13 Pioneer-Era Recipes That You Should Still Serve Up Today

Americans making their way to settle in new areas of the country back in the 1800s had little to rely on when it came to meals. They had to get creative with the meager options,but you’d be surprised how many pioneer-era recipes from back in the day still look scrumptious today.

That’s why looking back at how folks survived in that era, and again later during the Great Depression, is the perfect wayto find budget-friendly, yet still delicious, dining options for you and your family. In fact, you might even recognize a few of these as staples in your kitchen thatwere passed down in your family through the generations.

Either way, I wouldn’t mind chowing down on several of the pioneer-era recipes listed below! I also wouldn’t recommend looking at them on an empty stomach unless you want to hear your belly growl.

Have you tried any pioneer-era recipes that we missed? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

[H/T: The Chronicle Of The Old West, LDS.org]

1. Corn Dodgers


Similar to hush puppies, these were a great side with beans or to carry around for a snack while traveling.

2 cups cornmeal
2 Tbsps. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp. baking powder

Start heating oil in a Dutch oven while you cook thecornmeal, butter, salt, sugar, and milk in a saucepan. Once it’s all mixed together, set the saucepan aside and allow to cool for five minutes, then add baking powder. Drop tablespoon-sized portions into the oil and let fry for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Spotted Pup


This sweet dish might have a strange name, but it’sa great treat that will stick to your bones.

Cooked rice
1 egg
1 dash salt
Sugar, to taste

Place the rice into a Dutch oven andpour enough milk to cover the grains and add a well-beaten egg.Next, add a dash of salt and as much sugar as you’d likefor sweetness, then the raisins, nutmeg, and vanilla. Cover with a lid and allow to heatslowly until the egg is fully cooked.

3. Soda Biscuits


These are a bit more dense than the fluffier biscuits we tend to make today, but just as delicious.

3 1/3 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

With flour in a large bowl,add one tablespoonof milk at a time until the dough is stiff. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into one tablespoon of milk, thenpour into the dough and mix. Add the salt and mix again, then roll the dough out into a thin layer. Use a cookie cutter to make circles and fry in a Dutch oven or bake in a standard oven until dough is cooked all the way through and the edges are brown.

4. Molasses Stack Cake


This super sweet cake should totally make a comeback, especially for birthdays and special occasions!

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour

Mix the buttermilk, shortening, egg, molasses, and baking soda, and add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Once fully combined, add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to make circles, then bake on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Serve with applesauce between the layers and top with more molasses.

5. Mud Apples


Yep, this recipe uses actual mud. Butdon’t worry we would obviously never recommend that you consume dirt. You actually might want to substitute cinnamon and keep the skins on for a sweeter version.

4 large apples

Cover the apples in mud and place them directly onto the coals of a fire for about 45 minutes. Carefully remove the fruit from the flames and scrape away any coal. Knock the mud off and discard the apple skins for a sweet, mushy treat.

6. Winter Red Flannel Hash


This was often made with leftover corned beef that wasn’t enough for a meal on its own.

1 1/2 cups chopped corned beef
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked beets
1 chopped medium onion
4 cups chopped, cooked potatoes

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and heat in an oiled skillet until the bottom is browned and forms a crust. If it’s dry, you can add a little beef broth for moisture.

7. 1876 Cottage Cheese


Folks back in the day found the perfect use for milk that was about to go totally bad so it didn’t go to waste.

Heavy cream

Let the milk clabber, or sour and curdle slightly, and skim the cream off the top. Place the clabbered milk over very low heat and cut into chunks. Use a colander to press out the whey and wipe it away. When the clabbered milk is firm, rinse with cold water and squeeze out the liquid while forming it into a ball. Crumble into a bowl and add thick cream.

8. Chuckwagon Beans


This protein-rich dish was a staple for fireside meals that kept you full for long rides.

16oz. dry pinto beans
9 cups water
2large chopped onions
2 tsps. salt
1/2tsp. oregano
1/2tsp. garlic powder, or 2cloves sliced garlic
1/4tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. brown sugar or molasses

Wash the beans and boil them in six cups of water for five minutes, then turn the heat off and let them sit for an hour. Add three more cups of water and bring to a boil again, then add the rest of the ingredients saving the sugar or molasses for last and adding more if you have a sweeter tooth. Let it cook for an hour before serving.

9. Jerky Gravy


Since it was obviously difficult to keep fresh meat while traveling, it was often cured into jerky that could be used in various dishes.

Chopped jerky
Fat or grease

There are no measurements for this as it depends on how much gravy you’d like or ingredients available. Fry the jerky in a skillet with fat or grease, then remove from heat and add flour, milk, salt, and pepper and stir until thick.

10. Velvet Chicken Soup


You may love chicken soup, but this “velvet” versionwas a pioneer favorite.

3 to 4 lbs. chicken
3 qts.water
1 Tbsp. salt
6 peppercorns
1 small chopped onion
2 Tbsps. chopped celery
2 cups rich milk or cream
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. butter
2 well-beaten eggs

Clean the chicken and cut into chunky pieces. Put in a pot with the water and a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil and allow to simmer until the chicken is tender. Remove from the pot andseparate the meat from the bones, saving it for other dishes.

Place the bones back into the pot and add the peppercorns, onions, and celery. Simmer until it has boiled down to about a quart of stock thenstrain. Add the milk or cream and bring to a boil again. Mix the cornstarch with cold water and add to the pot, followed by butter. In a separate bowl, pour one cup of the stock over well-beaten eggs, then pour that mixture back into the stock and allow to cook for two minutes while stirring constantly.

11. Currant Bread


Settlers from Wales brought this popular pioneer bread over the pond with them in 1856.

1 yeast cake
1/4 cup lukewarm water
9 cups flour
2 cups shortening
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. dried currants
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 halves candied lemon peel
1 Tbsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. salt
3 cups warm water

Mix the yeast in the lukewarm water to soften, then mix the shortening and flour. Add the rest of your ingredients, including the yeast but not the warmwater yet. Once it has been fully mixed together, add the warm water. Let the dough rise overnight, form into loaves, and allow to rise for another couple of hours. Bake at 350 Ffor an hour and a half.

12. 101-Year-Old Pastry


This recipe was the best way to make tons ofyummy dough without depleting too many ingredients. And though the name is “101-year-old,” it certainly was used much longer ago than that.

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp.salt
1 cup lard or shortening
1 beaten egg
1 Tbsp. vinegar
Cold water

Mix the shortening with the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add vinegar, then fill with cold water. Add about four tablespoonsof the mixture to the flour and shortening and save the rest for another batch. Mix until doughy and you’ll have enough for two nine-inch pie crusts.

13. Norwegian Fruit Soup


Scandinavian settlers shared this spin on tapioca pudding when they arrived during the 1800s.

1 cup water
2 prunes
1 Tbsp. dried currants
1 Tbsp. raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tsps. sugar
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsps. quick-cooking tapioca

Place water in a pot over heat and cookprunes, currants, raisins, and cinnamon until tender. Then add the sugar, vinegar, and tapioca and bring to a full boil before removing from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Did we miss any recipes from back in the day that you’ve tried? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/pioneer-era-recipes/

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