RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Drovers Telegram

Pickle Lore

Here is another clipping about making pickles that was from the Drover’s Telegram.  Sounds like a lot of pickles for one household to consume, but I remember my mother-in-law’s habit of putting lots of jars of condiments and likely pickles on the table each time she presented a meal.  Making really good pickles was something you took pride in if they turned out, especially after dedicating two-weeks of your life to making them.

Pickle Lore

Dear Hope: I read about the girl who is having a time making cucumber pickles.  I had a time learning to make them, too; I found out that I was using home-made vinegar, which was too strong, so that the pickles shriveled. Also, all such pickles made by the long method must be cut somewhere; the big ones in chunks, the medium ones lengthwise and the wee ones cut down about one-fourth to one-half inch cross-wise at the stem end.  Then, regular pickling slat, not table salt must be used.

Here is about the best all-around pickle recipe I have, and it is found in many books:

Place in a stone jar two gallons of cucumbers, large or small, or mixed.  Make a brine of two cups of salt and one gallon of water, and pour this brine boiling hot over the cucumbers; let stand one week.

At the end of the week, drain the cucumbers; cut them in chunks or cut the little ones as needed.  Make a solution of one gallon of boiling water  and one tablespoon of powdered alum; pour boiling mixture over the cucumbers.

Make this solution __________ and fresh three mornings ____________on, in all, and pour boiling ______________(over) the drained cucumbers.

On the fourth morning, drain the cucumbers again and make a solution of 6 cups of vinegar, 5 cups sugar, 1/3 cup of pickling spices, 1 tablespoon celery seed, and pour boiling hot over the pickles.

On the sixth morning, drain the liquid again, put on the stove, add one cup of sugar, and again pour boiling hot over the pickles.  they are now ready to seal.

This is a fine recipe, using all together, different sizes of cucumbers.

Now my very favorite pickles are the Crystals, but they are so rich for just every day use.l  I suppose every year there ia new cook, or someone who has mislaid this classic.

Put 25 cucumbers, dill size, into a jar.  Cover with one gallon of cold water and one quart of salt.  Soak two weeks.  Thy this time they will look like garbage, cut do not worry, they will come back, green and clear.  And that is not a misprint, one quart of salt is right, though it sounds tremendous.

After tow weeks, wash the cucumbers, cut in chucks and put back into ______and two tablespoons alum to one _________ of cold water.  Pour over cucumbers.  Let stand 224 hours.  Again, drain and wash cucumbers.

Now take one quart vinegar, two quarts sugar, and spices as follows:

One teaspoon mace
Two sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves

Boil this and pour over cucumbers.l  drain and boil this solution and pour boiling hot over the cucumbers for four successive days.l  On the fourth morning they are ready to seal.  They are not really quite cured now, but as weeks bo gy, they get better and prettier.  The huge amounts of salt and sugar give some kind of an elusive flavor, and they are truly crystal.  The boiling water does Something.


Strawberry Preserves — from Burden Bearer, Indiana

This clipping is just a variation on the post I made in January 2012 about strawberry preserves.  How are strawberry preserves different from jam?   The preparation of fruit preserves today often involves adding commercial or natural pectin as a gelling agent. Before World War II, fruit preserve recipes did not include pectin, and many artisan jams today are made without pectin. My previous post did not include pectin, either.  Preserves usually incorporate the whole fruit, while jam may be produced from crushed fruit.

Strawberry Preserves

Dear Hope:

I want to give my recipe for strawberry preserves which I have used for several years. We like it best of all.

Pick, wash and stem 4 cups of strawberries, cover with 5 cups of sugar and let stand for 3 hours, or over night.  Then bring to a boil and boil for 8 minutes only.  Remove from heat and add 4 tablespoons lemon juice.  stir this in and return to stove and boil 2 minutes more.  Remove from stove and let stand till cold.  If you stir a little you will absorb the white froth from cooking.  When cold, put into jars and cover with paraffin was and lid.  Use wooden spoon — it goes easier.  I hear this over the radio from somebody’s grandmother — Burden Bearer, Indiana

Brown Sugar Sea-Foam Candy (Requested)

Household readers would often request recipes and there are several clippings that are responding to those requests.  I imagine most of the readers were farm wives who only went to town maybe once a week to get groceries and visit with other people doing the same thing.  They were probably a little lonely.  The Daily Drovers Telegram made them feel like members of the paper’s household, swapping recipes and hints. 

I like the way this recipe is specific about cooking until the syrup spins a thread…….I think she’s saying if your spoon is only an inch away from the liquid in the pot, it doesn’t count!

Brown Sugar Sea-Foam Candy

2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup water
white of 1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Boil sugar and water until it spins a thread six inches long.  Then pour over the beaten egg white. Beat until very stiff, than add nuts and flavoring.  Drop by spoonfuls on buttered dish.  I omit nuts in the recipe and press a pecan kernel in center of each piece. — Mrs. John Setter, Kansas.

Cakes for Wedding

There are three separate clipping about wedding cakes.  I’ve never made one, but I did make a cake for my in-law’s 25th anniversary the year after we got married.  It was lopsided though.  Didn’t show if you took the picture straight on, but side photos revealed the angle.

The instruction about doubling the recipe and how to distribute it among three pans is rather muddy.  Although you might distribute the batter from the basic recipe among three eight-inch cake pans, you double it if you are using three separate pans of 6″, 8″ and 10″, all of which are 3″ deep. I would think anyone would be able to fit all three of these in an oven, but  I find the instruction interesting regarding keeping cake batter in fridge until ready to bake.  I understand that baking powder + water causes a reaction (bubbles) and that secondarily, when baking powder is exposed to heat another reaction makes a cake rise.  So, this contributor advises making a double recipe if you’ve got to make a three-tiered cake….I’m just wondering if the second batch you bake will rise the same way as the first.  Just sayin’…….Oh, and do you remember time before plastic wrap?  What did you use?  Apparently waxed paper and elastic bands was one solution.

Dear Hope:

Someone, I forgot who, requested information on bridal cakes.  So, I am sending what I can, hoping it won’t be too long.

First, here is a recipe for bride’s white cake.

3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 egg whites

Sift flour, measure, add baking powder and salt and sift again.  Cream shortening, add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk stirring only enough after each addition to blend thoroughly.  Do not beat. Add vanilla.  Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, fold into batter until thoroughly blended.  Pour into greased and floured layer pans.  Bake at 375 degrees about 25 minutes.  This amount makes two nine-inch or three eight-inch layers.

Now to make a three-tiered cake, prepare two times the above recipe and pour batter into three greased and floured cake pans of six, eight or ten-inch diameters, all three inches deep.  Fill each pan about two-thirds full.  Bake the two smaller pans about one hour in a moderate oven, 325 degrees.  The largest pan about one hour and twenty minutes.  If oven is not large enough to bake all three at once, cover pans which must wait with waxed paper and fasten with elastic bands and keep in refrigerator until ready to bake.


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.

Oatmeal Date Cookies

I think oatmeal cookies are the best.  Now, I suppose you’re wondering which kind, because after all, they come in lots of different textures.  Mom and Dad usually stopped and had coffee at around 4 in the afternoon if he was anywhere near the house and not out in a field.  If I wanted to join them, I’d get a cup of coffee too.  I put lots of sugar and cream in mine, though, and probably didn’t drink much of it, but it was really great for dunking hard cookies.  Often the cookies we dunked were “store-bought” and those were pretty hard and needed a good dunk.  

I have several recipes for oatmeal cookies, and some make a nice soft and chewy one.  Another Betty Crocker recipe has vegetable oil in it and is one of her “Stir and Drop” versions.  That crispy version has peanuts in it.  

My chewy variety usually involves raisins, but this Drover’s Telegram clipping has dates.  Actually this cookie has a date filling, so more work is involved with cooking the filling,  rolling out the dough, using the cookie cutters to make a top and bottom for the cookie, then sealing the edges.  I guess you are just supposed to know how to seal a cookie, but I think I’d use a table fork to press around the edges of the cookie. Probably a pretty simple cookie cutter should be used with the filling and all.   We didn’t have dates around much unless we needed some for a new recipe.  I suppose this recipe prompted Mom to put dates on her list for that week.  Mrs. Schwanz is pretty vague about the amount of flour needed for the recipe, but since this is a rolled cookie you are aiming for a stiffer dough.

Oatmeal Date Cookie

Dear Hope:  “Lauretta” of Oklahoma wanted a soft oatmeal date cookie recipe  This is one I have used.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 cups quick oatmeal
1/2 cup sweet milk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Enough flour to make dough stiff enough to roll.

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.  Combine milk and oatmeal, add soda and flour.  Mix all together and roll thin.  Cut with cookie cutter.

Spread date filling on one cookie, top with another, and seal edges.  For the filling:

1 lb. dates
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Cook until thick. Remove from stove and cool.l  Add vanilla, and ground nuts if you like.  Bake unti light brown in 350 degree oven.  — Mrs. Wailliam Schwanz, Route 1, Vail, Iowa.



%d bloggers like this: