Johnnycake In this part of the United States, johnnycake is just another name for corn dodgers. Ash Cakes For these, mix 2 cups cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt. Add enough hot water to make a stiff dough. Let stand an hour or more. With hands, shape into cakes about an inch thick. Lay on hot hearth stones near fire until outside crusts up a little; then cover with hot ashes and bake at least a half hour or until well browned. Brush off ashes with a cloth. Split and eat hot with slabs of butter. Corn Dodgers The mixture for dodgers is the same as that used for making ash cake, only thinner. The dodgers are browned in a heavy skillet. Red Eye Gravy After frying country ham in a black iron skillet, Southern cooks make red eye gravy. First, drain off a portion of fat if there is an excess, and add a little water. Bring to a boil and then serve. Some of the old folks add about a tablespoon of strong coffee to the gravy, says Beth Tartan in her book ``North Carolina and Old Salem Cookery'' ($6.95 Tar Par Ltd., PO Box 3, Kernersville, NC 27284). Leather Britches, or Breeches This method of preserving string or green beans is still used by some country people today. The beans are strung with a darning needle and hung to dry. Later, when ready to use, they are soaked, then cooked like fresh beans with salt pork. Sausage and Sweets North Carolina leads the United States in its production of sweet potatoes, and one of the most favored ways to serve them is with sausage.
For each serving, peel a medium-size sweet potato and slice into thirds lengthwise. Shape pork sausage to make 2 flat patties about 1/2 inch thick, the size of the sweet potato. Place 2 patties, sandwich fashion, between the 3 slices of potato. Wrap in foil, seal tightly, and bake in pan in a 350-degree F. oven for 1 hour, turning once. Moravian Slaw In Northern cookbooks you may find this dish listed as coleslaw, but in most Southern books it's called just slaw, unless it's a special kind of slaw such as this one. Moravian slaw is also called Dutch slaw. It is made with cabbage chopped into very fine pieces.
\"I and my wife lived 3 weeks at the close of the war without the least bit of bread. We were compelled to live on anything that we could use at all that had any nourishment about it and was not poisonous, wild onions and wild salad were hunted for and gathered all over the woods. Sam Railsback's wife would hunt all the slippery elm trees she could find and take the bark off and scrape off the outside bark and save the inner bark and cut it into small bits with a knife and dry it in the sun or heat of the fire and when she had a sufficient quantity of this she put it into a sack and carried it to Adams Mill on Mill Creek south of Yellville where it was ground into meal and used it for bread by moisten[ing] the ground bark with water and making it into pones or flat cakes and baking it in a skillet. The old man Bosier who lived on Newtons Flat below Jimmies Creek was so nigh starved to death that he would hunt all the old dry hides he could find and cut them into small pieces and scorch them on the fire and eat them.\"
Joining this basic part of the menu will be coleslaw, and a hot vegetable or two. In the spring, the cook is expected to serve wilted lettuce frequently. The wilting is achieved by pouring a mixture of hot vinegar, sugar, and bacon grease over the freshly washed leaf lettuce which has been mixed with crumbled bacon and onion. The hot vegetables will vary with the season and availability on the canned food shelf. The one vegetable, always featured at my husband's family get-togethers, that continues to give me difficulty is green beans. My husband still prefers his green beans to come to the table well seasoned with onion and bacon and \"cooked to death\" as one of our children put it. My Michigan family prefers them with a little \"crunch\" and dressed with butter. During the fall and winter, my husband will expect to see turnips seasoned with bacon grease, and not the parsnips or rutabagas that I grew up eating in the winter. Peas, corn, and greens of all sorts appear in the rotation but it is green beans and turnips that signify Ozarks cooking to me. The Ozarks housewife will also place on the table an amazing array of homemade pickles, jams and jellies. In an earlier time, sorghum would also have been on table but I have rarely seen it in my visits to the homes of good Ozarks cooks. Many cooks in the Ozarks produce wonderful light bread (yeast rolls), but that is an art that I have yet to master. Instead my table will feature baking powder biscuits upon which the diners may put their choice of honey, jam, jelly, or gravy. I think, however, most Ozarks cooks produce the biscuits for their menfolks' breakfast.
While a new house was being built the \"old folks\" moved into town, but two bachelor sons remained behind to tend the animals. They moved cots and a tiny wood heating stove onto the pungent dirt floor of a smokehouse which stood, windowless, its thick wooden walls half buried in the earth, amid a clutter of other buildings out behind the wellhouse.
The uncles butchered hogs and calves every fall, although most of the meat went not into the smoke house but to a freezer locker in town. Only an occasional ham or bacon slab, smoked elsewhere, now hung in the smoke house, though other meat products were among the great variety of foods stored there.
Stoneware crocks of cooked sausage patties were covered with their own grease and topped with saucers or plates to keep the dust out. Mincemeat pies were stacked in tins, already baked and needing only to be heated in the oven before being served. Flat pans of head cheese made from scraps and organ meats cooked to form a natural gel or aspic made a convenient kind of country cold cut. Tin buckets of lard would be used for frying, flavoring and baking; flat pans of lye soap would be cut into squares for doing laundry.
The plan also looks at the available resources, including garden size, available labor (both in the garden and in the kitchen), and storage capacity. Along with the plan, a planting calendar is made so that the harvest will coincide with the dates of the fair (or fairs) where the products will be exhibited.
She went on to describe in great detail how she prepared an entry. She began by knowing the fair's rules inside and out. For example, no jellies in quart jars -- disqualification! She knew from years of experience what judges look for in each category; and, from years of observation, what wins. She developed processing methods that required much more than the usual effort but which resulted in entries which stood out to the judge because of such factors as color, uniformity, shape, packing, taste and clarity. After she selected the best out of each batch for the entry, she carefully stored it away in a canning jar box designated especially for each fair where she planned to exhibit that year. Then, the day before delivering to the fairgrounds, she would check each of her entries to be sure they were sealed properly, then clean, tag, and ready them, along with her baked goods, to be very carefully delivered the next day for judging.
That day I had watched her carry in to be judged, 6 boxes containing 72 canned entries, 6 bread entries, lots of quick breads and four very beautiful cakes. As a teenager I thought them absolutely amazing: they made my little entries look sorry at best. I was even more astounded after the judging. This woman swept the contest in household sciences. Since she had blue and purple ribbons everywhere, I took her words of advice very seriously. As I grew older and more experienced I took great pride in those of my entries that placed above hers and wondered if she realized that it happened because of some counsel she gave to an interested teen years earlier.
This past October we at SIFAT performed an old-fashioned rite. With some help from friends, we hand stripped home-grown cane, cut it with machetes, milled it with mules, cooked and skimmed the resulting juice on a homemade wood-fired cooker, strained the thickened molasses with cloth, and poured it into jars. A hog was slaughtered, sausage made, and biscuits baked. People came from all over the area.Clydene Waters, a local farmer who still plows land and snakes logs with draft animals, coordinated the project and got the word out to the community. Some of the older folks reminisced about sorghum soppings in the good old days. Some stood back and watched us sweat, glad that their days of leaning over a cooker, eyes blinded by sorghum steam, was a thing of the past. Parents brought young children, thinking it might be their last chance to sop sorghum in the sun with the cane fields behind them and the mules milling before them. Seasoned soppers set themselves apart by enjoying a glass of raw juice. From before sunrise to after sunset we milled, cooked, and sopped. 59ce067264