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Category Archives: Main Dishes

Scalloped Chicken

When you raise chickens on the farm, there comes a time when the old hen just isn’t a very good “layer” and they need to be culled out of the flock. This happened in the fall, and if the unfortunate hen happened to be roosting in a low hanging branch of our trees, chances are their time was up.  A load of the culled hens could be sold locally, but one of them would be a good candidate for this dish. Now they had a reputation for being a “tough old bird” and 2 1/2 hours may or may not be enough time for the meat to fall off the bones.

This recipe likely came from the Grass & Grain newspaper, submitted by some farm wife in very honest and practical words. Frugal farm families made use of every edible part of a chicken in times past, so melting 1 cup of the chicken fat as well as grinding up the skin and adding it to the sauce is not too surprising in the directions.  Somehow I think the Weight Watchers points for this dish are off the chart.  I’m not sure how many servings are in it, but I’ll bet it would serve our family of nine easily.


Scalloped Chicken

1.  Put a fat, 5-pound hen in a large pot with a carrot, a sliced onion, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 quarts boiling water. Cook slowly 2 1/2 hours or until meat begins to leave bones.  Cool in its own liquid.  When cool, remove meat from bones and separate skin.  Grind skin in meat chopper and cook giblets in salted water until tender.

2.  While hen is cooking, make stuffing.  Crumble 1 1/2 loaves 2-day-old bread after removing crusts.  Melt 1/2 cup butter in heavy skillet.  Chop 6 sprigs parsley, 6 green onions (or 1 medium onion) and 2 large pieces celery with their tops.  Cook vegetables in melted butter over low heat for 5 minutes.  Then mix into bread crumbs lightly with fork to keep dressing fluffy.  Grind cooked giblets and mix in stuffing.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning.  Add 6 tablespoons of chicken broth.

3. To make the sauce, skim  fat off top of chicken broth and melt 1 cup of it in large saucepan.  Add butter if you do not have 1 cup chicken fat.  Heat 4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk together, but do not boil.  Stir 1 cup sifted flour into melted fat until smooth.l  Add broth and milk mixture gradually, stirring constantly.  When cooked, beat 4 eggs slightly and mix in a little of the sauce.  Then combine sauce and eggs and cook over low heat about 3 or 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove and add chicken skin.

4.  Grease 1 large or 2 smaller casseroles.  Put stuffing into bottom.  Over it pour half the sauce.  Cut up chicken meat into small pieces.  Place meat on top of stuffing.  Add remaining sauce.  Combine 1 cup dry bread crumbs with 4 tablespoons melted butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Place casserole in moderate oven (375°) and bake 20 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and chicken is hot.  This is excellent for church dinners or large family get-togethers. — Mrs. George S. Jost, Hillsboro.



Old South Sausage Pie

Gosh, I can’t remember eating anything like this in our house.  But, this is another recipe very similar in nature to the Macaroni-Frankfurter Bake recipe I published earlier.  I’ll bet Mom’s attraction to these recipes was for a really large crowd.  In the states, Mom may have had to cook for harvesters, but never for a really large crowd like a school lunch room or anything.  Before she was married, Mom was a nanny of sorts in Holland.  I’m not sure what additional duties that might have entailed.  I know that she was really a stickler for cleaning according to my oldest sister, but by the time I was around, at the tail end of seven kids, she was probably a lot more relaxed and laid back about what was really necessary in a household.

At least these recipes have ingredients Mom would have been familiar with from her garden or from butchering.  Probably she would have had a hard time convincing anyone in our household that peppers in a recipe were a good thing, but she could hope, couldn’t she? These recipes seem to be more like a pot pie because of the cheese puffs which are more like biscuits than anything else.

Old South Sausage Pie
(Household Recipe)
1/2 pound pork sausage meat
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4  cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoons sale
3/4 cup tomato paste (6-ounce can)
3/4 cup water
1 cup cooked kidney beans
Cheese Puffs

Brown sausage meat in heavy skillet.  Add celery, onions, green pepper and parsley and brown lightly.  drain off excess fat.  Season with salt.  Combine tomato past and water and add to meat mixture in skillet.  Add kidney beans, mixing well.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Pour into 1 1/2 quart casserole and top with Cheese Puffs.

Cheese Puffs

1 cup sifted enriched flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup shredded American cheese
1/2 cup milk

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut or rub in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Add cheese.  Add milk, mixing until flour is moistened.  Drop by spoonfuls around edge of casserole. Bake in hot oven (425 ° F.) about 20 minutes.

*If self rising flour is used, omit baking powder and salt.

Old South Sausage Pie
(Large Quantity Recipe)

Measure — Weight or Amount
Pork sausage meat, 10 pounds, 10 pounds
Coarsely chopped celery, 2 quarts, 4 pounds
Chopped onion, 3 cups, 1 pound
Chopped green pepper, 2 1/2 cups, 1/4 pound (about)
Minced parsley, 1 1/2 cups, 2 ounces
Salt, 2 tablespoons, 1 ounce
Tomato paste, 1 1/2 quarts, 10 6-ounce cans
Water, 2 1/4 quarts, 2 1/4 quarts
Cooked kidney beans, 2 quarts, 4 No. 2 cans.

Brown sausage meat.  Add celery, onion, green pepper and parsley and brown lightly.  Pour off excess fat.  Season with salt. Combine tomato paste and water and add to meat mixture.  add kidney beans, mixing well. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Pour meat mixture into 2 baking pans, 11 x 16 inches.  Top with Cheese Puffs.

Cheese Puffs
Sifted enriched flour, 2 1/2 quarts, 2 1/2 pounds
Baking powder, 3 tablespoons, 2 1/2 ounces
Salt, 5 teaspoons, 5 teaspoons
Dry milk solids, 1 1/2 cups, 6 ounces
Shortening, 1 1/4 cups, 10 ounces
Shredded American cheese, 1 1/2 quarts, 1 1/2 pounds
Water, 5 cups, 1 1/4 quarts

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and dry milk solids.  Cut or rub in shortening until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in cheese.  Add water, mixing until flour is moistened.  Drop by spoonfuls on top of meat mixture in baking pans.  Bake in hot oven (425° F.) 30 o 35 minutes.  Makes 48 servings. Provides 2 3/4 ounces cooked protein-rich food per serving.

Macaroni-Frankfurter Bake

Here is a recipe with relatively cheap ingredients.  There are two clippings:  a household recipe and a large quantity recipe.  I’m trying to imagine when a dish like this would have been served to a large crowd.  In our house a large crowd meant Sunday dinner (at noon) or cooking for harvesters.  In either case, you made your best meals which likely included roast beef or lots of fried chicken.  I think Mom wouldn’t have thought hot dogs and macaroni good enough for those occasions.  On the other hand, the large quantity recipe might have been great for a school lunch program.  The first time I had school lunch was when I was in the seventh grade.  The cook was somebody’s Mom and she was great.  Most kids liked the food.  My lunch was free the week that I worked in the kitchen, loading dishes, setting out milk, napkins, etc.  I’m sure there were USDA rules about what was served and probably commodities available, which probably had an effect on what our cook decided to make for us.

Macaroni-Frankfurter Bake
(Household Recipe)

4 ounces elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons fat or drippings
1/2 pound frankfurters, sliced
3/4 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
Dash pepper
1 1/4 cups condensed cream of celery soup (10 1/2 ounce can)
3/4 cup water
1 cup shredded American cheese
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender (about 7 minutes). Drain and rinse. While macaroni is cooking, melt fat or drippings in skillet. Add frankfurters, onion, green pepper, garlic and pepper and brown lightly.  Combine celery soup, water, cheese and prepared mustard, mixing until well blended.  Add to frankfurter mixture in skillet and heat until cheese melts.  stir in macaroni.  Pour into 1 1/2-quart casserole and top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake in moderate oven (350° F.) 20 minutes.

OK, so this says to bake in three 11×16.  My cookie sheets are 11 x 16, so I’m picturing a deep dish of three of my cookie sheets.  Yes, I’ll bet it would feed at least 100.  Yes?

Macaroni-Frankfurter Bake
(Large Quantity Recipe)

Measure — Weight or Amount
Elbow, macaroni, 3 pounds, 3 pounds
Fat or drippings, 2/3 cup, 1/8 pound (about)
Frankfurters, sliced, 6 pounds, 6 pounds
Chopped onion, 3 cups, 1 pound
Chopped green pepper, 1 1/2 cups, 1/2 pound
Garlic Cloves, minced, 3 small, 3 small
Condensed cream of celery soup, 3 quarts, 10 10 1/2 -ounce cans or 2 No. 3 cylinders

Water, 2 1/4 quarts, 2 1/4 quarts
Shredded American cheese, 3 quarts, 3 pounds
Prepared mustard, 3 tablespoons, 3 tablespoons
Buttered bread crumbs, 3 cuts (about), 3/4 pound

Cook macaroni in boiling saled water until tender (about 7 minutes).  Drain and rince.  While macaroni is cooking, melt fat or drippings in large skillet.  Add frankfurters, onion, green pepper, garlic and pepper and brown lightly.  Combine celery soup, water, cheese and prepared mustard, mixing until well blended.  Add to frankfurter mixture and heat thoroughly or until cheese melts.  stir in macaroni.  Pour into 3 baking pans, 11x16x2 1/2 inches.  Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs.  Bake in moderate oven (350° F.) 30 to 35 min.

Potato Dumplings

I don’t remember ever having any kind of dumplings at home, so I was surprised when my oldest sister told us that she remembered Mom making them, as well as home-made noodles.  The first time I had potato dumplings was at a German restaurant south of St. Louis when my husband an I were on a motorcycle trip, sometime during the 70’s.  By then, I had learned to make Chicken and Noodles using my mother-in-law’s recipe, her hints and suggestions.  You could make either dumplings or noodles from the egg based dough.  You put them on top of mashed potatoes, but they weren’t made with mashed potatoes in them. 

I haven’t actually paid attention to this recipe before now, but I find the last paragraph rather intriguing…..dumplings with sauerkraut……maybe a polish sausage along with it?  I may try that sometime.

Potato Dumplings

I believe someone asked for a recipe for potato dumplings.  I make them by mixing about a cup and a half of cold mashed potatoes with an egg, a cup of milk (or cream, or mixed milk and cream, or even soup stock sometimes), and a cup or a little more of flour.  Season with a teaspoon of salt, add a teaspoon of baking powder, and sometimes I add a tablespoon of chopped parsley.


1 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 cup milk (or cream, half and half, or soup stock)
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Beat the potatoes, egg and liquid pretty thoroughly, then just stir the dry ingredients in until they are dampened.  Drop the dumplings by spoonfuls on your boiling broth, cover the kettle tightly and let steam eight or 10 minutes.

We like these with sauerkraut as well as with soup.  Add water to the sauerkraut and get it to a boil by the time the dumplings are ready to drop in.


Pizza Hut originated in Wichita, KS around 1958.  My husband and I were dating in the early 60’s and one of our spots was the Pizza Hut in Aggieville near K-State in Manhattan.  We had pizza and beer, of course, but the legal age to drink beer (3.2% anyway) was 18, so I don’t think I’m setting a bad example if any grandkid happens to read this.  Anyway, in the rural areas, learning to make pizza would be a new thing.  Mozzarella cheese was likely not available at the grocery stores in our area, and who in the world even had a pizza pan in their kitchen?  Of course, recipes appeared in her regular newspapers, newsletters and magazines.  When I first made them, I bought a box that contained the pizza flour to mix up for the crust along with a can of pizza sauce.  Nowadays, we buy a pre-made pizza crust and add all our favorite toppings which may not include pizza sauce.  Anyway, my daughter’s eighth grade cooking class included a recipe for a biscuit like dough for the crust.  This recipe reminds me of it a bit.  It doesn’t include anything but the basics: cheese and sauce.  But you can put anything you want on a pizza, can’t you?


Dear Hope:  I was interested in the pizza recipe sent in recently, and I dare say it is more nearly like the old country type than the one I use, but maybe someone would like to try my recipe, as it is so quick.  I use biscuit dough instead of yeast dough.  I usually make individual pies, but one could bake this in one, if preferred.  This is the amount I use for my husband and myself.

First I mix up the topping:
1 cup cooked tomatoes
About 4 tablespoons green pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
A little minced garlic.

I shred about 1/4 pound of sharp cheddar cheese, and melt some butter. Then I mix up my biscuit dough, using:

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening, and
1/2 teaspoon salt,
and make this into a soft dough with about 67 tablespoons of milk.  I happen to have two layer cake pans about 7 inches across which I use, but you can just pat the dough out in two circles about that size on a baking sheet, making a ridge around the edge to hold in the topping.  Or, as I say, you could bake it all in one pizza in a pan of suitable size and shape.  I brush the top surfaces with the melted butter and sprinkle a little cheese over, then spoon the tomato mixture over that and top with the rest of the cheese.  Bake in a hot oven about 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to moderate and cook about 15 minutes more. –Americana, Illinois.




Jiffy Spaghetti (Large Quantity Recipe)

I found this recipe on a different page from the earlier clipping for Jiffy Spaghetti which was for a much smaller batch.  Given that Mom was German and didn’t cook Italian, she probably didn’t know about Italian sausage.  But then, maybe they didn’t sell it at the grocery store in Frankfort or Westmoreland.  I find the use of “Cubed ham” or “table-ready meat” (Spam?) rather yucky, but maybe refrigeration and home freezers were not an option when she clipped this recipe….so, canned meat might be as good as you’re going to get.

I wondered how many this recipe would actually serve.  Using 3 pounds of long spaghetti as a guide, I checked a package of it in my pantry.  1 serving is 2 ounces, so I’d guess maybe this could serve about 24.  Guess Mom had nothing remotely like a nutritional guide at this point either.

Jiffy Spaghetti
(Large Quantity Recipe)

Measure –Weight or Amount
Butter or margarine, 1 cup or 1/2 pound
Chopped onion, 1 quart or 1 1/4 pounds (about)
Chopped green pepper, 3 cups or 1 pound (about)
Cloves garlic, minced, 3 medium
Cubed ham or table-ready meat, 4 quarts or 6 pounds
Brown sugar, 1 1/3 cups or 1/2 pound (about)
Vinegar, 1 cup
Prepared mustard, 1/3 cup
Condensed tomato soup, 3 quarts or 10-10 1/2 ounce cans or 2 50-ounce cans
Water, 1 1/2 quarts
Long spaghetti, 3 pounds
Grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter or margarine in large skillet or saucepan.  Add onion, green pepper and garlic and brown lightly.  Add meat and brown. Stir in brown sugar, vinegar and mustard.  Add tomato soup and water, mixing well.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.  Uncover and simmer about 15 minutes longer or until mixture thickens slightly.  While meat mixture is simmering, cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until tender (about 12 minutes).  Drain and rinse.  Serve meat sauce over spaghetti.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Chile Con Carne

When Mom’s kids start getting married, the natural thing to do was to collect family recipes.  I’m sure that chili was something Mom hadn’t really been familiar with until then. It definitely wasn’t out of the German culture or the meat and potatoes farm culture either. Here are two chili recipes: one probably came from the Drover’s Telegram and the other was from the Strunk family and Betty copied it into the cookbook for Mom.

Chile Con Carne
This recipe comes from the test kitchens of the United States Department of Agriculture.

4 tablespoons bacon drippings
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 pound ground beef
4 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans
2/3 cup minced green pepper
4 to 5 cups cooked or canned tomatoes
2 bah leaves, crushed
4 teaspoons sugar
About 2 tablespoons chili powder
Salt and pepper

Brown onion and garlic in drippings.  Add meat and cook slowly a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add remaining ingredients.  Season.  Simmer until meat is tender and flavors are blended, about 1 hour.

(Vera Strunk)

2 pkg. hamburger
2 cans tomatoes
3 onions – sliced
1 can Red Kidney Beans (18₵)
4 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Caraway seed
Salt to taste
(Add tallow if hamburger is quite lean)

Mix above ingredients and cook ’til done.  Serve with crackers.

There were tabs in Mom’s cookbook but by now the original text on them has faded.  Looks like Betty hand wrote “Chili” in pencil so we could find this recipe easier… if anyone using the book would do such a sensible thing.  Doesn’t everyone just page through their favorite cookbook until they find the recipe they’re looking for?  

What words do you think these tabs originally had on them?

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