Recipes Past & Present – Texas Cookbook – August 13, 2021

Norm Adams’ First Texas Cook Book

In 1883 when Houston was a city of 16,000 the ladies of the First Presbyterian Church collected hundreds of favourite recipes that had been handed down for generations. That was how the FIRST TEXAS COOK BOOK was compiled. Thanks to Norm Adams, who shared his 1977 reprint of the original cook book, the Lumby Valley Times is pleased to pass along some of these recipes to you over the next few weeks. This week’s menu: Baked Fish, Scalloped Parsnips, Corn Batter Cakes and Eve’s Pudding.

Baked Fish

Stuff the fish with mashed Irish potato and onion stuffing, then put in a deep pan and bake, cut up three or four large onions, put a tablespoonful of lard in a frying pan, as soon as hot add two tablespoons of flour; when brown put in the onions; as soon as they are brown add half a can of tomatoes and a pint of hot water, a few allspice, salt, black and red pepper; let cook for a quarter of an hour and pour over the fish abut ten minutes before serving so as to flavor the fish. 

Scalloped Parsnips

Mash one pint of boiled parsnips, add two tablespoons of butter, one teaspoon of salt, a little pepper, two teaspoons of cream. Mix all the ingredients well, put over the fire and stew until the mixture bubbles then turn into a buttered dish, cover with bread crumbs, dot with butter and brown in the oven.

Corn Batter Cakes

One pint cornmeal, three-fourth pint of flour, one even teaspoon of soda, one teaspoon of salt, one and a half quarts of sweet milk, two or three eggs. Have a very hot griddle, and grease with a piece of fat middling. Keep the cook in good humor, have a hot fire, and turn quickly. One quart of water can be substituted in scarcity of milk.

Eve’s Pudding

If you want a good pudding, mind what you’re taught:

Take of eggs six in number, when bought for a groat-

The fruit with which “Eve” her husband did cozen,

Well pared, chopped and cored, at least half a dozen;

Six ounces of currants, from the stems you must sort,

Lest you break out your teeth, and spoil all the sport;

Six ounces of bread (let Moll eat the crust),

And crumble the rest as fine as the dust;

Six ounces of sugar won’t make it too sweet;

Some salt and a nutmeg will make it complete.

Three hours let it boil, without any futter,

But “Adam” won’t eat it without wine and butter.

NEXT WEEK: MORE FROM NORM’S FIRST TEXAS COOK BOOK.

Do you have a favourite recipe, perhaps something that brings back memories of days gone by? Send it to the Lumby Valley Times. Mail your recipe(s) to: Box 456, Lumby B.C. or e-mail to to: andrew@lumbyvalleytimes.ca, please indicate if you want your name to be used in the article, or would prefer to remain anonymous.

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