Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ancestral Morsels

As the holidays rapidly approach, we turn towards foods that give us a sense of the familiar, of something that reminds us of home. Unfortunately, many of the recipes that remind us of our younger days are lost. We remember Grandma making washboard cookies, but we have no idea how to make them and the results of an internet search don't seem quite right.

Well, in an effort to recreate some of what has been lost, I am including a couple of cherished family recipes. Try these for your next family gathering and they may become some of your favorites all over again!

Old Fashioned Vinegar Rolls
Recipe of Ollie Mae Nelson, my husband's great-grandmother on his father's side

3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. baking powder
4 tsp. cinnamon                                                           
5 tbsp. butter                                                              
3/4 cup milk
2 cups sifted flour
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
heavy cream

Combine vinegar, water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix and sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening; stir in milk with fork to form a soft dough. Roll out into the shape of a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the surface of the dough. Dot with 2 tbsp. butter. Roll up like a jelly roll. Cut crosswise into slice about 1-1/4" thick. Place close together, cut side up, in a deep baking dish. Dot with remaining butter. Pour hot vinegar mixture over all. Bake at 375° for 30 - 40 minutes. Serve hot with heavy cream. Yields 8 servings.

Salmon Croquettes
Recipe of Esther "Ethel" Lucille Crawford, my great-grandmother on my mother's side (and one of my mom's favorites!)

1 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 can salmon
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
Salt and pepper

Mash all ingredients together. Roll mixture into balls and fry in deep fat. Drain on a paper towel and keep warm until ready to serve.

Dotsy Mae's Dressing
Recipe of Dotsy Mae Ray, my husband's grandmother.

4 slices dry toast
2-9" pans of cornbread
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 eggs
2 chicken boullion cubes, diluted in 1 cup hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Salt, pepper and sage to tasts

Prepare cornbread and toast the day before. Break all bread up in a large bowl and add celery, onion, butter and eggs. Mix and add bouillon and soup. Mix again, then add seasonings to taste. Mixture should be very moist. If needed, add more bouillon mixture or a little more soup. Pour into long casserole dish and bake at 350° degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly brown.


  1. Welcome Melanie, it's great to have you here. I look forward to reading all about your family history.

  2. I love your blog Melanie! This is pretty impressive - so much substance.