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Historic Recipes - 01

We invite you to try some of these historic recipes from Kansas, found in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society. Please let us know how you like the dishes!

Recipes from Sallie White

Sallie White's Favorite Recipes

Corn-Meal Spoon Bread
1/2 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon melted butter

Scald corn meal with boiling water; add salt, soda, and buttermilk. Add eggs and blend. Add butter. Pour into greased casserole. Bake in slow oven (300°) 2 hours. Spoon into warm dishes; top with butter. Serves 6.

Green Corn Fritters

1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 beaten egg yolks
2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned whole-kernel corn
1 tablespoon melted shortening
2 stiff-beaten egg whites

Sift flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Add egg yolks and mix until smooth. Add corn and shortening. Fold in egg whites. Drop from tablespoon into deep hot fat (370°). Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with hot sirup. Makes 12 small fritters.

William Allen White making tossed saladMr. White’s Famous Tossed Lettuce Salad

Head of lettuce
Dish of minced onion
Small cruet of vinegar
Small cruet of olive oil
Shaker of salt
Shaker of curry powder

Carefully trim off and discard all outside leaves from a head of lettuce, not washed. Rub a clove of garlic around the inside of a wooden salad bowl. Place lettuce in bowl, separate but not cut.

In a silver bowl, place onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and curry powder, mix thoroughly, and pouring slowly over lettuce. Using salad server and fork, lift lettuce carefully so that the dressing reaches each leaf.

William Allen White prepared the salad at the table in a rite he stood up to perform. It was popularly served with broiled steak.

F. W. Yanner Cookbook

Fig cake recipe from F. W. YannerFrom Kansas Memory

Figg Cake

1 lb. of powdered sugger
12 ounces of butter
12 eggs well betten
1 lb. of flour
5 lbs. of chopped figgs
2 ounces of ground mace
3 rines of ginger and lemon chopped
Vanala flaver
Bake in a cull oven

1 lbs. of sugger
1/4 lb. Of butter
5 eggs
2 ounzes of baking powder
Lemon extracts
1 quart of milk
Flour. Slack. Dough.


Henry Kuhn Record and Recipe BookHenry Kuhn Record and Recipe Book

From Kansas Memory

Molasses Candy

1 tea cup of molasses
1/2 cup of any kind of sugar
a teaspoon of vinegar
a piece of butter size of a nutmeg
and boil exactly 10 minutes.

Butter Scotch

2 cups brown sugar or white
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons of vinegar
1 cup of water
stir them all together and boil 15 or 20 minutes.

Ginger Cookies

1 pint of lard and butter heated
1 tea cup of sugar
2 cups molasses
1 teaspoon soda ginger to taste
flour about four cups.

Philadelphia Croquettes

1/2 pint of bread crumbs
a pint of meat
less than a pint of milk
salt and pepper
small onion
a little parsley chopped fine
1 ounce of butter mixed with flour as for gravy
Stire all in milk warm and thicken it a little and while hot pour it on the meat and crumb and dip in eggs and crumb
drop in boiling fat as for crullers.


Recipes from Clementine PaddlefordClementine Paddleford

America's food editor

Hurry-Up Marble Cake

Here’s an old-time marble cake with a new-time trick, one double quick–no splitting the batter. Use your spatula as a wand–marbleize by magic. Pour the batter into layer-cake pans, drizzle over syrup made without cooking, using a ready-prepared cocoa. Swirl the spatula through the layers and dark chocolate spirals will show when the cake’s cut. The same method can be used to marbleize the frosting. Another day bake the marble loaf.

Double Marble Cake

1/2 cup instant sweet milk cocoa
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1 cup milk

Combine cocoa and water; stir until smooth. Set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Combine shortening and vanilla. Gradually add sugar and cream well. Add egg yolks and egg, one at a time, and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Pour into 2 9-inch round cake pans lined with wax paper. Drizzle cocoa mixture back and forth over both layers. With a spatula or knife, “swirl” through batter to marbleize. Bake at 325°F. 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, peel off paper. Cool thoroughly. Frost with marble frosting. Yield: 1 9-inch layer cake.

Marble Frosting

Combine 1/2 cup instant sweet milk cocoa with 2 tablespoons boiling water and stir until smooth; set aside. Combine 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup water, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons white corn syrup (or substitute 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar) and beat constantly over boiling water with rotary beater for 7 minutes, or until frosting holds its shape. Remove from water and beat for 2 minutes. Pour cocoa mixture over top of frosting in double boiler; do not stir. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake. Frosting will become marbleized when spread.


Sarah Cummins recipesSarah Cummins
Pioneer family who traveled through Kansas

Beef Jerky

2 1/2 pounds of lean beef chuck or shank

Slice meat into thin strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pound raw meat with hammer. Turn meat over and pound on the other side. Turn oven to a low heat, about 120 degrees, and leave door partly open for moisture to escape. Cover bottom rack of oven with aluminum foil. Spread meat strips on wire rack above. (Strips can be hung over the wires one by one.) Leave in the oven for 4 or 5 hours. Turn meat over and leave for another 4 to 5 hours on 120 degrees. When the jerky shrivels up and turns black, it is done. The strips will bend without snapping when they come from the oven. Turn off oven and remove meat when cool. Store in a closed jar.


Meals by Fred HarveyFred Harvey's Harvey House Menu

Fred Harvey, a young entrepreneur working for the railroad in the late 19th century noticed a lack in decent food for railroad travelers. He pitched his idea to open a fine dining restaurant to one company and was turned down. Santa Fe Railway loved the idea and in 1876 Harvey opened a dining room in the Santa Fe Topeka train depot. This Harvey House menu is dated 1888.


Seventy-five Cent Dinner
Menu on westbound passenger trains

  Blue Points on Shell
  English Peas Au Gratin
  Filets of Whitefish, Madeira Sauce
  Potatoes Française
  Young Capon, Hollandaise Sauce
  Roast Sirloin of Beef au jus Pork with Applesauce
  Salmi of Duck Queen Olives
  Mashed Potatoes Boiled Sweet Potatoes Elgin Sugar Corn
  Turkey Stuffed Cranberry Sauce  
  Baked Veal Pie English Style
  Charlotte of Peaches, Cognac Sauce
  Prairie Chicken, Currant Jelly
  Lobster Salad au Mayonnaise
  Sugar Cured Ham Pickled Lamb’s Tongue
  Celery French Slaw
  Apple Pie Cold Custard a la Chantilly
  Assorted Cakes Bananas New York Ice Cream
  Oranges Catawba Wine Jelly Grapes
  Edam and Roquefort Cheese
  Bent’s Water Crackers French Coffee

Entry: Historic Recipes - 01

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 2012

Date Modified: July 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.