Currently viewing the tag: "Taste of the Past"

Maxine Troxell

With summer approaching, it’s berry-picking time. I remember picking black raspberries at Catoctin Mountain Orchard. Berry picking wasn’t one of my favorite things to do, especially black raspberries, because of all the thorns on the bushes. When I was growing up, I remember my mother would make black raspberry custard pies.  Anytime someone would come to visit, they would always ask her if she had made any of her raspberry pies. Below is her recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Black Raspberry Custard Pie


1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs (slightly beaten)

2 cups black raspberries

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half and half

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust


To make custard: mix sugar, flour, and salt.  Add half and half, slightly beaten eggs, and the melted butter. 

In another small bowl, sprinkle berries with a small amount of sugar (2 tablespoons) and a sprinkle of cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg. Place fruit in bottom of pie shell. Pour custard mixture over berries. 

Bake pie in a 400 degrees oven for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 325 degrees and bake until custard is set. Baking time is usually around 1 hour.

Becky Linton, Thurmont High School class of 1958, gave me this recipe from Mrs. Strube, who taught first or second grade at Thurmont Elementary School. This recipe is dated September 27, 1949. Our family had just moved to Thurmont in 1951, and I remember her classroom was across the hall from the second-grade classroom I was in. I have fond memories of Thurmont High School. All twelve grades were in the same building until the new Thurmont Elementary School was built in 1956.

Lemon Chiffon Pie


1 tbsp. Knox Sparkling Gelatin

¼ cup cold water

½ cup lemon juice

4 eggs (separated)

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. grated lemon rind


Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. 

Add ½ cup  sugar and lemon juice to beaten egg yolks. 

Using a double boiler, cook over boiling water until the consistency of custard. To this mixture, add the grated lemon rind, the softened gelatin, and stir thoroughly.  Cool. 

When mixture begins to thicken, fold in beaten egg whites and the other ½ cup sugar. 

Fill pie shell and chill. 

Just before serving, spread a thin layer of whipped cream. Chill until ready to serve.

by Maxine Troxell

Got a ham bone leftover from the holidays? Lucky you. Put it to good use in this comforting ham and bean soup. The soup was one of my favorites. My mom used to make this soup with rivels. She always made it in a pot on the stove. This recipe uses a slow cooker, which makes it easier to make.


1 large onion, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 tbsp. margarine

1 ham bone

2 (32 ounce) cans Great Northern beans

For Rivels

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 raw egg

1 pinch salt


In a large pot (stock pot), a little more than half full of water, add 1 large chopped onion, 2 or 3 stalks of chopped celery, and the ham bone.

Cook until celery is cooked down.

Remove ham from the bone, discard fat, and return ham to pot.

Add both cans of Great Northern beans.

Bring to a boil.

Turn heat down to medium and let it boil until the broth does not look watery, stirring often to prevent sticking (1-2 hours).

Combine the flour, raw egg, and salt in a small bowl.

Stir together till crumbly with a fork (may have to use your fingers).

Take parts of mixture and crumble over bean mixture in pot with fingers, stirring a little after each.

Dump any loose leftover flour from mixture into the beans to help thicken broth and stir well.

If you want more rivels, repeat the steps for making them.

      Lower the heat to simmer, uncovered, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

                Cover and cook 5 minutes more.

by Maxine Troxell

I come from a family of good bakers. I remember my grandmother making pies and all kinds of cookies. My Aunt Pauline was famous for her cream puffs. My Aunt Ermie was a grand champion baker at the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Show and other local fairs. I want to share one of my favorite recipes from my Aunt Erma’s cookbook. This coconut cake won at least one Grand Champion ribbon. This is a pretty easy recipe, so I hope you enjoy it.

Grand Champion Coconut Cake


3 cups sifted cake flour

1½ tsp. salt

6 tbsp. sugar

1½ cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 cups shredded coconut

4 tsp. baking powder

5 eggs whites

 23 cup Crisco

11⁄3 cup milk

1 tsp. coconut extract


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, twice, set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 6 tablespoons sugar slowly and beat until mixture stands in soft peaks.

In another bowl, cream Crisco and add 1½ cups sugar, gradually. Cream until light and fluffy. Add flour alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating well after each addition. Add beaten egg whites and flavorings, beat for about 1 minute.

Pour batter into two greased and flavored 9-inch cake pans or 3 8-inch pans. Bake 30-40 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. Remove pans from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and let cool. When cool, frost with your favorite frosting. Sprinkle coconut on top and side of cake.

Veteran Spotlight

by Maxine Troxell

Irish soda bread may be most popular around St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s usually served with corned beef and cabbage. I remember that Shamrock Restaurant served a delicious soda bread with their corned beef and cabbage meals.

This version bakes into a lightly sweetened round loaf, resembling a giant scone, with a burnished crust and tender, fluffy crumb. Plump raisins add pops of concentrated sweetness, but you could swap them out for any dried fruit—such as currants, sour cherries, or cranberries—or simply leave them out.

Irish Soda Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

3 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into piece

5 tbsp. sugar, divided

½ tsp. kosher salt

2/3 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8” diameter cake pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. 

Whisk 2 cups flour, 4 tbsp. sugar, 1½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and  tsp. baking soda in a large bowl to combine. Add 3 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter (cut into pieces) to dry ingredients and rub with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Gradually mix until incorporated and a shaggy dough comes together. Mix in raisins.

Using lightly floured hands, form dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared pan. Gently press dough to flatten slightly (dough will not reach edges of pan).  Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.

Bake bread until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (40-45 minutes). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack. Serve warm or cool completely.

by Maxine Troxell

Fastnacht Day is the PA Dutch or German tradition associated with Fat Tuesday. It occurs on Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Because many Christians choose to fast or deny themselves sweets and treats during Lent, it was common to indulge on Fat Tuesday. Fat/Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. To prepare for Lent, many religions emptied their pantries of indulgences like lard and sugar. In using up the supplies, the fastnacht was born.

Fat Tuesday occurs on February 13 this year. Below is my mother’s recipe for fastnachts. She used to call them New Orleans donuts. These are worth the effort it takes to make them! Enjoy!



1 package dry yeast

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

¼ cup warm water

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup milk, scalded

3½-3¾ cups flour


Combine yeast and warm water. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine scalded milk, butter, sugar, and salt; cool until lukewarm. Add 1 cup flour. Mix well.

Add yeast mixture and egg. Add remaining flour. Knead dough for about 8 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl. Turn dough over once to grease top of dough. Let rise in a warm place for 1¼ hours or until dough is doubled. 

Punch dough down and let rise for 1 more hour.

Roll dough to 1/3-inch thickness and cut into squares. Let rise for 30-40 minutes. 

Fry in deep fat for about 2 minutes on each side. Drain to remove excess fat. 

Dip fastnachts in sugar or powdered sugar.  

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.