Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Houston County Heritage Cookbook
Houston County Courier - August 2009
By Suzanne Steed
The Houston County Heritage and Historical Cookbook has been completed. The book is a record of the treasured receipts of past cooks of our county.
Dorothy Harrison orchestrated the project with the help of the residents of the county who submitted receipts that were over 50 years old.
For Mrs. Harrison, it was a labor of love. These receipts bring back great memories of those who came before us, their fondness for certain receipts and foods and how they believed.
If acorns don’t fall far from the tree, then those of us who read these receipts may see where some of our cooking traits came from.
These were handed down for generations and now recorded in book form for all times.
Throughout the book, each receipt has the name of the family or person that used it over 50 years ago.
Among those families represented are: Morgan, Beasley, Neel, Arnold, Edmiston, Keeland, Arledge, Garner, Morrow, Leediker, Caprielian, Crook, Stokes, Gossett, Satterwhite, Fain, Thompson, Dominy, Dean, Warfield, Callaway, Goolsby and hundreds more.
Three interesting sections feature the 1930 Crockett High School Band Cookbook that has been included.
This was presented by Joanne Lake who inherited it from her mother-in-law, Mrs. Dr. Lake as she was fondly referred to.
One section has desserts, pies and sweets. For example: Leona Thomas’ The Lady Baltimore Cake, Mrs. Shivers’ Pound Cake, Mrs. J.T. Harrisons’ Gold Cake, Mrs. Willie Holcomb’s Spice Cake, Mrs. Jensen’s Bride’s Cake and so many more.
In addition to the receipts, there are many home remedies that would either give you eternal rest or cure you. For example:
For wounds and sores, make a decoction of walnut leaves and apply it to a wound or sore. It is a good disinfectant.
Another remedy: To help memory, eat green pepper seeds for nine days beginning with a seed and doubling the dose until it reaches 256 on the ninth day.
To combat indigestion, gas and bloating due to overeating you can soak fresh carnation flower petals in water adding sugar to thicken into syrup, strain and take a dose.
There are remedies for snakebites, cough, cataracts, sore throat, sore mouth in dogs and more.
Also included are many folk lore truisms or wise old sayings. Many call them “Old Wives’ Tales.”
You can hear your grandparents say; “He’s so tight he squeaks when he walks,” ‘Never plant when the signs are in the heart or the head as plants will not grow,” ‘There’s more than one way to skin a cat other than taking his fur over his head,” ‘Flocks of blackbirds hovering close together near the ground means it is going to be bad weather,” “He could eat corn through a picket fence,” ‘Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas,” “Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in awhile,” and “If an owl screeches at midnight, someone will die.”
There are many more hip slapping, belly laughing even tear jerking ones included in the book.
Photographs of yesteryear Houston County and its residents are scattered among the receipts, home remedies and folk lore.
Old homes, ancestors, churches, downtown Crockett square, Camp Street, Crockett Depot, county schools, a Davy Crockett painting, and endangered architect such as the Rosenwald School and Mary Allen College are some of the highlights.
If you are ready to measure, melt, bake and broil down memory lane of Houston County’s historic kitchens as well a cure that illness and know that if you lie down with dogs that you get up with fleas, then the Houston County Heritage and Historical Cookbook is available for your pleasure or as a gift.
It can be purchased at the Eliza Bishop Depot Museum now open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.. The Museum is located on East Goliad near the Railroad Underpass.