Old-fashioned Celery Chowder Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, January 29, 1913: <<no entry>>

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is one of the few days between January, 1911 and December, 1914 when Grandma wrote nothing. The previous day she wrote that a friend, Margaret G., was visiting and planned to stay overnight. Maybe the girls stayed up all night talking and Grandma was too tired to write anything.

Since there’s no diary entry to guide the direction this post takes, I’ll share a recipe for an old-time winter food—Celery Chowder.

It’s an excellent celery soup and I make it one or twice each winter.

 Old-fashioned Celery Chowder

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

3 cups celery, chopped

2 medium potatoes, diced

water

4 cups milk

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in large saucepan; add onion and cook until tender. Add chopped celery and potatoes; just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; then simmer (15-20 minutes) until vegetables are soft. Add milk and chopped eggs; season with salt and pepper. Reheat until hot; serve.

Old-fashioned Apple Fritter Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, January 13, 1913:  Nothing much for today.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Something must have happened a hundred years ago today. I wonder what the Muffly’s ate on that mid-January day.

The dishes they ate probably were made with local ingredients that were available in January.  I’ve been enjoying trying old fritter recipes,  and have warm, fuzzy, memories of eating apple fritters on cold winter days.

Old-fashioned Apple Fritters

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 medium apples chopped

approximately 1/3 cup shortening or lard

powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, and milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in apples.

Heat shortening until hot in large frying pan. Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot shortening.  Flip fritters and fry until golden brown on all sides. The fritters may need to be flipped several times to completely cook due to the thickness of the batter.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Makes  12-16 fritters.

Scalloped Turkey Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, December 26, 1912:  Took a rest today. Expected to have a sad night of it last night, but contrary to my expectations I didn’t. We’re trying to get away with yesterday’s left-overs.

Both a hundred years ago and now December 26 is a good day to put your feet up and relax.

Both a hundred years ago and now, December 26 is a good day to put your feet up and relax.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Some things haven’t changed much across the years. December 26 is a relaxing day (if you don’t do the Christmas sales and return things).

Sounds like Christmas left-overs weren’t Grandma’s favorite food. Scalloped Turkey is an old way of using some of the left-overs.

Scalloped Turkey

Stuffing and Turkey Mixture

Approximately 6 cups stuffing

Approximately 4 cups turkey, coarsely chopped

Use approximately 3 1/2 cups Gravy or make Turkey White Sauce

2 heaping tablespoons flour

1 stick butter

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups milk

1 cup turkey meat stock

Use left-over stuffing or make more stuffing as you would to fill a fowl, and put alternate layers of coarsely chopped turkey and stuffing in a large baking dish.

Use left-over gravy or make some using these directions. To make white sauce, melt butter in skillet. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk and meat stock while stirring constantly. Heat until sauce thickens.

Pour gravy/white sauce over each layer of turkey and top with a final layer of stuffing. Bake 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.

Yield:  6 – 8 servings

I apologize for not having a photo of the Scalloped Turkey. I’ve made this recipe many times and it always turns out fine, but in the hustle and bustle of my own life, I didn’t get it made in time to get a photo for this post.

I’m doing no work today, and am putting my feet up and relaxing. Hope you can do the same.

Old-fashioned Coffee Candy Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, December 21, 1912:  Had quite a time putting things in order this morning, but how long they will stay that way I can’t tell. Ruth made some Christmas candy this afternoon.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What kind of candy did Grandma’s sister Ruth make? . . .Maybe old-fashioned Coffee Candy? . . . Dare I suggest it? . . . I tried making Coffee Candy last December and it was a disaster that crumbled into tiny pieces. (See Interpreting Old Recipes: The Case of Coffee Candy.)

Usually when I have a cooking failure I never make the recipe again. But, bolstered by everyone’s comments and suggestions last year, I decided to try it again.

I made some adaptations to the recipe I used last year. Here’s what I did:

Old-fashioned Coffee Candy

Boil together over moderate heat, without stirring, one-half cup strong coffee, two tablespoons butter, and two cups sugar. Boil to soft ball stage (238 degrees).  Remove the pan from stove. Beat rapidly until it creams. Stir in a cup of chopped walnuts, press firmly into a buttered pan and cut into squares. (I used a 6 1/2-inch square pan.)

This Coffee Candy turned out much better this year. It had a nice coffee flavor, and a texture similar to pralines. It still had a slight tendency to crumble when I cut it, but most pieces came out of the pan just fine.

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Cookie Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 18, 1912:  Am beginning to get ready for Christmas. Picked out some walnut bits.

black walnut cookies

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What was Grandma going to make with the walnuts?  Maybe she made cookies . Here’s an old recipe for Black Walnut Cookies.

Old-Fashioned Black Walnut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix butter, brown sugar, and eggs together. Stir  in milk and  vinegar. Then, stir in baking soda and salt. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in black walnuts. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. Drop rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies

I love these cookies. They are an old-fashioned soft cookie with the robust, rich taste of black walnuts.

Here are several previous posts about Black Walnuts that you might enjoy:

How to Crack Black Walnuts

Hulling Black Walnuts

Old-Time Black Walnut Cake Recipe

Old-time Oyster Fritters Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 3, 1912:  Nothing much to write.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share an old recipe for Oyster Fritters with you.

Oysters were a very popular late fall food in central Pennsylvania years ago.  Even though the area is about 150 miles from the Chesapeake Bay—it is within a day’s train trip from the Bay; and shellfish, even a hundred years ago, were regularly transported into the area.

I have wonderful memories of eating Oyster Fritters when I was a child—and still make them once or twice each year whenever I’m able to find oysters for sale in my local supermarket.

Oyster Fritters

1 pint oysters, drained and coarsely chopped

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup melted shortening or lard

Mix all ingredients except shortening together. Melt shortening in a skillet. Drop oyster mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot shortening. Fry until lightly browned; flip and cook other side. Drain on paper towels.

Old-Fashioned Mock Cherry (Cranberry Raisin) Pie Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, November 25, 1912:  Today, don’t remember.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like a slow day for Grandma. Since she didn’t write much I’ll share a hundred-old-recipe for Mock Cherry Pie that I made for Thanksgiving.

The pie is made with cranberries and raisins. It’s enticingly  tart–yet sweet–and a nice addition to my repertoire of Thanksgiving pies; but it tastes  (surprise, surprise) more like a cranberry raisin pie than a cherry pie.

Mock Cherry Pie

Pick over and wash three cupfuls of cranberries, and cook in half a cupful of water until broken.  Add one cupful of sugar and one cupful of cropped raisins. Bake between crusts in 9-inch pan.

Adapted from recipe in Good Housekeeping (November, 1912)

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