Maystar Family Cookbook
Four or five years ago, Barbara and Markay decided to put together a family cookbook. We spent quite a while gathering recipes from family members. The end result (mostly put together by Barbara) was gathered in ring-bound notebooks and distributed. The advantage of the ring-bound notebooks was that recipes could be added as desired and the cookbook would become even more a reflection of the person or people who used it.
Now we would like to present the Maystar Cookbook in an online format for the use of our families. It is set up a little differently from the print version, but will be easy to use.
If you are interested in contributing to the online Maystar Cookbook, email your recipes in and they will be added. Please only send in recipes that you have tried. It's okay if they are from other cookbooks as long as it is something you serve your family. Also include any stories that go with the recipes. Thanks.
Introduction to Maystar Family Cookbook
Recipes are fascinating. They can serve as a means of time travel to the past. We can't live like they did or wear what they wore then (and in most cases, wouldn't want to). We are not always able to travel to the places where our ancestors lived, but we can always eat the same foods they did, if we have the recipes. In this cookbook we span the centuries from the 1700's to the present day.
We can travel vicariously to foreign countries (or remember foreign missions) with recipes for Lumpia from the Philippines, Sadza from Africa, Ropa Vieja from Cuba, Quiche from France, Won Tons from China, Pastitso from Greece and more recipes that we can count from Italy and Mexico.
Food "experts" come and go, but what they advise doesnt always have much effect on what real people cook in their homes. Up until the advent of Fannie Farmer in 1896, good cooking was an art. Her methods, unfortunately, made it a science. Cookbook authors have been around many centuries. Most of them in the beginning expanded or improved on recipes left them by their mothers. The real treasures in cookbooks are still found in those spiral bound books put out by church groups and other organizations. We hope this book will be a treasure for your children and grandchildren.
In Medieval Europe, the Mabilles used thick slices of brown bread as trenchers (plates) upon which to serve their meal. After the dinner, the trenchers were gathered up in a basket and given to the poor. Everyone, rich or poor, ate pottage daily. This was a broth in which meat and vegetables had been boiled with herbs (greens) and often cereals. One well-known thick pottage was called Frumenty. They also had pigeon pie. The grandparents of David Ackert's girl friend in Brinnon still raise pigeons and they make pigeon pie. (No, we definitely did not ask them for the recipe.)
In England, our Smuins and Yorks had the same type food as Dickens characters. Ebeneezer Scrooge ate barley gruel (a special Christmas dish) for supper before he was visited by the 3 spirits.
BARLEY GRUEL - (From Hannah Glasse "Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy"
1 quart water
Put water in saucepan with barley, raisins, currants and mace and boil until water is reduced by half and barley is tender. Stir in sugar and juice and serve.
The Hasty Pudding that Annette Longhurst's Laurel teacher made for her Laurels (see the dessert chapter) is an updated version of the puddings made in the 18th century.
When you eat sauerkraut, remember John Maybee (Uncle Jack) and his story about traveling west in the 1880s. He was staying with a Dutch family who had sauerkraut for every meal ("and we could have even gotten up in the middle of the night to eat it if we wanted").
As our pioneers came west they ate a lot of beans and hardtack. One of their most valuable possessions was a Dutch oven or bake oven with a tight fitting lid. Live coals were placed on top and biscuits, bread or pies cook baked inside. If the hunters were successful they also had buffalo, antelope, deer, wild ducks and other game along the way. When they reached the Salt Lake valley, they continued to hunt and fish and when times got really bad, one family wrote that they "made plenty of gravy" to which sego bulbs were added.
The ingredients for Mormon Gravy were fat, (often bacon drippings), liquid, (milk was preferred, but they also used stock, vegetable water or even water), flour, salt and pepper. Cowboys fared much the same. What they ate depended a lot on how good the cook was. Beans, bacon and coffee were staples. One of their desserts on the trail was "Son of A Gun in A Sack".
SON-OF-A-GUN-IN-A-SACK (From one of the old Brinnon pioneers)
"Make a moderately soft dough of water, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Throw in a handful of raisins, a scoop of dried apples and some chopped suet. Put it in a flour sack, tied loosely so that apples can swell. Drop into a kettle of boiling water and let boil for a couple of hours. Serve with sauce made of water, maple sugar, lemon and cinnamon. (Sounds terrible, but it is swell eating.")
When the Millecams and Maybees lived in the Wisdom area, in the 30s, electricity was rare and many still had a springhouse to keep foods cool. (This was a stone house built over a spring or stream. The water flowing through kept foods cool.) Others had iceboxes at home, where huge blocks of ice kept everything cool. Ice was stored in sawdust in an icehouse, and it was fun to go down and get chips of ice to eat on a hot day.
During the 1940s rationing of meat, butter and other foods made it necessary to change some recipes. Cereals were added to hamburger to make it stretch, Soya flour, which added protein, was advised as an addition to bread recipes. Grandma Millecam followed the recommendation of the "Health for Victory Club" book, which suggested using bacon drippings instead of butter in muffins and cookies. Rita Stark was a Block Warden and took these recipe booklets around the neighborhood. One of these recipes was Raisin-Carrot-Cheese Sandwiches, which became one of our favorites. (See Soup-Salad-Sandwich Section).
In the '40s and '50s other popular foods were icebox-frozen desserts and cookies. Most of Harriet Millecam and Rita Stark's recipes are from this time period.
In the '60s cookbooks you will find many recipes made with Jell-O. Television and working mothers brought in TV dinners and " combine a can of this with a package of that" type meals, a lot like many of the good and easy recipes we have in the Main Dish section.