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Chapter 12
Odds & Ends
Part 1

TAW muting: a large marble (agate preferably) to shoot in a marble game; also the line from which the marble is shot. Taw is a word seldom used now. This preface is to show what my father meant by the following story: When Dad was a boy in grade school, the teacher lived next door and Dad walked to and from school with him. This was in the small town of Ridgefarm, Illinois where Dad was born. The pupils used double desks. A boy from the outskirts of town sat in front of my dad and his desk mate. 

This boy had rather long hair. One hair was standing up alone. My father and his desk mate looked up and noticed a louse crawling up the hair. The hair bent and, as my dad said, it 'scrambled back to taw.' Both boys got so tickled they couldn't keep from laughing. The teacher told them he would have to whip them if they didn't quit But every time they looked at each other the laughing broke out again. Finally the teacher whipped them. 

Dad waited for his teacher as usual after school and on the way home he asked Dad what had happened. Dad told him. The next morning the teacher gave the boy from the outskirts a note and sent him home. When the boy came back, his hair was almost all shaved off. Other uses of words now seldom used: Twenty-three Skidoo - So long; good-bye Whammy -now probably "neat"; Work brittle, as "I don't feel very work brittle today" -not up to par; draggy. In conversations, "kid" seemed to used a great deal as in, "That's right, isn't it, Kid?" or, "Well, Kid, I'll be seeing you." 

"Light Housekeeping Rooms for Rent" usually referred to a big house with a room or two furnished so that you could do your own cooking. Tulsa grew so fast that this was done in many homes. If a woman looked sexy, she had "It." A phase still heard locally at times is "I like to have." When I was first married and lived in Wisconsin, I made a remark saying "I like to have lost my father just before I left Tulsa." My father had been in an accident and was unconscious for an hour or so. 

I was very upset by this but luckily he had no other damage. My husband said, "Did you really wish your father had died?" From that time (1923) I've used the word "almost" instead of "like to have." Here in Oklahoma we used to call green corn "roast'n ears, a contraction of roasting ears. At the grocery store in the small town of Plymouth, I saw a bushel basket of corn and so I went in and asked, "How much are your roast'n ears?" To this the clerk said, "We don't have any." My reply was, "You have a bushel basket of them in front." 

He said," Show me what you are talking about." When I pointed out the corn, he doubled up laughing and said, "Oh, you mean green corn!" Another time at this same store I asked for dry butter beans. This time the clerk said, "Tell me what they look like." After I told him, he got a can of small lima beans and wanted to know if that was it. Of course it wasn't. An A & P store was a couple of blocks up from this store so I decided to see if they had the beans. To my surprise they had glass containers with plenty of bulk large lima (butter) beans. 

I went into Bade's Drug Store in Plymouth. All drug stores seemed to have soda fountains. I ordered a "George." Of course the fountain clerk didn't know what a George was because it was a local mixture in Tulsa made of various ice creams. This same drug store served lunch. One day chili was on the menu. I ordered it. I was very much disappointed as all it was was a thin tomato soup with a very small amount of spaghetti in it. 

Also when I was first married in 1923 and lived in Plymouth, (population then about 3000), artificial gas was piped in from Sheboygan. When I saw the men working - digging ditches for the pipe -stopping at 10:00 a.m., getting their lunch baskets and drinking coffee, I was very surprised as they also took their lunch hour. With the boom in Tulsa, we were always in a hurry to get things done and we were lucky if we got the full noon hour. Now it seems most places take coffee breaks in the mid-morning and mid- afternoon here. 

So in growing up, Tulsa forfeited the leisure time of smaller cities. Since Tulsa has had gas for fuel as far back as I can remember, most of my cooking has been with gas. Even lots of farms in Oklahoma had and still have their own gas wells and so use gas in cooking. When I went to my sister's farm, I cooked on the wood burner stove but had nothing to do with the control of heat. Someone else attended to that. 

In Wisconsin we had a kerosene stove. I never did learn to bake in it. Our early day gas stove ovens had meters marked warm -medium -hot This meter was in a glass container built into the oven door with a needle pointing to the temperature. By adjusting the flame you could control the heat Things to be cooked below 300 degrees would cause the needle to point to the top of the warm section, from 325 degrees to 400 degrees, medium and above that, hot. 

However, our first cook stove with gas was a wood burner range that had a gas burner fitting into the compartment where wood had originally been used. This stove had a reservoir fastened to it at the opposite side where the burner was. This we kept full of water in order to have hot water. Our regular gas stove set up on legs with an oven at the top and a broiler under it. The other half of the stove was the burner part. This was covered with a warming shelf near the top of the cover to keep food hot. 

The oven had a temperature gauge, designated as warm, medium, hot. By adjusting how much gas flame you had, you could keep the temperature pretty even. The whole stove was on four legs making the burners just right so you wouldn't have to stoop. The wood burner heat was tested by opening the oven door and putting your hand inside a second or two. These were good cookers, but the top of the stove was table high. So you had to stoop to put food into the oven. I always marveled at the accuracy with which Grandma Schad could tell how hot the oven was just by opening the door and sticking her hand a short way into it. 

Our stoves have also gone through many changes. From wood to gas -which many still have (I like gas better) -to electric -now to microwave ovens which can bake a potato in 3 or 4 minutes. Many foods that take hours to fix our normal way can be cooked in a few minutes by microwave. Roasts and turkeys now take a very short time. It seems to me compound, a shortening, came into use around 1920. This we never used. We used butter or hog lard. Lard was made by slowly melting the fat of the hogs. It would congeal and was sold in containers like our vegetable shortenings are now. 

Our cake recipes called for butter or lard. Biscuits were made of lard. Potatoes were fried in lard. Mother made delicious smothered round steak. For many years I tried to make mine taste like the steak she made. Not too long ago I remembered her using lard to fry the steak. So I cut some fat from some pork chops and fried a piece of round steak. Of course flour was pounded into the steak first and I remember Dad saying, "Never turn the steak but once or it will be tough." 

So one side was browned, then the steak was turned over and it was browned. You covered the pan with a lid while it was browning. Anyway, the steak I fixed with the pork fat tasted like the steak Mother made. Potatoes have a very good flavor when fried in pure pork lard. In our early days there were no packaged foods. Everything was made from scratch. Of course there were bakeries just as now, but we had lots of separate butcher stores. Some grocery stores cut their own meat but nothing was packaged. 

Breakfast here in the south usually consisted of hot breads (biscuits, pancakes, toast or French toast), ham, bacon or sausage and eggs. Jellies or jams were mostly home made. Syrups for pancakes, home-canned fruit and coffee, sometimes grits, oatmeal or some kind of cooked cereal, or hash browns. Occasionally cooked cereal, toast, jelly, fruit and coffee made the breakfast. Nowadays you can get waffles already cooked. Just pop them in the toaster. Most anything you want to fix can be gotten ready to heat and serve. 

Some are canned and lots are frozen foods. This type of cooking couldn't have been done in early days. Ice was our only means of keeping foods except in cellars or in a bucket in the well. Neither of these methods did too good a job as often milk would sour overnight in a regular ice box. There were cooling rooms with very thick stone walls. Sometimes these were detached from the house and were called spring houses. Here are a few recipes of bygone days. 

Please note that these recipes appear to be missing some instructions from the author, so no guarantee as to how they may turn out.

Oatmeal Cookies 
by Catherine Schad 

1 box brown sugar 
1 cup of lard (Crisco is now used) 
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon baking powder in 1/2 cup of warm water 
2 cups flour 
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix. Stir in: 
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal 
1 1/2 cup raisins 
1 1/2 nuts 
Let stand overnight. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Rabbit 

1 rabbit, 2 1/2 lbs. 
3 cups of red wine 
3 cups water 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 medium onion 
2 carrots 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pickling spices 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
Marinate in a covered pan for 20 minutes. Drain the rabbit and add: 

1/3 cup flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
3 tablespoon fat 

Add the spices by piece. Let slowly brown in skillet and turn over. Cook until done (similar to frying chicken). Remove rabbit from heat Gradually add half of marinade, 1/4 cup flour and shake well in jar. Put into frying pan to make gravy.

Catherine Schad baked bread once or twice a week. 

1 pkg. Star or Fleischmann's yeast put into warm water (2 1/2 cups plus 1/2 cup milk) 

Pour enough flour (6 to 7 cups) into it and let stand while getting the remainder ready. 

2 eggs 
1/3 cup of Crisco oil (She used 1/3 cup of lard.) 
1/2 cup sugar salt 

Mix down. Repeat. Mix down. Put into loaf pans - 3 loaves - or make coffee cake, doughnuts, etc. out of it. Bake in hot oven. 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Remove and add butter across top. 

Hot Potato Salad with Bratwurst 

Fry bacon in strips. Save the fat to make the gravy with water. 

1 onion 
celery seed 

Boil potatoes with jackets and cut into slices and add to gravy. Add vinegar and a little wine vinegar, some sugar, and bacon strips to gravy. Serve with bratwurst. 

Suet Pudding 

1 cup sugar 
1 cup raisins 
1 cup chopped suet 
2 cups flour 
1 cup sour milk 
2 T. molasses 
1 t. soda 
pinch of salt 
1 cup nuts 
Steam 2 hours and serve with Hard Sauce. 

Hard Sauce 

1/2 cup butter creamed with 1 cup of sugar. Flavor with vanilla if desired. Beat butter to a cream, add the sugar and beat thoroughly.

Date Bars - Nelda Schad White 

1 cup sugar 
3 eggs (beat whites ) 
1 cup flour 
1 cup dates & raisins 
1 cup nuts 
1 1/2 t. baking powder 
pinch salt 
1/2 t. vanilla 
Place in tin, press down and bake slowly. 

Oatmeal Cookies 

3 cups Oatmeal 
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup lard 
2 eggs well beaten 
1 1/2 cup sugar 
pinch salt 
2 t. vanilla 
1 t. cinnamon 
1 cup raisins 
1 cup nuts 
1 cup coconut 
6 T. milk 
1 t. soda 
2 cups flour 

Pour melted butter and lard over oats while hot Drop in small teaspoon. Fill well greased pan.

Anise Seed Cookies 

4 egg whites beaten 15 min. 
1 # powdered sugar added slowly 
2 cups flour (sifted 3 or 4 times). 
Add slowly 1 tsp. anise seed - ground 
Drop in tins at night 
Bake in morning. 300 degrees until lightly browned. 

Oatmeal Cookies 

1 cup lard 
2 cups brown sugar 
3 cups oatmeal, quick 3 min. 
2 cups flour 
1/2 cup hot water (1 t. soda) 
2 t. cinnamon 
1/2 t. cloves 
1 t. ginger 
1/2 t. nutmeg 
1 t. allspice 
salt, nuts, raisins 
2 eggs 
Mix like cake. Add oatmeal last. 

Potato Pancakes 

5 uncooked potatoes 
1 med. onion 
1 T. chopped parsley 
1/2 t. salt 
pepper 
2 eggs 
2 T. flour 

Grate potatoes & onions. Add salt, pepper, eggs, parsley, and flour. Mix well & drop by spoonfuls into hot fat in heavy frying pan. Turn once.

Poppy Seed Cake 

1 1/2 cups sugar 
3/4 cup butter (scant) 
3/4 cup milk 
3/4 cup poppy seed (milk and poppy seed are soaked overnight) 
2 cups flour 
2 t. baking powder 
4 egg whites beaten stiff. Add last vanilla. Bake in layers at 350 degrees until brown. 

Filling 
3 egg yolks 
2 cups milk 
a heaping T. cornstarch 
3/4 cup sugar 
vanilla 
Boil in double boiler until thick. Serve cold. 

Devil's Food Cake 

1 heaping teaspoon butter 
1 cup sugar (cream well) 
1 egg (add and beat again) 

Cut 2 squares of bitter chocolate into a sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of water and let this come to a boil. Then pour over above contents. 

Next add 1 1/2 cups flour with 1 t. baking powder. Last, add 1/2 (scant) t. soda to 1/2 cup boiling water. Add to above. The secret of this cake is to have the batter thin. Bake 350 degrees. 

Shaum Torte 

6 egg whites (beaten) 
2 cups sugar 
1 teaspoon vinegar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Beat egg whites stiff, gradually add sugar, add t. vinegar last.

Bake 325 for 10 min., 300 for 25 min. Then top with bananas or strawberries and whipped cream. 

Peppernuts (pfeffernisse) 

Grease cookie sheets. 
Grate 1/2 cup blanched almonds. 
Sift: 4 cups flour 
2 t. cinnamon 
1/2 t. nutmeg 
1/2 t. allspice 
1/2 t. cloves 
1/4 t. mace 
1/4 t. salt 
1/4 t. pepper 
3 oz. candied citron 
4 eggs, beaten until thick 
2 cups sugar added slowly 

Turn onto floured surface. Cut with 1" round cutter. Put 1 drip brandy on each cookie. Lightly brown. 350 for 15 to 20 min. 

Prune Cake - Nellie Chambers 

1/2 cup shortening 
2 cups sugar 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup sour milk 
1 cup seeded prunes 
2 t. cinnamon 
1 t. cloves 
1 t. nutmeg 
1 t. salt 
1 t. vanilla 
1 t. soda 
2 cups flour 

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, beating in one at a time. Add flour (sifted with spices) and prunes with milk alternately. Add vanilla. Bake in layer or loaf pan. 

Apple Sauce Cake 

1 cup sugar 
1 cup applesauce 
1 egg 
pinch salt 
1 T. butter 
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg 
1 t. soda 
1 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 t. baking powder 

Angel Food Cake 

1 1/2 cups egg whites 
1/8 t. salt 
Add to egg whites. Beat until foamy. 
Add 1 t. cream of tartar and 1 t. vanilla 
1 cup sugar (fold in) 
Mix: 1 cup cake flour 
1/2 cup sugar 
Fold in and bake 

Here is an old recipe for fruit cake actually using the fat pork. By substituting 2 cups of Crisco for the required fat, you can bake it now. 

Pork or Fruit Cake - Catherine Schad 

1 pint strong boiling coffee poured over 1# fat pork chopped fine (2 s. cups) 
1 T. soda beaten in 1 T. molasses until light 
2 cups brown sugar 
1 T. cloves 
1/2 t. nutmeg 
Citron and other candied fruit 
5 cups flour 
1 # raisins or more 
1 # dates or more 
2 cups or more nuts - any kind - chopped or whole 

Bake 1 hour slowly. 350 degrees. Bake at least 2 weeks before using. 

In addition, the following paragraphs refer to my observations of various changes, both large and not so large, which have occurred in Tulsa during this century. The first irons that I remember were solid iron or metal of some kind The bottom was flat as they are now, also shaped very much like our present day irons. The ironing part was about 1 1/2 inches thick with the handle and ironing flat all one piece. The handle was iron also. 

These were heated on solid top stoves. Most were wood burners. Ours was a gas stove with a solid top where the lid above the burners could be lifted out One burner had the regular size lid, but a smaller one was cut in it so you could lift it out to use smaller pans. This first one was a solid piece of iron placed on the top of these solid top stoves, moving them off the heating element part to wherever the temperature was right. 

With these irons you had to use hot pads on the handle part as it too was metal. Usually about three irons were on the stove and, after using the iron for about five minutes, you placed this iron back onto the stove and got a hot one. The next iron I remember had a top separate from the hot iron part. This top was light, had a wooden handle so it didn't get hot and it snapped onto the heated iron. You had several of the flats but only one handle or cover to fasten to the heated part. This was a big improvement over the previous way of ironing. 

The iron was much lighter in weight also. When we got electricity, irons were made with controlled heat--a big advance--and we no longer had to change irons every few minutes. Now we have irons that can dry or steam iron with temperature controls for any fabric. Also we have ironers where a large covered roll is heated. You sit down to iron and by pressing a control with your foot, the lid lifts up. 

You can put large pieces like table cloths or sheets between the lid and cover, release the cover so that it fits down on the heated element and in a few seconds you have ironed the whole piece while sitting down and by only feeding the material into the ironer which is definitely another big jump in the way things are done now in comparison to early day methods. 

Electricity has added many things to our way of life -garbage disposals where you can dispose of potato peelings and most kitchen waste, even the small chicken bones like chicken ribs -but hard bones as in a rump roast or ribs are not put into the garbage disposal. This gadget is attached to the drain of the sink, with a motor of course, and with our running cold water and pressing the electric button, the garbage is ground up and washed into the sewer. When we got double sinks, dishwashing and rinsing became much easier, but electricity has improved this kitchen chore also. 

Now most homes have electric dishwashers. No hand washing, rinsing, or towel drying is necessary now. Also we no longer need reservoirs on stoves. A large tank of water is heated by controlled heat either gas or electricity and by turning on the hot water faucet you have all the hot water you need for washing clothes or taking a bath. In the early days we had brooms for cleaning our carpets. About once a year these carpets were hung over a clothes line and beaten to get the dust out Usually our clothes lines had three lines stretched side by side and two or three feet apart. 

The carpets were us ally hung over two of these lines. You would be surprised how much of the dust could be beaten out of the carpets. Most places had hard wood floors and carpets. These carpets were bought in sizes to leave nice borders of the hardwood showing. The hardwood was kept waxed and looked pretty. Many kitchens had wider boards and the women tried to keep these "clean enough to eat off of." The boards were scrubbed white. 

There is a hill where a high rise apartment building, Melrose Apartments at 601 N. Elgin, has been built for senior citizens to live. The hill was called the Brick Plant Hill by most of us who lived close to it due to the fact that there was actually a brick plant at the southeast end of it. This hill slanted down to Haskell and Detroit streets. Standpipe Hill started at this point going south and up. The city water tower was at the top of Standpipe Hill between Fairview and Easton streets. 

Cincinnati street was not cut through the hill and the water tower was where Cincinnati would later come through. Brick Plant Hill had no houses on it when we moved to 602 N. Detroit. Persimmon trees were scattered on the hill. As children we played on this hill a lot In the early teens, Dr. Wilson made a road starting at Detroit and Haskell up the hill and circling a space east on top of it where he started a house. 

The foundation was laid, but his wife died and he never finished the house. Since the road was there, it made easy walking on this hill and three or four of us used to do this often. No houses were built on it for several years. This hill was a long hill from east to west Finally from Jasper street and N. 


Reproduced by 
Kathie Harrison
Ancestral Whispers
Copyright 2012 
All rights reserved.