11 Scrumptious 1920s Recipes Straight From The South

February 24, 2017

If you’re from the South, chances are that you’ve had some of the yummy 1920s recipes listed below passed down to you from your family members.

I know I recognize more than a few from my own dinner table growing up; there’s just something timeless about all the savory and sweet options folks came up with back in the day. It was right before everyone was struck by the terrible blow of the Great Depression, but there were still plenty of families who needed to stretch a penny as far as it could possibly go.

The results were some truly delicious and budget-friendly dishes that could be enjoyed by everyone — even dessert!

These were all taken from The Mississippi Cook Book of New Southern Recipes, a delightful guide by Mrs. E.F. Warren from 1922. Let us know in the comments if your family chowed down on any of these meals or if we missed one of your favorites from back in the day.

And don’t forget to SHARE with your loved ones!

Thumbnail Sources: Flickr / Cornell University Library, Wikimedia Commons / Lewis Hine

1. Old-Fashioned Fried Steak (French Style)

Flickr / Nathan Walker

This Southern staple has long been a favorite for families to dig into at dinner time.

1 steak
1 spoonful of lard (or 2 spoonfuls of oil)
Teacup of cold water
Pinch of minced onion
1 can tomatoes

Beat the steak “thoroughly with hatchet” — or a meat tenderizer — while heating the lard or oil in the skillet.

Cover steak with flour on both sides and fry in the grease until brown on both sides. Add more flour to the grease to make gravy with the teacup of cold water, onion, salt and pepper to taste. Add the can of tomatoes.

Put steak back into gravy and cook “a good while,” turning steak over occasionally.

2. Roxbury Drops

Flickr / jeffreyw

These sweet cookies will definitely still put a smile on your loved ones’ faces.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sour milk
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. baking soda
2 egg whites

Cream the sugar with the butter, then stir in molasses and sour milk. Combine flour, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then mix with the liquids.

Beat the yolks and add to mixture, stir raisins, roll the chopped nuts in flour and add. Dissolve baking soda in a small amount of boiling water then add. Beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks and add as well. Add flour to the dough if it’s not quite stiff enough.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on a buttered pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at a medium heat.

3. Peanut Straws

Flickr / Alpha

You can either buy pastry dough from the store for this one, or make it from scratch if you have a favorite recipe!

Pastry dough
Peanut butter

Roll the dough out into a sheet and spread one half with soft peanut butter, then wet the edges of the crust and fold the remaining half over it.

Use a rolling pin to flatten it out slightly and then “prick here and there” with a fork to keep it from puffing up. Cut into about 1-inch-wide and 3-inch-long strips.

Bake until browned and brush lightly with sweet milk.

4. Stuffed Irish Potatoes

Flickr / Joe Hall

This take on twice-baked potatoes was passed down by ancestors making their way to America from across the pond.

Medium sized potatoes
Sweet milk
Ground onion
1 Tbsp. butter

Wash the potatoes and bake whole with the skins still on. After they’ve had time to heat throughout, cut off one end and scoop out the inside with a spoon.

Put the potato pulp in a bowl and add sweet milk, salt, pepper, and ground onion to taste. Top with butter, then place back into the skins and bake until browned.

5. Charlotte Russe

Flickr / stu_spivack Follow

This classic dessert can also be made with ladyfinger cookies instead of sponge cake.

1/3 package of gelatin
3 Tbsps. cold water
1/2 pint sweet milk
1 qt. whipped cream
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
Sponge cake

Soak the gelatin in the cold water. Heat the sweet milk and pour over the gelatin and stir until it’s totally dissolved. Strain the mixture and allow to cool.

Stir in whipped cream, frothed egg whites, and vanilla.

Line a cake mold with slices of sponge cake and pour the gelatin mixture on top. Put on ice until solid and serve with whipped cream.

6. Orange Roly Poly

Flickr / Vegan Feast Catering

Again, the dough you use is up to you, but buying some from the store will work nicely.

Biscuit dough
1 orange

Roll out biscuit dough into sheets. Peel, slice, and seed the orange and place four slices over the dough. Sprinkle some sugar and then roll up the dough, pinching the ends together.

Tie it up inside a cloth, drop into a pot of boiling water, and allow to boil steadily for one and a half hours. Serve with orange- or lemon-flavored sauce.

7. Pork Cake

Flickr / Katrin Gilger

The name might sound a little odd, but you can always substitute bacon for the regular pork.

1 cup finely chopped pork
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup molasses
1 cup sweet milk
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients and add enough flour to make it slightly thicker than an ordinary cake, then bake until meat is fully cooked.

8. Duchess Potatoes

Flickr / kae71463

I honestly think I could eat these light, fluffy potatoes every single day.

6 potatoes
2 egg yolks

Mash the potatoes and rub them through a sieve, then add a little cream. Beat the yolks well and add salt and pepper.

Beat the ingredients together and form them into balls, then brown quickly in hot oven.

9. Hygienic Egg

Flickr / Alpha

This is perfect for popping on top of toast or any other breakfast meal you’d like.

1 egg

Butter up an oven-safe glass and fill with a lightly beaten egg white, then add the yolk on top. Season to taste with butter, salt, and pepper, then put in a pan with water surrounding the glass and cook until the egg is firm.

10. Penotchie Candy

Flickr / Alpha

Again, this mixture of sweets and meats might seem a bit strange to us, but Mrs. Warren herself noted, “Tried once, this is a prime favorite.”

3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup English walnuts
1 cup finely broken meats

Boil the milk and brown sugar until it forms a soft ball when dropped into water. Add the butter and remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, walnuts, and meat, then stir until the candy begins to form cream. Quickly pour into a buttered dish.

11. Goulash

Flickr / Ivana Sokolovic

My family still makes this delicious dinner dish at least once a month!

2 large slices of salt pork
1 lb. hamburger steak
1/2 tsp. salt
1 minced onion
Crumbled crackers
2 tsps. water
Box of macaroni
1/2 can of tomatoes

Fry the pork and set aside. Season the hamburger steak with salt and “a generous dash of pepper,” then add the onion, crackers, and water to moisten. Form into small balls and fry in the pork fat until brown.

Boil macaroni (or whatever pasta you prefer) until tender. Butter a two-quart pan, then add a layer of macaroni, season with salt and pepper, then a layer of the meat cakes with the fat they were fried in, then another layer of macaroni.

Pour over the half can of tomatoes, cover and let simmer on the back of the stove for two hours, being careful not to burn it.

Did we miss any yummy Southern recipes your family has passed down from back in the day? Let us know below, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!