The Gourmet Touch: Old recipes taste just as good today
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Sep 19, 2012 | 2506 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sharing has always been important to me, and you can imagine my surprise and delight when I arrived at a recent cooking class and was told that there was a package for me.

When I opened the bag, I am sure that I beamed with joy as I noticed that someone was sharing a very special accordian file of old recipes.

There was also a note inside the bag from Kathy Weiser that explained these were recipes from her Aunt Irma Etheridge, who was a home ec teacher in Oneonta for 30 years. Some were hand-written and others were recipes that she had clipped from newspapers and magazines over the years.

When Kathy gave these to me, I am sure she didn’t realize how happy I would be to get them. These are the type recipes that my niece, who lives in Arkansas, and I always search for when I go for a visit. Old recipe boxes are tops on our list of desired items and when we go to antique shops or flea markets, we will race to see who can find the “treasure.” When one of us buys a recipe-stuffed box, we will sit for hours talking about the recipes.

I noticed that one of the “clipped” recipes had a hand-written note on it. It said, “This recipe appeared in the May issue of Southern Living, which has replaced The Progressive Farmer.” I am not sure how many years it has been since The Progressive Farmer has been published, but it has been a long time.

Not many of the recipes have dates on them, but the food prices on some of the ads lets us know that these are old recipes. Can you imagine a one-pound bag of Eight O’Clock Coffee for 55 cents? How about a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter for 33 cents? Raisin bread is rather expensive these days, but back then you could get a 16-ounce loaf for only 29 cents.

I found one hand-written recipe for Red Cake, which I knew was what we now know as Red Velvet Cake. This older recipe has the original icing made with flour. This was the first icing I ever used for Red Velvet Cake and I still like it as well as the cream cheese icing that is now used.

I put aside a handful of recipes that I want to make, one of which is a cherry pecan bread. I decided to go ahead and make the bread and was proud that I did. It is delicious. After making it by the recipe, I made a few changes. Are you surprised? I made it a chocolate cherry bread by adding three tablespoons cocoa. I also opted for self-rising flour instead of the all-purpose. Of course, I left out the baking soda. I added the directions because the recipe simply said “350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.”

I can hardly wait to tell my niece about this old “treasure” that I now have in my collection. I am sure her first remarks will be, “Be sure to bring it with you when you come for a visit!”

Cherry Pecan Bread

¾ cup sugar
½ cup oleo (we just call it margarine now)
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (10 ounce) jar marachino cherries, drained and chopped
1 cup pecans (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Cream together the sugar and margarine. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour and baking soda. Stir to mix and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Add vanilla and mix. Stir in cherries and pecans. Spoon into pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of bread. Remove from pan onto a rack.
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The Gourmet Touch: Old recipes taste just as good today by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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