Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This is a post about a collection of recipes

Can you guess what I'm going to show you today?

If you mumbled "Collection of recipes, like always," your sarcastic sense of humor shows that you do indeed belong here.

You are also factually correct. Today we're looking at Collection of Recipes, a, well, I'm not going to say it a third time... from the Midway Assembly of God Women's Ministries Dept. in Subiaco, Arkansas (1978). Something tells me my copy used to belong to Nell Alford.

The book's title is waaay more straightforward than some of the recipe titles, though. What might you expect from a recipe titled "Individual Applesauce"? Picture it in your mind.... Now, find out what that means in Arkansas:

To be fair, applesauce is involved. It's just mixed into a meatloaf that is cooked in muffin cups, but apparently calling it "Individual Meatloaves" would have been a little too forthright.

What might you picture for "Crackling Cookies"? I thought that meant they would be cooked until crispy, but maybe you're thinking, "Hey, Poppy, this is from Arkansas. 'Crackling' has a second meaning in rural areas."

Well, you would be right. "Crackling Cookies" here means "pork rind cookies." (I always thought they were "cracklins," but the people of Subiaco must be more formal than I expected.)

Here's another recipe that would immediately make sense to people in the region, but I was initially confused:

Creamy Chili is kind of a cross between chili and that Ro-Tel/ Velveeta dip people serve (at least, so I've been told) while they're watching the big game. But what is a pound of "Famous chili"? I did a little research, and it's actually an Arkansas business called Famous Chili Company that STILL pumps out Famous Chili. Have to admit, I'm kind of intrigued by the thought of adding cream and cheese to chili, but I'd have to find a way around using a brick of Famous Chili.

I like that Arkansas cooks seem more interested in seasoning food than cooks in the midwest typically do in their church cookbooks. There's sage and Worcestershire in the meatloaf, all kinds of flavors in the cookies, spicy tomatoes in the chili. Sometimes the seasonings might go a little too far, though:

I'm sure that adding a half can each of cinnamon and nutmeg gives the bread a "spicy taste," but I suspect that taste is more than a little heavy-handed unless they are damn small spice cans. I also notice that this bread calls for more sugar than flour, which is pretty unusual for a bread. Even most of the cake recipes in this book call for roughly equal amounts of sugar and flour or slightly less sugar than flour, so Mrs. Bill Stovall must have liked her pumpkin bread extremely sweet and spicy.

Thank you for reading about old recipes from Arkansas! Now go make something spicy, but not half-a-can-of-cinnamon spicy.


  1. Oh boy! Crackling cookies! That's bound to be an unusual flavor. HOWEVER, my mother adds bacon grease to her ginger snaps & they are amaze-balls :D

    1. I'll bet it does give a pop to the spices. Ginger snaps are some of my favorite cookies.

  2. I don't think I can wrap my head around "sliceable" chili.