Today’s post is quick, but very cool, at least to me. 😊 Below is a link to an article which highlights 20 actual pioneer recipes, which were used during their journey to begin a new life. You have everything from “mud apples” and “chuckwagon beans”, to “vinegar lemonade” and “dutch oven trout”. I hope you enjoy this little journey back in time.
Pioneer life was not easy and the daily chores of managing a house where more than a full time occupation.
Cooking was a major part of each day. Early settlers butchered their own meat and made corned beef, sausage, smoked and dried meats. Large gardens yielded produce for canning, pickling and other preserves. Root cellars stored potatoes, carrots, and onions. Milk was separated into cream for butter and baking and milk for drinking. Breads, cakes and pies were of course all baked at home from scratch from whatever was available…
With all of us celebrating Mother’s day yesterday, I’m honoring my Mom today on both of my blogs. FOLLOW THIS LINK to see a poem I wrote her in June, 2005 for her 60th birthday.
My Mom is an absolutely AMAZING cook! I’d like to think my love of cooking came from watching her work magic in the kitchen. Like my Grandmother before her, it seemed that Mom didn’t measure anything or directly follow any recipe. She could take any recipe, change amounts, or remove/change ingredients entirely and come up with a mouth watering dish. I never knew how she could do that. It’s only now, after I’ve cooked for more than 25 years, that I can begin to understand how to transform a recipe into my own creation.
This photo is from June, 2019. We made some precious memories when our parents came for my son’s High School Graduation. Here we have three generations of family cooking together. From left to right: My Mother-in-law, my son Shaun, me, my Mom.
Today, I’ve picked out 5 of my Mom’s recipes to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
2- 1 pound cans refried beans
1- 4 ounce can green chiles (rinsed, seeded, deveined, chopped)
6 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese
6 ounces Cheddar Cheese
2 cups mild taco sauce
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
2 cups guacamole
1 cup sour cream
In a large skillet, brown beef/sausage and onion.
Season with salt and tabasco sauce and set aside to cool
Spread beans in a 4 quart casserole dish
Spread meat on top, then chilies.
Sprinkle both cheeses on top.
Drizzle with taco sauce.
Up til this point, recipe may be covered and refrigerated ahead of time, up to 24 hours. Return to room temp prior to cooking
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes
Remove from oven. Sprinkle with scallions, and olives. Mound the guacamole in center and top with sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.
Corn Hot Dish
1 – 16 ounce can cream style corn
1/4 cup flour
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Heat all ingredients on stovetop.
Place in casserole dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, covered
Sprinkle 1/2 cup buttered cracker crumbs over baked casserole
Bake 20 more minutes, uncovered
Corn & Shrimp Chowder
12 ounces bacon
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped celery
3 T finely copped green pepper
1 cup finely copped carrots
1/4 cup flour
1 – 13 ounce can whole kernel corn
2 cups half & half
1 pound shrimp, cooked, peeled & deveined
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 cups diced potatoes
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t paprika
1 – 17 ounce can cream style corn
In Dutch oven, cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup drippings.
In bacon drippings, saute onion, garlic, celery, green pepper and carrots til tender. Blend in flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Add broth and bay leaf, stirring occasionally til thickened.
Add potatoes, salt, pepper and paprika. Cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add corn and heat thoroughly.
Stir in half & half and shrimp. Heat thoroughly, but NOT boil.
Remove bay leaf and taste. Re-season if necessary.
Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon and parsley.
Sweet and Savory Meatballs
NOTE: This is a favorite in my home. My kids absolutely LOVE this one. Since I no longer use processed condensed soup, stay tuned for a healthy “remake” in a future article!
1 pound ground beef
1/4 dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup drained chopped canned tomatoes
2 T. vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
2 t. soy sauce
Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg and garlic. Shape into small meatballs. Brown meatballs in 1 tablespoon oil.
Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour over meatballs in a pan.
Cook in pan 20-30 minutes.
Server over hot cooked rice.
Frozen Strawberry Salad
1 – 8 ounce cream cheese – softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 – 10 ounce package strawberries, thawed
1 – 9 ounce cool whip (feel free to use an equal amount of homemade whip cream)
One of my favorite things to do is look for vintage and old timey recipes. I decided to scour the internet for depression era recipes for today’s article. I thought it fitting since many items are scarce in grocery stores today. My grocery store is almost always out of flour. Eggs are a hit and miss. Sometimes they have a ton, sometimes none at all.
I always admired people who lived during the great depression. We can, by no means, compare ourselves to what they went through. With shanty towns, food lines and the dust bowl, things were much worse back then. We live in luxury by comparison. With that said, there are certain things that may be hard to get and we can learn a lot from their strength and creativity.
I tried to find recipes that had basic ingredients. Because they were cheaper, hot dogs were often used as the protein. I have included 2 such recipes here. Under normal circumstances, hot dogs wouldn’t be included as an ingredient on this site, but I wanted to include it for authenticity. Feel free to swap out the hot dogs in favor of a healthier meat or sausage. The main point is use what you’ve got on hand and get creative, as they did.
This one looks rather interesting. But, is a perfect fit for our theme today. If you have limited resources, this is a great recipe. The author of the recipe says: “This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.“
This recipe is a wonderful way to fill some bellies and stretch just a few ingredients a long way. As the recipe author says: “Indulge in the comforts of old-fashioned cooking with this classic recipe for Old Timey Country Potato Soup. This easy potato soup recipe will give you something delicious and hearty to serve anytime you’re debating over what to put on the dinner table.”
These are very interesting and remind me of a similar cake recipe: water cake. From the author of the recipe: “In the 1930s, producers of a popular radio program called Jake and Lena invited listeners to write in for this recipe. My mother changed the name from Jake and Lena Cookies to Poor Man’s Cookies because they contained no eggs, milk or nuts. Despite the name, the cookies are rich in taste!”
If your grocery store is anything like mine, regular flour is a scarcity. If this is the case, and you have corn meal in your pantry, give this recipe a try. With only four ingredients, it couldn’t be easier!
At the time this lovely video was made, in 2009, Clara was 91 years old. In this video below, she shares a staple of life in the depression: poor man’s meal. I highly recommend watching the video. Clara shares some of her history as she makes the meal.
Today I have a whole food recipe which gives you a way to use up some of your leftovers. Here is my personal recipe for leftovers, which in this case was turkey. However, this really isn’t a recipe, as much as a process, which is very versatile. In this instance, I used Delicata squash, along with other things I had on hand: the basics, turkey, of course as well as kale, carrots, celery, onion, along with homemade bone broth, white wine, a little Himalayan salt, and some spices. The Delicata squash, pictured below, is a small, slightly sweet squash, about the size of a large sweet potato.
This recipe was born out of a craving for pot pie. Being gluten-free, I was too lazy to attempt the almost impossible “gluten-free” pie crust. So, I made the filling for the pot pie, and put it over a baked potato. Thus the lazy pot pie was invented. In this instance, I expanded the recipe by using squash instead of a potato.
With this recipe/procedure, you are only limited by your imagination. Are you a vegan? Use beans instead of meat. For the rest, open your fridge and see what you have on hand. How about, Sweet Potatoes, with left over steak, zucchini and tomatoes, or, Acorn squash, rotisserie chicken, broccoli, and spinach…well you get the idea. Experiment! There is a huge variety of squash, potatoes or even ancient grains, such as quinoa, amaranth or millet.
Add some fresh herbs to liven it up. This is a recipe I developed several years ago. Looking back at it today, I’d add poultry seasoning herbs, such as sage, rosemary and/or thyme. Fresh herbs add life and wonderful seasoning to this dish. With that said, it’s all about using what’s on hand. If you don’t have fresh herbs, by all means, use dried instead.
Here are a few photos of the ingredients and recipe steps. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the complete recipe.
a list of 10 crock-pot dinner recipes to share with the one you love. (There’s even a crock-pot quiche recipe!)
Welcome to my new series! Since my youngest son went off to college in August, I’m a new empty nester. One of the hardest things to get used to, besides his absence, is trying to cook for only my husband and myself. For 20+ years, I’ve cooked for 3 boys. I typically made extra, because, well, growing boys eat a lot. Now, it’s just the two of us and cooking for two is a whole different ball of wax…thus this new series. You’ll be learning along with me.
This series will be published bi-monthly, on the first Thursday every other month. On the first Thursday, during the other months, will be my pioneer recipes series.
Typically, I’ll be using the “tried and true” method. I’ll experiment with a recipe and then share my experiences with all of you. This time, however, I’m publishing a list of 10 crock-pot dinner recipes to share with the one you love. (There’s even a crock-pot quiche recipe!) So, HERE WE GO!