Currently viewing the tag: "Taste of the Past"

by Maxine Troxell

While looking for a recipe to include in the December Banner issue, I came across my aunt Eileen’s gingerbread recipe. This recipe was included in one of my mother’s handwritten recipe books. She had a lot of her relatives’ recipes included, and most are handwritten. It’s interesting to see how some of these recipes back then are written. Sometimes, you would see ‘a pinch of this or a pinch of that’. OK, but what’s a pinch? This recipe said to bake in a moderate oven, so I am assuming 350 degrees. I am so glad my mom took the time to write all of these recipes. I find it interesting to see how people cooked and baked back then. She has a lot of unique recipes. I hope you enjoy this one.

Aunt Eileen’s Gingerbread


½ cup shortening

2 tablespoons sugar

1 beaten egg

1 cup molasses

2¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup boiling water        


Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl and set aside.

Cream shorting and sugar until fluffy.

Add beaten egg and molasses; mix until smooth.

Alternate the sifted dry ingredients with the boiling water.

Beat until smooth. Pour batter into a 9-inch greased square pan.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for about 45 minutes.

by Maxine Troxell

Early settlers in America noticed that the German immigrants made this salad that was warm and had bacon and onions and a nice sweet and tart dressing, so they started calling it Hot German Potato Salad. German Potato Salad is very popular and unique, most probably coming from using leftover roasted or boiled potatoes. My Aunt Pauline and my sister used to make this a lot for family gatherings.  I hope you enjoy it.

Hot German Potato Salad


4 medium potatoes        

2 bacon strips   

1 Spanish onion, diced

½ cup celery, diced       

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch          

1/3 cup cider vinegar      

1 cup water       


Boil potatoes in skins until tender when pierced with a fork. Peel while hot.  Slice potatoes thinly.

In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp and remove from skillet.

In bacon drippings, brown the onion and celery.

Stir in salt, sugar, and cornstarch.

Add vinegar and water

Stir in sliced potatoes.  As the sauce thickens, more water may be needed.

Transfer to serving dish and serve hot.

by Maxine Troxell

Peach Cobbler

Peach season is here. My mom always made good use of fruits while they were in season. She had a habit of writing down a lot of her recipes in a black and white composition book. While going through my late sister’s estate, we came across one of these books. This is her Peach Cobbler recipe that we found in one of them. I hope you enjoy it.


3 cups sliced fresh peaches      

1 cup sugar       

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest   

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1½ cups All-purpose flour

1 well-beaten egg          

½ teaspoon salt 

3 teaspoons baking powder      

½ cup shortening

½ cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar, divided    


Arrange peaches in a greased 8-inch baking dish or pan.

Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Heat in 350-degree oven while preparing topping.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut in shortening until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Add shortening and milk. Stir just until flour mixture is moistened.

Spread dough over hot peach mixture. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake in 400-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

by Maxine Troxell

It’s summer and picnic time.  What better food is there for a picnic than fried chicken? This recipe is a family recipe that I have used many times.  It’s a simple and easy recipe for great fried chicken.

Southern Fried Chicken


Chicken pieces  

1 cup milk         

2 beaten large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour            

2 tsp. black pepp 2 tsp. garlic powder   

2 tsp. paprika    

1 tsp. salt                      

1 tsp. poultry seasoning


In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, garlic pepper, salt, paprika, and poultry seasoning.

In a separate bowl, mix beaten eggs with milk and set aside.

Place chicken pieces in the first bowl, then in the egg mixture, and again in the first bowl (flour mixture).

Fill up your deep fryer (deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven) with peanut oil (or frying oil of your choice) and preheat to 350°F. Carefully add the piece of chicken to the deep fryer. Fry until golden brown, turning every few minutes. You will need to fry in batches, so you do not overcrowd the fryer.

Drain on paper towels. And serve it with hot sauce.


by Maxine Troxell

This is my Aunt Erma’s Sweet Muffins recipe from her Run of the Mill cookbook.  I add fruit to make them extra special.  This recipe has won a lot of blue ribbons. Sometimes, instead of blueberries, lemon zest, and lemon extract, I substitute with cranberries, orange zest, and orange extract. Both versions are delicious. I hope you enjoy them.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins


1 ¾ cups sifted flour 

1 teaspoon salt                     

1 egg                       

¼ cup cooking oil

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ cup sugar

1 cup milk

¾ cup blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon zest

*additional sugar for muffin tops (optional)


Heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Grease 12 muffin tin pan or use cupcake liners. 

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into bowl. 

Make a well in the center and add egg, milk, oil, and lemon extract. 

Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients. 

Fold in blueberries and lemon zest. 

Fill tins 2/3 full. 

Sprinkle additional sugar on top of each muffin if desired. 

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Turkey at Thanksgiving, Prime rib at Christmas, and Brisket at Hanukkah. (And, oh yes, all the candy at Halloween.) Holiday food pairings make each separate celebration special—and something special to look forward to each year. Come spring, I always bake a ham for our Easter dinner. I came across this recipe some time ago.  I hope you enjoy it.

Baked Ham with Bee Sting Glaze


1 fully cooked bone-in smoked half ham

1 c. honey

1 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cayenne (ground red pepper)

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. grated lemon peel


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make shallow cuts diagonally across the side of the ham, spacing about 1 inch apart. Make cuts perpendicular to first ones to create diamond pattern.

Place ham in a large roasting pan, flat side down, along with ½ cup of water. Cover with foil. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, whisk together honey, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne, cloves, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Heat on medium until sugar dissolves, whisking often. Cool completely.

Stir in lemon peel.

Remove foil from ham. Brush generously with honey glaze. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown and ham is heated through (140 degrees F), brushing with glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

To remaining honey glaze, add ¼ cup liquid from roasting pan, whisking to combine. Serve with ham.