Using lard and sour milk.

Here’s a slightly different recipe that uses sour milk, lard and egg from the January 28, 1901 edition of The Galveston Daily News:

One Recipe and Two Remedies–Recipe Wanted.

To the Household.

I will give Tom’s wife my recipe for egg corn read:

One cup sour buttermilk, one and one-half cups cold water, one egg, one teaspoonful salt, slight had teaspoonful soda, two and one-half cups of sifted cornmeal (this will make enough bread for a family of seven). Bake half an hour in a moderately hot oven.

For Sore Throat–Beat the yolk of an egg. Add enough common salt to make a stiff plaster. Bind next to the throat. It will give almost immediate relief.

Cramp Colic–One teaspoonful gunpowder, one teaspoonful camphor (spirits) in a little water. Repeat the dose if necessary.

Will some one please tell me how to prepare and serve vegetable oysters?

A Young Housekeeper,

Kirbyville, Jasper County, Tex.

So you… you put the gunpowder… where, exactly?

But fine, vegetable oysters. That’s another name for salsify, a root vegetable that looks like a long white parsnip but with a few more roots. The flavor, however, is sort of brine-y, hence the name vegetable oysters. Here’s a recipe from 1877’s Buckeye Cookery by Estelle Woods Wilcox:

Salsify or Vegetable Oysters.

Wash thoroughly, scrape off skin with a knife, cut across in rather thin slices, stew until tender in water enough to cover them, with a piece of salt codfish for seasoning. Before sending to table, remove codfish, thicken with flour and butter rubbed together, toast slices of bread, put in dish, and then add the vegetable oyster. This method gives the flavor of oysters to the vegetable, and adds much to its delicacy. — Mrs. Gov. J.J. Bagley, Michigan.

John Judson Bagely was governor of Michigan from 1873 to 1876 (although technically, his term ended three days into 1877, I guess), after careers as a tobacconist and insurance salesman. For the record, his wife’s name was Frances E. Newberry Bagley.

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the 17th page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...
In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

Corn Bread

1/2 c. lard
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1-1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
1 c. flour
1-1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. sorghum

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