O.C. Recipes

Cookies. ~ One cup of butter, two of sugar, half a cup of milk, four eggs, two tea-spoonfuls of baking powder, half a nutmeg.  As little flour as possible and roll out.


Festival Cake. ~ To bake in the forenoon you must set the first rising for this cake the noon before.  Take two cups of new milk, one yeast cake softened in a little warm water, two cups of sugar, and eight cups of flour; mix and put in a warm place to rise.  It will be light at night.  Then add two cups of sugar, two of melted butter, four eggs, one large nutmeg, half a tea-spoonful of ground cassia buds* or one tea-spoonful of cinnamon, one pint of raisins seeded and chopped, or whole if you like.  Mix very thoroughly; put in baking tins or leave in the pan as you find it convenient; set to rise.  If it is kept warm enough it will be ready to bake in the course of the morning.  If left in the mixing pan over night it should have some chance to rise again after putting in tins.  Use the same cup in all the measuring.  A large tea-cup was used for this receipt, and the above quantity made two loaves baked in two-quart tins.  This is a cake which you can eat a good piece of at a hungry picnic and not hurt you.

* Cassia buds – the unopened flowers of the cassia (cinnamon) tree that are picked just before blooming and dried in the sun.  Cassia buds look like small cloves.  The picking has to be timed perfectly, therefore the quality can vary greatly from crop to crop.  Their flavor is close to cinnamon but with more of a floral, winey scent.  They are commonly used for pickling and mulling spice blends.


Apple Pudding. ~  Pare and quarter apples enough for two layers on the bottom of your pudding dish – which we will suppose to be a yellow nappy* – the bottom about the size of a breakfast plate.  The apples should be sour and juicy, and the quarters should be nicely packed in, one by one.  Add a table-spoonful of water, half a cup of sugar and a little piece of butter; a little salt; spice to your taste.  Make a paste exactly like what you make for strawberry shortcake, spread it on the apples and bake.  When done, cut around the crust and turn the pudding over, apple upward, on to a plate.  Eat with wine sauce, or with sugar and cream.  We prefer the latter.  When baked the apples should be perfectly soft, but unbroken and adhering to the crust.  Do not spread the crust too thick; half an inch is thick enough.  The crust is sometimes shortened with chopped suet instead of butter.

*nappy – a round, shallow cooking or serving dish with a flat bottom and sloping sides.


Muffins. ~ Dissolve a half cake of yeast in a little water, put it into a quart of warm milk, stir in flour enough to make a stiff batter and let it rise.  When light add five ounces or a coffee-cup half full of butter, and four well-beaten eggs.  When well risen again pour into muffin-rings on a hot griddle and bake a nice brown.  Bake one first for a “try cake” to see if a little soda may not be needed, and to see how much will just fill the ring when half done or ready to turn over.  Muffins for breakfast must be started in the afternoon of the day before, the butter and eggs added in the evening.


Coffee. ~ a mixture of Java and malt, half and half.  This confession will be wondered at perhaps, but persons who have always been used to the pure decoction so often praise our coffee, in fact go into ecstasies over it, we are forced to think it is really an improvement.  Perhaps it is liked because we boil it only three minutes, and that pat to the dinner hour, and have the right kind of cream to put with it.  The quantities are, four quarts of water to half a pound of coffee.  Stir the white of one egg and a little cold water into the coffee, before you put it to the boiling water.


French Honey.  ~ When currant jelly was not available, tarts were filled with French Honey. Break one pound of lump sugar into pieces, put it in a pan and add the yolk of six eggs and the white of four, the juice of four lemons and the grated rind of two, and three ounces of butter.   Stir this mixture over a slow fire until it becomes thick like honey.  It will keep a year if put in a dry cool place.


Omelet. ~ Mrs. L., who makes a specialty of omelet (the only name she knows for her dish), says we must come and see her cook it, to tell how it should be done.  So we go and watch her as she cooks a mess for eight or ten persons.  First she breaks fifteen eggs into a bowl.  Then she takes a frying-pan, (wrought iron, nearly a foot in diameter) and puts into it two ounces of butter and half a tea-cup of thin cream (new milk will do), and sets it on the range.  As the butter begins to melt she pours in the egg.  Then she touches the yolks with the sharp corner of her shovel so as to break them.  To do any more than just break them is “flat burglary” with Mrs. L.  If you beat the eggs in the least it will spoil the color when the dish is done, which should be nicely streaked with white according to her idea.  Now she stands holding the handle of the pan with one hand, ready to move it on or off at the slightest demand of its delicate contents, while with the other she slips her turner into the egg and shoves it gently forward, the edge scraping the bottom of the pan, which motion she keeps up till the omelet is done.  She is very particular about this shoving.  “You must not stir it round and round,” says she; “don’t make a pudding of it.”  The way she shoves her turner forward, and carefully raises it with the egg sliding off on either side, makes us think of the manner old housewives used to handle their cheese curd.  It is a very professional motion.  But the result is the egg and milk and butter are mixed and cooked together without wheying, and without sticking and browning.  The least speck of brown is a fatal blemish in Mrs. L’s eyes.  For the quantity we have mentioned, she allows herself ten or twelve minutes.  She does not cook it to a crisp, but takes it up when it is “all light and quivering” and serves hot.


Potato Pudding. ~ (Mrs. Mudlaw’s recipe) Take as many potatoes as you think you will want – you must be governed by the size of the pudding you intend to make.  Boil and mash them.  When eggs are plenty, use a plenty – when they are scarce you can do with less.  Sugar according as you are going to eat it with sass (sweet sauce) or not.  Put in a good sized lump of butter.  Bake till it is done.


Potato for Breakfast. ~ Take cold boiled potatoes; slice them thin;  put a little butter into a shallow frying pan, over a hot fire; spread the slices in the pan not more than an inch deep, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pour in a little boiling water; cook without stirring till brown, then turn over.  The fire should be hot enough to finish the potato in eight or ten minutes.


Graham Mush. ~ And here you will say, Give flour and water and any body can make Graham mush.  No, even Graham mush has its points.  It may be light or soggy, smooth or lumpy, cooked or raw.  If you want it light, smooth and well done, follow this rule:  Have the water boil briskly when you begin to sprinkle in the four, and after you have stirred in a handful or two, stop and let the water get to boiling again.  Sprinkle in another handful, stir and stop again; sprinkle, stir and stop, till the addition of flour does not stop the water’s boiling; then add flour continuously and stir vigorously till the pudding is thick enough; then set it on the back of the stove, where it should boil slowly without stirring for fifteen or twenty minutes.  Mrs. S., our professor on mush, spats  the officious hand that presumes to stir her mush after she has set it back.  It spoils the lightness, she thinks.  You must calculate for the pudding’s thickening considerably after setting back.


Raised Nutcakes. ~ Make a sponge over night with one quart of new milk and half a pint of liquid yeast, or half a cake of dry yeast dissolved in a gill of water.  In the morning if it is light, add half a pint of butter, a pound of sugar, three eggs, half a nutmeg, half a tea-spoonful of soda, a little salt, and flour enough to make a dough somewhat stiff.  Knead well and set to rise.  Let it get very light, then mold and put it into a pan thoroughly buttered.  When very light again turn the pan over on the molding-board, the dough will cleave from the pan, roll it out to the thickness of an inch, cut with round cutters and boil four or five minutes.


Fruit Cake ~ Two and a half cups of butter, three of sugar, one cup of molasses, half a cup of brandy or wine, seven eggs, two and a half pounds of raisins, two of currants, one of citron, spice to taste, two tea-spoonfuls of baking powder, and flour enough to make the mixture very stiff.


Breakfast Cakes. ~ One quart of flour, one third of a cup of butter or a piece the size of a hen’s egg, (both unsatisfactory measures, but cooks are apt to think any measure is better than the scales), one pint of milk, one small cup of sugar, two eggs, three tea-spoonfuls of baking powder, one tea-spoonful of salt.  Bake in cup-cakes tins.  This cake was the invention of a man in the O. C. kitchen.


1 Comment

  1. Annette Hopper said,

    January 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    French Honey sounds like an English recipe I know as Lemon Curd. Yum!

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