Post Submitted by Karreen Busch
Looking for something new to try for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Maybe you should try something old instead. That is, an old recipe… We’ve found three ideas from historic Jacksonville families that might just add that something extra to your holiday dinner table.
Emil Britt, son of Peter and Amalia Britt (of Jacksonville, for whom the Britt Festival is named), presented his mother with an 1870 cookbook entitled “Common Sense in the Kitchen: A Practical System of Cookery” in 1882. The book is in the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s Research Library, and contains a multitude of recipes and tips from the 19th century.
Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, and in Amalia Britt's cookbook, there are helpful tips for roasting your turkey:
ROASTING POULTRY: Turkeys.
When your Turkey is properly trussed for dressing, stuff it with the following ingredients: Take four ounces of butter, or chopped suet, some grated bread, a little lemon peel, parsley, and sweet herbs chopped together, pepper, salt, and nutmeg, a little cream, and the yolks of two or three eggs; work these all well together, and fill the craw with it. Let your fire be very brisk, and when you put it down paper the breast, and let it continue on till near done; then take it off, dredge it with flour, and keep basting it till it is done. If it is a large turkey, serve it up with gravy alone, or brown celery, or mushroom sauce. If it is a turkey-poult, serve it up with gravy and bread sauce… A middling sized turkey will take more than an hour, a small one three quarters of an hour, and a very large one an hour and a half. In dressing these, as well as fowls, always let your fire be clear and brisk.
“The Smith Family Heritage Cookbook” is a family history through recipes. Originally published in 1980, the cookbook was updated in 2009 by Dana Smith Tuley. Here’s the Smith’s family favorite dressing for holidays:
Smith’s Southern Style Dressing
12 slices white bread 4 cups cornbread, crumbled
2 cups diced celery 2 cups diced onion
2 cubes butter 2 t. sage
1 16 oz. can creamed corn 2 cups chicken broth
Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces and mix with crumbled cornbread.
In large skillet on low heat, melt butter and sauté celery and onions until well done. DO NOT BROWN! (This procedure takes a little while, but don’t hurry by turning the heat up).
Add the hot chicken broth to bread and cornbread along with corn and sage. Salt and pepper to taste. If mixture is not moist add a little more chicken broth.
Bake in 9x13” baking dish until golden brown at about 350˚ for approximately 50 minutes.
The Smith family has lived in the Rogue Valley, in Jacksonville, Ruch, and the Applegate Valley, since 1882. The cookbook is available for purchase at the Research Library or online at sohs.org, and includes other dishes like “Almond Christmas Balls” and “Southern Chicken or Turkey Casserole” that would work well for holiday meals.
And, of course, what would Thanksgiving be without dessert? We found a recipe for apple nut bread in the Hanley family archives.
Apple Nut Bread
½ cup butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 tblsp. sour cream
2 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. chopped unpeeled apples
2 tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Cut butter into sugar and blend together until smooth; add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and sour cream. Sift together dry ingredients; add nuts. Combine dry ingredients and nuts with creamed mixture. Stir in apples. Put mixture into greased and floured 9” x 5” x 3” pan. Sprinkle top of loaf with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake in 325˚ oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Makes one loaf.
This recipe, from 1950, takes advantage of the apple harvest time on the Hanley Farm. The “Recipes from the Hanley Farms” packet is also available for purchase in the Research Library or at sohs.org.
Happy Cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!