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An Old Fashioned Holiday Meal

These are old family recipes and I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine has.

—— from Jordan Kestner Atkins

Old-Time Roast Chicken
5 lb roasting chicken 2 tsp salt
1 branch celery 1 slice onion

Clean chicken thoroughly. Wash quickly inside and out with cold water and drain thoroughly. Sprinkle half the salt on the inside of the chicken.

Choose a kettle of a size into which the chicken will fit snugly. Keep shape uniform so that the bird will stand squarely on its back when put into the roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water and the rest of the salt, the celery and the onion. Cover tightly and heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 min.

To keep the top of the chicken moist, spoon some of the hot broth up over it from time to time during this parboiling.

Remove chicken to roasting pan. Drain off the broth and measure. There should be about 2 cups.

1 1/2 cups cooled chicken broth 2 eggs, beaten

6 cups coarse, stale bread crumbs

1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/3 cup chopped celery 2 tbsp chopped onion
3 tbsp melted butter (for basting)

 Add the measured cooled broth to the beaten eggs. If you don't cool the broth you might coddle the eggs!

Then pour this over the other ingredients—combined for the dressing—and mix gently. Spoon the dressing into the parboiled chicken. Do not trussed the chicken in the usual way—just fold it closed—the dressing should ooze out a bit and form a treasured toasted cap.

Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter. Place in roasting pan. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup broth around the chicken.

Cover the roasting pan and place in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) and bake until chicken is very tender and browned, about 1½ to 2½ hours — the time depending upon the age of the chicken. 5 servings.

Baked Acorn Squash
fresh acorn squash butter
salt brown sugar

Start oven 10 min. before baking—set to mod. hot (400 degrees F).

Scrub squash thoroughly; cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and the fibers, using a spoon. Butter cut surfaces, place cut side down on baking sheet and bake 30 to 45 min., or until inside is very soft.

Turn cut side up, place butter in the cavity of each half and on the rim, sprinkle with a little salt and brown sugar and replace in the oven until the sugar is melted and the rim of the squash is toasted to an appetizing brown.

Serve in the shells while still hot. One good size squash serves 2 persons.

Wilted Spinach
3 slices bacon 3 tbsp chopped onion
1 1/2 tbsp flour 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vinegar 1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt dash of pepper

3/4 lb shredded raw spinach

(3 cups, tightly packed)

1/2 cup chopped celery

Cut bacon in half-inch lengths with scissors and sauté with the onion for 10 min. Lift out bacon to crisp; blend flour into fat remaining in pan.

Add liquids gradually and cook over low heat until thickened.

Add seasonings, then the spinach and celery. Toss lightly until vegetables are coated with the dressing and stand over low heat until just warm.

Sprinkle crumbled crisp bacon over the top. (May also be served with slices of hard-cooked eggs.) Serve immediately. 4 servings.

Honey Pumpkin Pie
pastry for 9-inch single crust 2 eggs

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

(canned or home cooked)

3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup mild flavored honey 1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp grated orange rind 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger 1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace or nutmeg 1/4 tsp cloves
1 tbsp boiling water

Adjust rack 4 or 5 inches above bottom of oven; set to hot (425 degrees.)

Make pastry. Roll out and line a 9-inch pie pan, fitting well into angles. Trim off with scissors ½-inch beyond pan rim, turn overhang under so fold is even with pan rim. Crimp with fork, leaving edge flat. Do not prick pastry.

Beat eggs in a 3-qt bowl until well mixed, stir in the next 6 ingredients until well blended.

Measure spices into a cup; add boiling water and stir to a smooth paste, then stir thoroughly into pumpkin mixture. Turn mixture into pastry-lined pan.

Bake 15 min. then reduce heat to low (300 degrees)—opening the oven a minute or so to let the temperature drops rapidly to 300 degrees.

Bake about 25 min. longer or until custard tests done. Remove to wire rack to cool to lukewarm before cutting. 6 servings.