Thursday, February 24, 2011

Part III - 1821 SESQUI - SAMPLINGS 1971

File0008In the Autumn, the harvesting began. Onions were dug, turnips and cabbages stored, and fruits were dried. A one-acre garden patch in Fall Creek bottom yielded 125 bushels of sweet potatoes in one season, and 1,000 young apple trees, purchased for 6 1/2 cents each, promised the birth of fine orchards.

Long after other fruits were picked, the small, dull-orange persimmon fully ripened. Into late fall and early winter a tree full of the rich, sweet persimmon fruit would provide a treat for the hungry traveler or be cooked as a luscious persimmon pudding.

My mother-in-law made persimmon pudding for our family for many years. It is very labor intensive to remove the seeds, but oh so delicious. My oldest son called it possum puddin’. I’ve made it previously, but it just didn’t taste like “Grandma’s”.

Persimmon Pudding

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups persimmon pulp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter until very soft. Gradually add sugar. Add persimmon, milk and beaten egg yolks. Beat well. Sift together the flour, salt, soda and spices. Add to the persimmon mixture and beat well, then add vanilla. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold in very thoroughly. Put into greased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Makes 12 large servings.

Mrs. William F. Freije Sr.

There was also the annual harvesting of nuts. Beech, walnuts, hickory and hazelnuts were gathered and cracked with rocks, bricks and sometimes a cold flatiron and hammer. This ultimately necessitated another “gathering of nuts”—now in bits and pieces scattered all over the floors and walls of the log cabins. The hours of patient searching, cracking and picking finally did pay off with such rich rewards as nutty pancakes and nut-filled meat loaves, along with nut-rich baked goods.

Black Walnut Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped black walnuts

Cream together sugar, butter and eggs. Dissolve soda in sour cream and add to mixture. Sift together flour and baking powder, add to mixture and stir in nuts. Pour into buttered and floured 9-inch square pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 325 degrees. Frost with favorite caramel icing.

This Black Walnut Cake sounds delicious, since we grow our own black walnuts, think I should make this cake next Fall.

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