Recipes Of Long Ago

Filled with my personal collection of recipes dating back to the early 18th century. My Great Grandmother inspired me at a young age on the importance of cooking well. I have some of her canning jars and a special wooden spoon just right for licking the bowl. The recipes are listed in alphabetical order. Enjoy !!

Apple Custard Pie(1930)

3 large tart apples                                                                      1/2 pint milk

1/2 cup sugar                                                                              Nutmeg or cinnamon to taste

2 eggs                                                                                           paste

Peel, core and stew the apples with just enough water to prevent burning, rub through a sieve, and add sugar and spice. Beat the eggs–yolks and whites separately,–add the yolks to the milk, stir in the flavored apples, and fold into the mixture the stiffly-beaten egg whites. Line a deep pie pan with paste, pour in the filling and put strips of paste, lattice fashion over the top. Bake in a moderate oven for about 1/2 hour. (paste means lard)

Applesauce Cake-(1910)

2 cups all-purpose flour                                                            8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons baking soda                                                           1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder                                                       1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon                                                        2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg                                                        2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/4 teaspoon cloves                                                                    1 tablespoon confectioner’s                                                                                                                     sugar

1 cup of raisins                                                                            1 cup of walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13-by-9 inch baking pan. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a small bowl combine the raisins and walnuts; stir in 1/4 cup of the flour mixture to coat. In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisin and walnut mixture. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Place confectioner’s sugar over the top.

Applestack Cake(1872)

Roll our pastry dough and cut into circles the size of a pie pan and place on baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees until brown. Place cooked layers on plate and spoon cooked apples in between.

Ash Cake(1842)

2 cups of cornmeal, 1 cup of buttermilk, 3/4tsp soda, 1/3 cup shortening, 1tsp. salt and enough water to make a thick dough. Build up a hot fire and pull out ashes down to the hearth. Put your dough in the center. Let it set a while and the dough will form a crust. Then cover with ashes and hot embers. Bake 20-30 minutes.

Banana Frosting(mid 19th century)

Peel one banana and mash in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and cream together. Add powdered sugar and teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until thick and creamy. This recipe originated from my great great grandmother. My great grandmother later changed it and added cream cheese to the recipe.

Batter Bread(19th century)

1 quart of milk                                                     1 tablespoon melted butter

1 pint white corn meal                                       1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

Bring milk to a boil and stir in corn meal slowly. Add 3 beaten egg yolks, butter and salt. Add beaten egg whites and bake until done.


1 pt of cream, 4 eggs, as much flour as will make it stiff, work it together till it is smooth, then bake it in a quick oven.

Blackberry Pie-(1911)

5 tablespoons flour, 1 cup sugar, 6 cups blackberries 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Prepare pie crust. Blend together flour and sugar. Add berries. Pour into pie shell, dot with butter. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes. For a crackle sugar glaze, take 2 tablespoons ice cold water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix together and place on top.

Bread Pudding-(1860)

1 pound of stale bread, boil 1 quart of milk. Pour it over the milk and let it stand and soak for 1 to 2 hours. Beat 4 to 5 eggs and add. Rubbing it over the bread and milk. Add cinnamon and 2 cups of sugar. Add 1/4 pound of butter and bake for 2 hours.

Buttermilk-(early 19th century) 

After the butter is removed from the churn, what is left is the buttermilk dotted with tiny flecks of butter. This would have been chilled as cold as spring water.

Chicken Hash-(18th Century) 

1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of flour, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of cooked chicken, 2 hard boiled eggs. Melt the butter, add dry ingredients, cook while stirring, add milk and boil together, add eggs and chicken. Allow to cool.

Corn Meal Mush-(18th Century)

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and add corn meal while stirring. Add meal until thick. Continue to heat for 1/2 hour. Can be eaten cold or hot.

Corn Pones-(18th Century)

1 pint of corn meal, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon lard, add milk. Mix together, add enough milk to make a stiff batter. Form into pones with hands and place in greased pan. Bake in hot oven for about 1/2 hour.

Cured Ham and Bacon-(18th Century) 

For each hundred pounds of ham, mix together 10 pounds of salt, 2 pounds of brown sugar, 4 gallons of water and add pepper. First rub the hams with common salt and lay them in a tub, barrel or large pot. Heat the remaining ingredients, stirring often. Allow to boil for ten minutes. Let cool and pour over ham. Remove ham after 6 weeks and allow the ham to drain. Then smoke with hickory for two to three weeks. For bacon and side meat, remove from ingredients after sitting for 2 weeks.

Dutch Doughnuts-(1844) 

1pt. of water, 1/2 butter boiled together. 1 flour thrown in when the mixture boils, then add 1/4 sugar, some brandy and 10 eggs, 1 after the other-Bake in lard.

Egg Butter-(18th Century)

Melt one quart of molasses in skillet, add six beaten egg yolks. Beat well, then add nutmeg to taste. Serve hot over biscuits or bread.

Egg Nog-(Early 20th Century) 

5 eggs, 6 cups whole milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla, nutmeg. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add in yolks and beat again. Add sugar, milk and vanilla in order and beat again. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Serves 15.

Flannel Cakes-(1876)

Four eggs, one pint of sour cream, one pint of water, 1 1/2 pint of flour, one teaspoonful of baking powder stirred in the cream. Bake.

Fried Cucumbers-(1792) 

Peel cucumbers and cut in thick lengths. Place in cold water for a few minutes, then dry with cloth. Dip in eggs and flour. Fry in grease filled pan.

Fried Grasshoppers-(18th Century)

The local Indians made this dish often and the early settlers found that the meal had a nutty taste and quite filling. Catch grasshoppers and remove heads. Fry in deep pan with grease until done.

Fried Potatoes-(19th Century)

Slice 3 to 4 potatoes, place in drying pan with hot grease and season with salt and pepper. Stir until potatoes are soft. You can also add a small onion and green pepper for added flavor.

Frog Legs-(19th Century) 

Skin frog legs, wash and cut off feet. Soak in salt water for 1 hour. Season legs with egg, salt and pepper. Dip in bread crumbs and dip in egg again. Fry in hot fat.

Greens-(18th Century)

Wash the turnip greens and remove the tough stems. Place in pot of water, add salt and bacon grease. Bring to boil until leaves and stems are soft.

Green Corn Pudding-(18th Century) 

4 ears of corn, 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 cups milk, 3 stiffly beaten egg whites.

With knife, make cuts down the center of kernels on each row. Scrape cob. Measure 1 3/4 cups corn. Beat egg yolks till thick. Stir in corn, butter, sugar and salt. Slowly beat in milk. Fold in egg whites. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Hog Killing Pie-(1815) 

Hog Killing Pie was a popular term used to determine the menu to feed the hired hands at hog killing time. Cook 1 pound of dried peaches and remove the skin. Mash until smooth and add 1 cup of brown sugar. Place in pie crust and dot with butter. Place top crust and bake in medium heat.

Indian Pudding-(18th Century)

In pan, mix 3 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of molasses, stir in 1/3 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour into baking dish and bake uncovered for 1 hour at 300 degrees.

Jerky-(18th Century) 

Meat from the venison or other animals was “jerked” from the bones to eliminate sinews. After salting for 24 hours, it was hung to dry in the sun or over the fire.

Liver Mush-(1900)

1 hog liver, 2 cups of cornmeal and 2 tablespoons of salt. Boil the liver until done and then run through a chopper. Add cornmeal and salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

Love Feast Buns-(1753)

Beat 4 eggs and add 4 cups of sugar, 1 cup soft butter and lard, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 cup warm mashed potatoes, 1 1/2 pints of liquid yeast or 3 cakes yeast and 2 gallons of flour. Add lukewarm water to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Place in warm place until light. Make into buns about 4 inches in diameter. Place on greased sheets so they don’t touch and let rise until light. Bake until golden brown. Brush with cream or melted butter. Originally, these were served cold.

Lye Soap-(18th Century) 

Dissolve 1 can of lye in hot water. Let cool. Then pour lye solution in a slow easy stream into 6 pounds of melted fat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until cool. Pour into boxes that have been dipped in cold water. Cut into desired squares when cold and set.


2 pounds of quinces, add 3/4 pound sugar and a pint of water. Put these over the fire and boil them till they are tender. Drain off the liquid and bruise them, then put them into it again and let it boil 3/4 of an hour and put it into pots and saucers.

Molasses Sweet Bread-(19th Century)

Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add 1/3 cup melted butter, 1 cup molasses, 3/4 buttermilk and 1 egg. Mix well, pour into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Muscadine Juice-(18th Century)

2 cups muscadine(un-mashed) 2 quarts water and 1 cup of sugar. Place muscadines in a half gallon jar. Pour hot scalding water over and add sugar. Don’t stir. Then place lid over opening. Store in a dark cool area. When the muscadines have risen to the top and the water has taken on a dark purple color, it’s ready to serve.

Mush Batter Cakes-(1876)

One pint of mush, 1/2 pint of flour, two eggs, a pinch of salt, mix up with sweet milk.

Pear Relish-(19th Century)

1 peck of pears, 6 large onions, 4 red bell peppers, 2 pounds of sugar, 1 tablespoon allspice, 5 cups of vinegar. Grind up vegetables, then add vinegar and sugar and cook steady for thirty minutes. Seal in jars.

Pan Gravy-(1931)

Save grease from frying sausage or bacon. Spoon in flour over grease in hot iron pan. Stir until blended and add a cup of milk. Stir to a boil and add water until consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Peach Honey-(1881)

Mash peeled ripe peaches to a pulp. Add 2 cups sugar for each cup of peach pulp. Simmer for 30 minutes or until thick and clear. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal at once.

Pepper Nuts-(18th Century)

Cream 1 cup of butter and lard with 2 cups of sugar. Add 3 eggs and blend. Stir 4 heaping cups of flour adding nutmeg. Stir in 1/4 cup of milk. Add raisins, currants or chopped citron.

Persimmon Butter-(18th Century) 

Cook persimmons and strain. Add 1/2 teaspoon soda to each cup of pulp. Sweeten to taste and flavor with spices or lemon peel, orange peel or juice. Cook thoroughly and can as usual.

Pickling Eggs-(18th Century)

Bring hard shell eggs to a boil. Remove from water and place in crock or jar. Fill container with 2/3 vinegar and add water to completely fill. To create pink eggs, add beet juice to vinegar and water mixture. Cover container and ready to eat in 4 to 5 days.

Pickling Onions-(1760)

Gather several onions, peel and bring to a boil. Remove outer shell from boiled onions and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in crock, add water and vinegar or cider to cover. Place burlap cloth on top and tie with string.

Plum Pudding(1855)

1 1/2 cup beef suet, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup molasses and 3 cups of flour, 4 cups of raisins, 1/2 teaspoonful of soda, a little salt, nutmeg and cloves. Boil for 1 hour.

Potato Pan Cakes-(1781) 

Boil 5 potatoes, mash with 3 eggs and a quart of milk. Add salt and flour, mix to a batter. Fry on hot griddle.

Pound Cake-(1851)

1 pound of sifted flour, 1 pound of white sugar(powdered and sifted), 1 pound of butter, 10 to 12 eggs, rosewater to taste, nutmeg. Beat eggs until they are stiff and thick. Stir the eggs to the flour alternating with the butter. Gradually add the sugar. Bake in large buttered tin. (This is very rich)

Pumpkin Blooms Fried(18th Century) 

Remove the hard core in the center of the bloom. Dip in a thin batter. Fry in hot fat until crisp and brown. Serve hot.

Pumpkin Dried(18th Century) 

Peel pumpkin and cut into rings. Hang rings on stick and dry slowly in front of fire. To cook, stew just as you would fresh pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie(18th Century) 

2 cups of cooked mashed pumpkin, 1/4 cup of sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk. Bake pumpkin until soft, remove the peeling and then mash pumpkin in pot to simmer cook until thoroughly mashed. Add 1 cup of sugar to each cup of pumpkin. Allow time to cool. Mix together all ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Pudding(18th Century) 

Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar until blended thoroughly. Add 2-3 eggs, add 2 cups of flour, pinch of salt and pinch of baking soda. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and walnuts to taste. Add 1 cup of pumpkin, 1 cup of milk. Blend together and bake for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Seeds Toasted (early 19th Century) 

2 cups of pumpkin seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix well. Spread in a shallow pan and bake slowly until seeds turn brown.

Rabbit-(18th Century)

Soak meat in salt water for a few hours prior to flouring and seasoning with salt and pepper. Fry in hot pan until done.

Rose Balm-(18th Century) 

1/2 pound of lard, 1/4 pound of wax(candle, bee), rose water and alkanet root. Place the lard in a bowl and add rose water or any liquid scent you prefer. Let bowl sit for 1 day. Place lard in double boiler and slowly melt. Once melted, add the wax. The more wax you add, the more stiffer the consistency will be with the balm. Add alkanet root and more rose water. Place in container until ready to use. (Hint: fresh fruit works very well with this, just remember to boil your fruit, use the juices only and add a pinch of salt at the end.)


Peel them and slice them, cook them in salt water to cover, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and meat drippings. Cook until tender and almost dry.

Sand Tarts(1934)

3/4 cup of shortening, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon milk, 3 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cream together sugar and shortening, beat in eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Roll out very thin on floured board. Cut out and bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees. A rich crispy cookie.

Sassafras Tea-(Unknown date)

Wash roots well. Put six dry roots in pot with quart of water. Soak overnight. Then place over heat and boil slowly till fairly strong. Weaken and sweeten to taste.


1qt. of milk, 1dz. eggs. Boil the milk and put flour in as thick as you can. fry in lard.

Succotash(18th Century)

In pan, mix 2 cups of lima beans, 2 ounces of salt pork, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and a dash of pepper. Cover and simmer until beans are tender. Stir in 2 cups of corn and simmer until tender. Remove salt pork and blend in 1/3 cup of cream and slowly add 1 tablespoon of flour. Cover and stir until thickened.

Switzel Tea-(18th Century)

This was very popular among the early settlers. 1 gallon of cold water, 1 cup vinegar cider, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon of grated nutmeg. Mix together.

Syrup Bread-(1930)

Mix up flour, soda, salt and buttermilk as you would for a plain bread recipe. Instead of using sugar to sweeten, use syrup. Bake like your would regular bread.

Wedding Cake-(1844) 

1 part flour, 1 part sugar, 3/4 part butter, 8 or 9 eggs, a nutmeg, a glass of brandy and 1/2 part of currants.

Yellow Cheese(1860) 

Heat 1 gallon clabber milk, stirring occasionally until it is just comfortable to the finger. Straining through cloth, being sure to remove as much whey as possible. Heat curd over boiling water with 1 egg, dash of salt and 1/4 teaspoon soda, stirring occasionally, until smooth. For softer cheese, add a little cream. For harder cheese, add egg yolk alone. Be sure the cheese is thoroughly melted and blended before pouring into a mold. The cheese will not blend smoothly if there is too much whey left in the curd.

York Gingerbread(1842) 

6 teacups sugar, 3 butter, 3 molasses, 3 milk, 9 flour, 1 ginger, 6 eggs, 2 teaspoons of pearl ash dissolved in two tablespoons of vinegar, 1 cup orange peel and spice. Bake in “loafe” pan.

Weight & Measure

Wheat Flour-1 pound is 1 quart Indian Meal-1 pound 2 ounces is 1 quart Butter, when soft-1 pound 1 ounce is 1 quart Loaf Sugar, broken-1 pound is 1 quart White Sugar, powdered-1 pound 1 ounce is 1 quart Eggs-10 are equivalent to 1 pound.

Cooking History 

17th & 18th Century Food Timeline

Cooking During the 1800’s

Cooking Guild of Mecklenburg County

Historic State Recipes & Foods

North Carolina Food Facts & Trivia 

Video of Colonial Cooking at Williamsburg, Virginia

Video of Food Preservation in Colonial Virginia