and add an egg, about 3/4 cup of milk or buttermilk, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix.

Add more flour until you can work it with your hands. Shape into large oval and put in pan.

Bake in medium oven until done

Ethel’s Orange Fluff

1 can mandarin oranges, most of the syrup drained, but save 1/4 cup of syrup
1 can crushed pineapple, syrup drained, but save 1/4 cup of syrup
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup cream, whipped
1 box orange Jell-O
Mix, refrigerate, and eat!

Restorative Tea

In hot water, seep four slices of ginger root and, if you don’t have that, use one slice of ginseng root—let it infuse
Put two tablespoons of honey
Add the juice of one lemon
Serve and drink!

Persimmon Pudding Cake

4 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour—I use acorn flour and white flour (when I have it)
1/2 brown sugar or white sugar or molasses or honey or whatever sweetener you got. Luanne actually puts a whole cup of sugar, but I do not like it that sweet. She is going to get diabetes.
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chopped nuts—pecans or walnuts if you can stand the taste—I can’t.
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Combine.

Back in a hot oven 40-50 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is, I start checking at 40). If I have cream I will whip some up and top it with that.

Blackberry Cobbler

4 cups blackberries, rinsed clean
1/2-2 cup sugar (less or more to taste, depends on how sweet the berries are and how sweet you would like your cobbler to be)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice if you have it, or vinegar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch (for thickening, can use instant tapioca instead or flour)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Put berries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a oven-proof dish. If you don’t have lemons use some vinegar. Stir it all around to coat, and if you have time let it sit for a bit.
Then stir together # tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt, and cut in the butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir the egg and milk mixture into the flour mixture.
Drop in large spoonfuls over the berry mixture and place in a medium hot oven until mixture is bubbly and dough is golden. Get some ice cream or whipped cream to top it.

Nettle Tea

Here’s the recipe for Nettle tea. Drink it when you are feeling puny.

Pick the nettles, with gloves and long sleeves, before it flowers (though they say the stings are good for arthritis—it will remind you of this for a good six hours).
Hang to dry. Make sure you do not clump them too close together or they will get moldy.
Once dry, pick off the leaves.
Nettles are very high in vitamins—higher than spinach or kale.
When I am feeling puny I boil up a gallon of water, put in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of nettles, let sit for a few hours, and drink hot or cold. It tastes green.

Easy Cottage Cheese

I liked to use one or two-day-old milk, maybe a gallon of it. I also liked to have some of the cream still in it, but if you have skimmed it off for butter your cottage cheese will just be the low-fat kind!

Put it on the stove until it is just ready to boil. Now I have walked away from it to do the four million other things I have had to do like hang laundry, run after a child, get the cow out of the yard, and next thing I know I came back inside and it has boiled over all over the stove. No worries. It will still make good cheese, you will just have a nice mess to clean up. 
Turn off the stove. Pour in ¼ cup of lemon juice or white vinegar and give a little stir. Let sit for about half hour. When you come back to it you should have curds forming. If it doesn’t, then sometimes—and I do not know why—it seems to need a little more juice. Just add it until the curds form.
Once you have the curds formed get you a tiny holed colander or cheese cloth and pour it through, remembering to save the whey for the pig bucket or your dogs. Some people feed it to the chickens, but my chickens wouldn’t drink it. Let drain for about an hour—occasionally stir the draining cheese.
I add a few shakes of salt to the cheese when it's done. Evie, who does not like anything old timey, does like to impress her church group with this cheese served with some nice crackers. She will add herbs.

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