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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.



Ground Beef Specials Will Tempt Your Family

It’s hard to imagine where this clipping originated since it doesn’t look like newsprint and even has a color title to the recipe.  We used to get two magazines that were higher quality with slick pages and color photos:  Successful Farming and the Farm Journal.  I’ll bet this was clipped from one of them.  

Generally speaking, Mom didn’t mess much with hamburger.  I don’t think she ever made meat loaf until Kathy joined our family.  Typically ground beef was formed into burger shapes and fried, then served as the meat dish for the meal.  Boiled potatoes and gravy made from the fried hamburger were probably on the table and then either corn, beans or peas (the vegetable staples of our farm).  Mom might put pickles on the table as well, but most likely a sweet one.  Ketchup and Mustard wouldn’t have been put out.  You’d have to ask for it or go get it yourself.

I find the suggestion for making cheeseburgers just “wrong”.  I have a grandson whose favorite is a good old cheeseburger, and a sloppy joe topped with cheese and broiled would not be what he had in mind!

Ground Beef Specials Will Tempt Your Family

Ground Beef is one of the cook’s best friends.  She can turn it quickly into a sandwich filling for a “simply starving” family.

Or she can make the most delectable meat balls to charm hungry guests at a party.

Here is a recipe for a versatile sandwich filling:

Sandwich Special

2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 to 3 cups canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon mixed seasoning salt

Brown ground beef in a large skillet.

Add chopped onion and cook a few minutes until onion is soft but not brown.

Add salt, pepper, tomatoes, sugar and mixed seasoning salt.

Stir frequently and simmer until the right consistency to stay on a bun.

You may like to add a bit of chili powder or poultry seasoning to step up the flavor.

Add a little oregano or Italian seasoning to make the sandwich filling into a delicious sauce for spaghetti.

For cheeseburgers, spread slices of freshly toasted bread with the sandwich special.  Lay a slice of cheese on the top of each and broil until the cheese melts.

Meat balls in a savory tomato sauce make a fine “hot dish” to take to a pot luck supper.

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.


Guetta (pronounced “Goo-tah”) was served for breakfast during the winter until we ran out.  Guetta is made by first boiling off the really bony pieces of beef (or pork, sometimes) like the neck and organ meats, grinding the meat and returning it to the “soup”, then thickening the mixture with oatmeal.  It was stored in 3 gallon or 5 gallon stone crocks and kept in the cellar.  Early in the morning Mom would go to the cellar and scoop out a frying pan full of Guetta, put it on the gas burning stove to warm and usually get a yummy crust on the bottom of the pan.  I usually ate a serving of it over a slice of home-made white bread along with a glass of fresh milk.  I always loved fresh warm milk almost straight from the cow.  (When I tell people that they are usually like “Ewwww”, but I don’t care. I like it).

Since Mom spoke broken English (term used in the day for someone whose second language was English), the “r” at the end of a normal word wasn’t often pronounced.  Think “but-ta” for “butter”.  I assumed that what Mom was saying was actually “gutter”.  Now, telling your friends you had “gutter” for breakfast just wouldn’t do.  My sister said to refer to it as “head-cheese”.  I can’t say that sounded particularly more refined, but probably better than “gutter”.

My best friend, Wilma, came from north central Kansas in a German Lutheran community.  When I described “Guetta” to her, she knew what I meant.  “We call it ‘Knip’ and we eat it with syrup on top,” she said.  Eventually I read something in a magazine about something in Philadelphia that they call “Scrapple”.  I don’t think I ever read this clipping in Mom’s cookbook referring to Scrapple, but here it is.  I think Mom thought it was interesting that it could be made with chicken.


Someone was asking about scrapple, and I guess most folks think of it as being a cornmeal much with bits of pork or cracklings in it, and that is a very good kind; but I also make it with chicken. When we freeze our chickens, we put up some packages of just necks and backs, to use for soup, sandwich meat, etc.

Sometimes I cook up a package of these bony parts, save and strain the broth and add enough water, if needed, to make the amount of mush I want to make.  I take the meat from the bones, discarding skin, and set aside  Then I make the must and cook for about 15 minutes, than add the chicken bits (you can grind them in a food chopper if you prefer), and season well with salt, pepper, and whatever you like, and cook 15 minutes longer.

Then pour into a loaf pan and cool.  Place in  refrigerator over night, or at least for several hours.  We like it for breakfast.  Slice in half-inch slices and fry brown in hot fat.  Serve with butter and syrup.  If you happen to have some chicken fat to fry it in, that is fine, but most any good sweet fat will do; pork or beef or vegetable oil.

Hmmmmm….any good sweet fat…. pork fat rendered is “lard”, from beef fat rendered is “tallow”….vegetable oil……what would be a fat that isn’t “sweet”…..and how would it be classified…bitter?….sour?….hmmmm

Her Fried Chicken

Getting baby chicks was always an exciting part of the farm year for me.  Mom had to order them and bring them home in cardboard crates.  She usually ordered at least 200 baby chicks or more, some pullets and others for butchering; the majority of those chickens ended up on our table, but pullets were going to replace older chickens culled out from the flock last fall.  The baby chicks were moved to the brooder house, a really small wooden building Dad built.  The first week they lived under the brooder stove, a conical-shaped aluminum device that radiated heat underneath its cone.  A corrugated cardboard perimeter was also set up for those first days until the chicks began to get their feathers.  

As they grew, they weren’t as cute which is a good thing because so many were going to end up on our dinner table.  Early summer daily routine was chicken for dinner, so as were doing chickens for our meal we were also putting up chickens for the freezer. Mostly Mom pan-fried chicken and finished it in the oven.  It was understood that I, as the youngest, always got a leg and the gizzard.  I don’t know what pieces were the privilege of my sisters, but I still like a fried chicken leg and the gizzard.

Here’s a clipping in the style of the Drovers Telegram so I’m assuming that’s the source.  Mom didn’t really do casseroles, so I’m thinking she collected this one as merely “interesting”.

Her Fried Chicken

Dear Hope:  Since we are having a run on foreign-type recipes I thought I would send in my way of serving fried chicken, which guests often think must be some special Mexican or Italian recipe, though I developed it myself, just combining parts of other recipes that I liked.

First, I season flour not only with salt and pepper but with ginger, and shake the pieces of the fryer in this flour.  If I have a clove of garlic on hand, I put it into the fat to season; otherwise I also add a little garlic powder to the seasoned flour.  Then I fry the chicken in the fat until it is tender.  Meanwhile I cook some rice and season it with salt and a little curry powder.  Than I put the rice in a casserole and arrange the fried chicken over it.  At this time of year when the garden vegetables are so young and tender, I sometimes cook some small onions and carrots and arrange them on top of the rice, too.  Then I sprinkle the chicken with paprika, and set the casserole in a moderate oven till good and hot and I am ready to serve.  I make milk gravy with part of the fat from the frying, and pass this with the casserole.  A little parsley on top of the casserole adds a bright bit of color, if you have it handy.  My family really likes this way of serving fried chicken.  Annabella, 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.

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