Culinary History Collection


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Current Editor: Cynthia D. Bertelsen


Issue 2 Winter 2001

Old Virginia Receipts


The following recipes have been selected from the educational circulars compiled by Janet Cameron during her years as an Extension Specialist. These circulars are available in the Janet Cameron scrapbook, compiled by Alice Johnson and a part of the Culinary History Collection within Special Collections at Virginia Tech's Newman Library. Many of these recipes, were Janet's suggestions for holiday baking.


Persian Sweets

Grind together equal parts of any available dried fruits (for example figs, apricots, dates, raisins apples or peaches)

Add finely chopped nuts if desired.

Moisten with a little orange juice (a whole orange may be used -- just grind it along with the dried fruits). Dark corn syrup may also be used to add moisture (do not use syrup if a whole orange is added to the fruit).

Shape the fruit mixture into balls or logs.

Roll in powered or granulated sugar. Coconut or finely ground nuts may also be used.

Store in containers in a cool place.


Easy Apricot Dainties

Soak 1 pound of dried apricots in water one hour (don't let them get too soft). Peel 1 orange. Remove bitter white skin from peel and membrane from pulp. Put the orange (rind and pulp) and apricots through food grinder. Add 2 cups sugar. Boil 8 minutes or until mixture drops in large blobs from spoon. Cool slightly, drop from teaspoon into bowl of sugar into balls. This stiffens as it stands. Cool on waxed paper. Makes 8 dozen small pieces.


Apple Sauce Spice Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fat
1 cup thick, unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2cup walnuts, chopped

Cream the fat and sugar and add applesauce and beaten egg. Mix and sift the dry ingredients: add nuts and combine with mixtures, mixing thoroughly. Bake in loaf, in moderate oven (380 - 400 degrees). If preferred, cake may be baked in two layers.


Stone Jar Molasses Cookies

3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon soda

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and ginger and sift again. Heat molasses, remove from fire; add shortening and soda. Add flour gradually, mixing well. Chill. Form dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place on greased baking sheet. Press each ball flat with bottom of glass which has been covered with a damp cloth. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 15 minutes. Remove from pan carefully. Cool. Store in cooky jar. Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.


Old Fashioned Syrup Peanut Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup syrup
1/4 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired

Mix shortening, syrup and warm water. Add beaten egg. Dredge raisins and peanuts with _ cup flour. Sift dry ingredients together. Combine mixtures. Add dredged peanuts and raisins. Let stand 10 minutes. Drop on well-greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree to 400 degree oven, 10 to 15 minutes.


Molasses Muffins

2 cups sifted flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons melted fat

Sift dry ingredients. Add milk, egg, molasses and shortening, and still until just mixed. Do not beat. Have greased muffin tins hot to add muffin batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.


Mock Mincemeat

3 cups chopped pared apples
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup seedless raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1/2 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup tart fruit juice
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped nuts may be added

Combine all ingredients and cook 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Filling for 1 (9-inch) pie.


Oatmeal Hermits

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup seedless raisins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter or fat
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups fine oatmeal
2 eggs, well beaten

Sift first 4 ingredients together. Mix oatmeal, sugar and raisins; add sifted dry ingredients and mix well. Combine fat, syrup, and eggs and add to first mixture. Drop from tablespoon onto greased baking sheet and bake in hot oven (400 degrees) 15 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen.


Wartime Fruitcake

2 cups sifted cake flour
1/3 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup seeded raisins, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced candied orange
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup sliced citron/peel
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 cup currents
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses

Sift flour, salt, soda and spices together 3 times. Cream shortening, sugar and honey well. Add fruits and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients, milk, molasses alternately in small amounts beating well after each addition. Pour into tube pan lined with greased brown paper. Bake in slow oven (300 degrees) 3 hours, or cover tightly ands steam for 1 hour at 15 pounds pressure. Test with toothpick or cake tester before removing from pan.


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