Ride along on the Genealogy Trails Chuck Wagon!

Welcome to
The Genealogy Trails

Meat, Fish and Poultry Recipes
(These recipes were printed in the "Sod House Museum Cook Book"
Researched by Juanite Osbourn

Note: None of these recipes have been tested by Genealogy Trails.


To Cure Hams and Bacon

Ham -- Saltpetre -- Water -- Brown Sugar - Red Pepper - Salt

For each hundred pounds of hams, make a pickle of ten pounds of salt, 2 pounds of brown sugar, 2 ounces of saltpetre, and 1 ounce of red pepper, and from 4 to 4 ½
gallons of water, or just enough to cover the hams, after being packed in a watertight vessel, or enough salt to make a brine to float a fresh egg high.

First rub the hams with common salt, and lay them into a tub. Take the above ingredients, put them in a vessel over the fire. Heat until hot, stirring frequently. Remove all the scum, allow it to boil ten minutes, let it cool and pour over the meat. After laying in this brine for 5 or 6 weeks, take out, drain, and wipe, and then smoke 2 to 3 weeks. Small pieces of bacon may remain in this pickle 2 weeks which would be sufficient.

To Smoke Hams and Fish at Home

Hogs Head -- Green Wood - Hickory Wood Dust

Take an old hogs head, stop up all the crevice and fix a place to put a cross-stick
near the bottom, to hang the article to be smoked on. Next, in the side, cut a hole
near the top, to introduce an iron pan filled with hickory wood sawdust and small
pieces of green wood. Having turned the hog's head upside down, hang the articles
on the cross-stick, introduce the iron pan into opening and place a piece of red hot
iron in the pan, cover it with sawdust. Let a large ham remain 10 days, and keep
up a good smoke. The best way to keep hams is to sew them in coarse sloth, white-washed on the outside.


To Bake a Ham (Corned)

Medium-sized Ham -- Flour -- Water -- Bread

Take a medium sized ham and place it to soak for 10 to 12 hours. Then cut away the rusty part from underneath. Wipe it dry and cover it with a paste made of flour and water rather thickly. Put it into an earthen dish, and set in a moderately heated oven. When done, take off the crust carefully and peel off the skin. Put a frill of cut paper around the knuckle, and raspings of bread over the fat of the ham or serve it glazed and garnished with cut vegetables. It will take about 4 or 5 hours to bake. Cooked in this way the flavor is much finer than when boiled.


Fried Brook Trout

brook trout -- salt -- pepper -- flour

These delicate fish are usually fried, and form a delightful breakfast or supper dish. Clean, wash and dry the fish, split them to the tail, salt and pepper them, and flour them nicely. If you use lard instead of the fat of fried salt pork, put in a piece of butter to prevent their sticking, and to cause them to brown. Let the fat be hot, fry quickly to a delicate brown. They should be sufficiently browned on one side before turning on the other side. They are nice served with slices of fried pork, fried crisp. Lay them side by side on a heated platter, garnish and send hot to the table. They are often cooked and served with their heads on.


To Fry Fish

Fish -- Salt -- Pepper -- Indian Meal or Wheat Flour -- Egg -- Bread or Cracker Crumbs

Most of the small fish (generally termed pan-fish) are usually fried.
Clean well, cut off the head, and if quite large, cut out the back bone, and slice the body crosswise into 5 or 6 pieces, season with salt and pepper. Dip in Indian meal, or wheat flour, or in beaten egg and roll in bread or fine cracker crumbs. Trout and perch should not be dipped in meal, into a thick bottomed iron frying pan. Place fish, the flesh side down, with hot lard or drippings, fry slowly, turning when lightly browned.

The following method may be deemed preferable: Dredge the pieces with flour, brush them over with beaten eggs, roll in bread crumbs, and fry in hot lard or drippings, fry slowly, in the hot lard sufficient to cover, the same as frying crullers (an uncooked dough in the shape of rings or oblong). If the fat is very hot, the fish will fry without absorbing it and will be palatably cooked. When brown on one side, turn it over in the fat and brown the other, draining when done. This is a particularly good way to fry slices of large fish. Serve with tomato sauce, garnish with slices of lemon.


Pickled Pigs Feet

Pigs Feet -- Pepper -- Salt -- Cider -- Vinegar -- Flour

Cut off horn parts of feet and toes, scrape clean and wash thoroughly, singe off stray hairs, place in a kettle with plenty of water, boil, skim, pour off water and add fresh. Boil until bones pull out easily. Do not bone, but pack in stone jar with pepper and salt, sprinkled between each layer. Cover with cider vinegar. When wanted for table, take out sufficient quantity, put in hot skillet, add more vinegar, salt and pepper if needed, boil until thoroughly heated, stir in a smooth thicken of flour and water, and boil until flour is cooked. Serve hot on a nice breakfast dish.
Or when feet have boiled until perfectly tender, remove bones and pack in stone jar as above, slice down cold. When wanted for use, let liquid in which feet are boiled stand overnight, in morning remove fat and prepare and preserve for use.

Jellies and Syrups
(These recipes were printed in the "Sod House Museum Cook Book"
Researched by Juanite Osbourn

Note: None of these recipes have been tested by Genealogy Trails.

Blackberry Syrup

1 quart berry juice -- 1 pint sugar --
1 teaspoon allspice -- 1 teaspoon cinnamon -- 1 teaspoon cloves -- 1 teaspoon nutmeg.

Mix all ingredients and boil for 15 minutes. Use over pancakes.


Wild Grape Jelly

1 gallon wild grapes -- 1 pint apple cider vinegar -- cinnamon -- 3 pounds sugar

Pick about 1 gallon of wild grapes and wash removing the stems. Crush in a large
gallon pan and add 1 pint of apple cider vinegar and some cinnamon if you wish. Cook for about 15 minutes, slowly. Strain through a cheese cloth and then boil for about 20 minutes. Add 3 pounds of sugar and cook until it starts to gel. Put into jars.


Persimmon Butter

persimmons -- 1/2 teaspoon soda -- cup of pulp -- spices & orange rind

Cook and strain persimmons. Add 1/2 teaspoon soda to each cup of pulp. Sweeten and flavor with spices or orange rind. Cook thoroughly and bottle.


Wild Plum Jelly

1/2 gallon half-ripe plums -- water -- 1 pound sugar

Wash plums then cover ½ gallon half-ripe plums with water in a porcelain kettle and boil 10 minutes. Pour off the juice and strain through flannel. Add 1 pound sugar to each pint of juice and boil until 20-30 minutes. It will harden when cold.


Wild Plum Jam

¾ pound sugar -- 1 pound plums

¾ pound of sugar for each pound of plums. Place in alternate layers in kettle and let stand until juice flows freely. Boil 15 minutes. Press through sieve, return to fire, and boil until thick, stirring constantly.


Wild Cherry Jelly

3 quarts cherries -- 2 cups water -- 1 measure of sugar

Wash 3 quarts cherries and place in a vessel with 2 cups of water. Boil until very tender. Pour of the juice, measure and add one measure of sugar to each measure of juice. Boil until jellied. Put in molds and cover, when cold, with writing paper dipped in brandy.


Mint Jelly from Apple Juice

1 cup mint leaves -- 2 tablespoons extract -- 1 cup apple juice -- ¾ cup sugar --
green food coloring

1 cup mint leaves (chopped fine and packed tight). Pour boiling water over the clean mint leaves. Cover and allow to steep for 1 hour. Press juice from the leaves and add 2 tablespoons of this extract to 1 cup of apple juice and ¾ cup of sugar. Boil until jelly test is reached. Add green food coloring. Pour into hot glasses and seal.

(These recipes were printed in the "Sod House Museum Cook Book"
Researched by Juanite Osbourn

Note: None of these recipes have been tested by Genealogy Trails.

Making Cheese Before Rennet Tablets

When a cow was butchered the stomach was removed, cut open and cleaned. It was then stretched out in one piece to dry. When thoroughly dry it was rolled up and hung from a rafter. A tiny piece of the stomach lining (about thumbnail size) was used to curdle the milk. Some cooks used a small piece of light bread to give it a sour tast.

Homemade Cheese

Clabber the milk, add two or three tablespoons of buttermilk per gallon of skimmed milk. Let milk sit out for 2 days to sour. Pour 2 gallons of milk into pan, heat until a little hotter than lukewarm. After thoroughly heated, pour into a strainer, made with a cotton cloth pinned over a bucket with clothes pins. Gather the corners of the cloth and squeeze the whey through the cloth. Put the curds in a bowl, and add 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and 1 raw egg. Put a lump of butter, about the size of a large hen egg in a big iron frying pan and melt it. Add curds and keep turning them over medium heat until they melt enough to run together. Put them in a dish to cool. As they cool they form a cake. May be eaten then or wait several days. After awhile it gets hard enough to slice. It should keep a week.


Homemade Cheese #2

2 ½ gallons cold milk -- ¼ tablet Hansen's Cheese -- 1/8 tablet Hansen's Color Rennet
½ teaspoon salt

In a large pan, put 2 ½ gallons of cold milk (whole) and heat a little past lukewarm. Remove from heat and add ¼ tablet of Hansen's Cheese Rennet, and 1/8 tablet of Hansen's Color, each dissolved in 1 cup of water. (Both tablets are available in a drugstore.) Let milk sit for 15 to 30 minutes to stiffen and get jelly-like. Cut with a knife or spatula into tiny squares, also running spatula under the surface as if cutting into layers. Let it sit briefly, then work mixture gently until broken into pieces about the size of a grain of corn and until its broken apart completely. Return to stove and heat slowly until almost as hot as touch can stand (do not boil) stirring constantly so curds will stay separated. Remove from heat and let sit 15 to 30 minutes to cool. Strain through a cheese cloth, in a colander in the sink. Do not squeeze, let it drip naturally. Add a teaspoon of salt and massage it well. Put in a homemade press lined with cheesecloth. Adding weights in stages, leave in press overnight or 12 hours to press cheese into a firm block. Remove from press and dry it for a week in open air with cloth under cheese to absorb moisture. Turn 2 times a day. The cheese forms a dry crust on the outside. It should keep without spoiling for a month or more.


[Source: "Housekeeper's Companion" Compiled by Bessie Gunter, 1889]

Boil two ounces of hops in four quarts of water for one half hour, strain off the liquor and let it stand till lukewarm, when add one half pound brown sugar and two heaping spoonfuls of salt. Use sufficient of the liquor to beat up one pound of the best flour, and gradually mix in. Let it stand till it ferments (which in cold weather may not be for a week), stirring it frequently, then add three pounds of potatoes well mashed. After it ferments again, strain and bottle. It will keep good as long as it lasts in any weather or in any place.—MRS. J. E. N.


Boil one quart of Irish potatoes in three quarts of water. When done, take out the potatoes, one by one, on a fork, peel and mash them fine in a tray with a large iron spoon, leaving the boiling water on the stove during the process. Throw in this water a handful of hops, which must scald, not boil, as it turns the tea very dark to let the hops boil. Add to the mashed potatoes a heaping teacupful of powdered white sugar and half a teacupful of salt; then slowly stir in the strained hop tea, so that there will be no lumps. When milk-warm add a teacupful of yeast and pour into glass fruit jars, or large, clear glass bottles, to ferment, being careful not to close them tightly. Set in a warm place in winter, a cool one in summer. In six hours it will be ready for use, and at the end of that time the jar or bottle must be securely closed. Keep in a cold room in winter, and in a refrigerator in summer. This yeast will keep two weeks in winter and one week in summer. —MISS M. G.


Grate one pint of white potato, on which pour one quart of hop tea. Put this on to cook and let it come to a boil. Then take off the stove, and add one cup of salt, one of brown sugar, seven pints of cold water, and a pint of good yeast. Set in a warm place. This yeast will keep two weeks in warm weather and not sour, if kept in cool place.—MRS. T. E.C.C.


Take three large Irish potatoes, peel and grate them To these put two quarts of boiling water. Let it stand till milk-warm, then add half teacupful of sugar and half teacupful of salt. After it works use one teacupful of yeast to one quart of flour.
—MRS. G. T. G.


Peel and grate four large Irish potatoes. Stir in it one quart of boiling water, half teacupful of sugar, one third teacupful of salt. Stir all together and put over a kettle of boiling water and let it cook ten minutes, stirring occasionally while cooking. Then let it cool and pour into it half teacupful of good yeast. Set away in a warm place and it will be ready to use in four hours. - MRS. W. B. P.


©Genealogy Trails