From Book of Home Medicine, 1893: “Wash the scalp with apple cider vinegar, mixed with water, three times a week, or mix a large spoonful of baking soda in a cup of water and apply to the scaly area once a day for a week.”
Attributed to Wyatt Earp, a noted frontiersman and lawman: “ Destiny is that which we are drawn towards and Fate is that which we run to.” Earp was a friend of gambler and fast-draw shootist Ben Thompson, who served as Austin‘s city marshal in the early 1880s.
Austinite Susanna Trevino send this month’s recipe for her grandmother’s baked beans, which she says came from her Anglo roots but was a fall favorite for her whole family for generations in the Lone Star State.
• 10 slices of bacon
• Large white onion
• Large red, green and yellow bell peppers
• Four large (28 oz.) cans pork and beans
• ½ cup barbeque sauce
• 1 cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
• ½ cup parsley flakes
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cook the bacon to be crispy. Dice the bacon and vegetables. Cook and bacon pieces and the onion in a large pot until the onion is translucent. Add the diced peppers and cook for about 2 minutes.
Drain the canned beans and add them to the pot. Stir for a minute, then add the barbeque sauce and brown sugar, vinegar, the red pepper flakes and the mustard. Stir the pot until the beans are hot and bubbly.
Pour the contents of the pot into a large baking dish, and sprinkle the top with the remaining diced bacon. Bake for two hours until bubbly.
Spread the parlsey flakes on top of the dish. Serve hot with potato salad, burgers or fajitas.
From Home Life Guide, 1887: “Cover the rash with a paste made from cold coffee and baking soda. Place about a half a cup of soda in a bowl and slowly add the coffee to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to your blisters to remove the poison. Let dry and leave in place until blisters recede.”
Attributed to Calamity Jane, a noted frontierswoman and professional scout whose real name was Martha Jane Canary: “I figure if a girl wants to be a legend, she should go ahead and be one.” Calamity Jane later traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Austinite Gigi Simon offers this recipe for what she says is “the best peach cobbler Aunt Mamie used to make cobbler like this every summer with Fredericksburg peaches. I recently saw this recipe online (AllRecipes.com), and it made me think of Aunt Mamie and her summer treat.”
• 8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges.
• ¼ cup white sugar
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
• ¼ cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine peaches, ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and corn starch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes, until top is golden.
From Home Medicinals, 1884: “Apply a fresh cold compress to (sunburned) skin every 20 minutes for two hours or apply a cold oatmeal plaster one per hour. Patent salves may also be applied separately to soothe general discomfort.”
Attributed to George Washington Carver, noted agricultural scientist and inventor: “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
Longtime Austinite Fannie Wilson offers this recipe for Independence Day. “My grandmother used to make this salad for summer lunches, especially around the Fourth of July, because it was red, white and blue. Though I substitute bananas for white meat squash, and blueberries for dewberries, it’s basically the same as Grandma’s. We used to eat it on the porch of her big old home on 14th Street near the Capitol. I looked around and finally found the recipe online (diamondnuts.com).”
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
· 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
· 2 teaspoons honey
· ½ teaspoon salt
· About six cups of mixed greens
· 1 small box of blueberries
· ½ small basket of strawberries, cut and quartered
· 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
· ¼ cup chopped walnuts
Whisk together the salt, honey, olive oil, lemon zest and lime juice. Mix half that dressing with the greens and toss well, place in serving bowls.
Top with washed blueberries, strawberries, cheese and walnuts. Pour the remaining dressing over the top and season with black pepper.
From Home Medicinals, 1884: “Apply a fresh cold compress to skin inflamed by the bite every 20 minutes. Repeat for two hours. An oatmeal plaster may also be required.”
Attributed to Republic of Texas President Sam Houston, shortly after Lone Star statehood: “ All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.”
Austinite Nickie Clark sends this recipe that she says is “just like the one” her grandfather used for years for summer grilling. “Grandad came to Austin when it was a small town, and loved to cook in the summers out in the backyard. His ingredients sometimes included coffee and whisky in the sweet marinade, but this tastes just about like it with updated modern ingredients, without the lard or liquor.”
· 3/4 cup molasses
· 1/3 cup soy sauce
· 1/4 cup vegetable (canola) oil
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
· 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
· 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
· 3 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
· 1 (2 lb.) flank steak
Thoroughly mix the marinade ingredients in a large kitchen bowl (or a large Ziploc bag). Make sure molasses is well combined. Cut any fat from steak and place in the bowl or bag. Chill 4-6 hours.
Grill steak at 450 degrees to desired doneness. Remove from grill and leave on covered plate for 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices diagonally. Season to taste.
From Homemaker’s Guide, 1873: “Warm one cup of milk before bedtime, add two tablespoons of honey and drink. Wait one hour without socializing or conversation, and then go to bed.”
Attributed to Texas Revolution leader Davy Crockett: “Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it."
Austinite Tammy Spence offers this recipe that she says has been passed down through generations of her family. “My great-grandmother made these when they first came to Austin in the 1800s,” she said.
· 2 cups flour
· 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
· 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
· 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
· 2 tablespoons fresh chives
· 1 cup buttermilk
· Parmesan cheese, if desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Chop butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and chives, and toss well. Pour in buttermilk and mix until fully combined. Dough will be sticky.
Drop by 1/4 cupfuls of dough evenly onto a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
From Homemaker’s Guide, 1873: “Mix three parts boric acid (borax) powder with one part honey or onion juice, leave it where roaches are seen. Or dust baseboards with the powder alone.”
Attributed to Texas Revolution leader Lorenzo de Zavala: “If I knew my death would assure the liberation of Texas, I would not live another hour . . . ,” a rallying cry for the Texas Independence movement.
Austinite Janie Sevier offers this Easter goody recipe this month that she says came from her grandmother, whose husband was an early-day Austin grocer.
· 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
· ½ cup vegetable oil
· 1 cup Extra Fine Imperial Sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1 egg
· 1 tablespoon lemon zest
· 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Chocolate Butter Icing
· 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
· 3 ½ cups Imperial confectioners sugar
· ½ cup cocoa powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix butter, vegetable oil and sugar until light and fluffy and pale yellow. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. A flour mix a little at a time.
Drop spoon-sized dough balls onto prepared cookie sheets. Slightly flatten each one. Bake for 10 minutes, or just until cookies begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the frosting.
Beat the butter (medium mixer speed) until fluffy. In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add sugar mixture to butter, a little at a time. Once blended, add salt, vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat for about three minutes or until stiff peaks can form. For stiffer consistency, add more sugar. For thinner, add additional cream one tablespoon at a time.
Using a spatula, smooth about one tablespoon of chocolate icing onto each lemon cookie. Garnish with sugar sprinkles.
From Home Medicinals, 1893: “Apply cold water immediately, or a cool compress or a paste of honey for an hour, to relieve pain from minor burns.”
Attributed to noted agricultural scientist and inventor George Washington Carver: When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.