From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Aunt Cleona's Recipes

All in the Family...



Aunt Cleona is my dad's sister, and she lives in Kansas. As I noted a while ago, Aunt Cleona sent me a few of her favorite holiday recipes, and today I typed them to save on the computer. Here they are with her comments just as she wrote them except that I added her name to the title of each recipe. The comments in italics are from me.

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Aunt Cleona's Peanut Brittle

3 cups white sugar
1-1/2 cups white corn syrup
1-1/3 cups water
3 cups raw peanuts
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir sugar, syrup, and water in deep kettle over hot fire until it boils. Cook until it cracks* in cold water, then drop in peanuts and butter. Begin stirring on the stove, continue until peanuts smell roasted. Turn out fire and add soda and vanilla. Stir until blended. Turn out mixture onto buttered surface and spread thin.

* The "hard crack stage" is 290-300° F.


Aunt Cleona's Coconut Peanut Brittle
Use above recipe except reduce soda to 1/2 teaspoon. Stir in 1 large bag shredded coconut after peanuts are roasted. (I usually check peanuts by cooling one in water, then tasting to see if it is done.) Then spread as thin as you can on buttered cookie sheets or cake pans.


Aunt Cleona's Sourdough Biscuits

1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I usually use canola oil.)
1/4 cup sugar
6 or more cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine all ingredients. Store dough in covered bowl in refrigerator. No need to let it rise before baking. (I usually do let it rise a while.) Bake as for biscuits. This will keep for several days in fridge. Also is very good to fry in a skillet, probably medium heat, not too hot. Just add a little oil and fry some dough kinda flattened out.


Aunt Cleona's Best Cinnamon Rolls
I think I got this recipe out of Cappers Weekly.

2-1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons yeast (Quick rise yeast is best. I get it in bulk at Sam's. The recipe calls for 2 packs of yeast)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 package yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6-1/2 cups flour (more if needed.)
Soft margarine or butter
Sugar and cinnamon (I always use brown sugar.)

Dissolve yeast in water for about 3 minutes. Add cake mix, 1 cup flour, eggs, oil and salt. Beat with beater until bubbles appear. Add about 5-1/2 cups of flour slowly. Add more flour if too sticky to work. Stir with spoon, making a soft dough. Knead on board for about 5 minutes. Let rise until double. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread with margarine and add sugar and cinnamon. Roll up as jelly roll and stretch out. Place each cinnamon roll on greased pan. Allow to rise until double. Bake in 350°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Ice with powdered sugar icing while hot.


Aunt Cleona's Holiday Cranberry Salad

4 packs raspberry jello
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups ground cranberries
2 cups ground apples
1 cup chopped walnuts

I usually make half a recipe.

Note: Aunt Cleona assumes that you will read the side of the jello box to see how jello is prepared. I would stir the sugar and the jello into the hot water per the jello box instructions, then chill it until slightly thickened before adding the cranberries, apples, and walnuts.


Aunt Cleona's Rice Salad

I always make this for holidays too.

1/2 cup sugar
3 cups cooked white rice
1 20-oz. can of crushed pineapple
2 to 3 cups small marshmallows.

Combine everything and chill overnight. Before serving add at least a cup whipped cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and a little sugar is it isn't sweet enough. The recipe also calls for 1 cup chopped apples but I don't put them in it.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.