July 29, 2020

World War I Era Scottish Shortbread Recipe from Chester, PA

I have been wanting to make a recipe from this book for years. I've been searching and searching for an original copy of The Third Presbyterian Cookbook, 1917 but had to make due with a digital copy.

If you have been following me for awhile you might know that I've been involved with the Chester Historical Preservation Committee and we had been restoring the church for the last few years. The church was the site of the first influential vacation bible school and was going to house our archives and a performing arts center once completed.

We are heartbroken that the building, which had been added to the National Register of Historical Places last year, was attacked by an arsonist and burned in a 5 alarm fire (CW: Graphic Video) earlier this year.

Third Presbyterian Church Scotch Short Bread

- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 lbs of Butter (2 Sticks, room temperature)
- 3 1/2 Cups Flour (I only used about 2 1/2 Cups)
- 1 Egg Yolk (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 325°F Cream together sugar and butter. Mix in the egg yolk. Gradually add the flour. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoons or hands.

Roll into a flattened ball and notch the edges or press into a mold and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. 

If you are able to donate anything at all to the Chester Historical Preservation Committee, they would be eternally grateful. If you are not able to donate, you can still help by sharing this post on your social media. Thank you.

July 22, 2020

Civil War Era Popover Recipe for Breakfast

Popovers are an egg-based, hollow roll that is shaped like a muffin. Due to its hollow nature, it is perfect for filling with butter, cheese or meat. It is an especially easy way to fix breakfast or to send the men "off to battle" with a snack. Popovers also have the added benefit bread-like but not requiring any leavening agent other than the egg.

 By the 1870s, Popovers were popular enough to have been included in Annie Frost's "The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints," as well as many other publications. They are like individual Yorkshire Puddings. 

Below is Mrs. Hooper's Popover recipe from "Tit-Bits or How to Prepare a Dish at a Moderate Expense," a publication printed in 1864 in both Boston and New York. Other, similar recipes were printed from 1859. The cookbook emphasized plain, everyday cooking using simple ingredients.

In the video I cut the recipe by 1/4 but you can half it, double or even triple it if necessary.

Mrs. Hooper's Civil War Pop-Overs


- 4 Cups Milk, room temperature
- 4 Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 4 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups Flour

Makes 24 Popovers. This recipe can be easily halved or doubled. The general recipe for popovers calls for 1 Egg and 1 Cup of Milk for every Cup of Flour.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Preheat your popover or muffin pans.

In a mixing bowl whisk together your milk, eggs, melted butter, and salt. Slowly add the flour. Do not over mix, a few clumps are okay. Remove your pans from the oven and carefully grease them. Fill the pans up 3/4 of the way. Bake for 30- 40 minutes. Once they are done baking, transfer them to a cooling rack or plate. Carefully, (they are hot) poke a hole in them to allow them to keep their shape. Eat warm with butter or jelly. 

July 15, 2020

Civil War Era Pickled Limes Recipe like in Little Women

'In debt, Amy; what do you mean?' and Meg looked sober.

'Why, I owe at least a dozen pickled limes, and I can't pay them, you know, till I have money, for Marmee forbid my having anything charged at the shop.'

'Tell me all about it. Are limes the fashion now? It used to be pricking bits of rubber to make balls;' and Meg tried to keep her countenance, Amy looked so grave and important.

'Why, you see, the girls are always buying them, and unless you want to be thought mean, you must do it too. It's nothing but limes now, for everyone is sucking them in their desks in school-time, and trading them off for pencils, bead-rings, paper dolls, or something else, at recess. If one girl likes another, she gives her a lime; if she's mad with her, she eats one before her face, and don't offer even a suck. They treat by turns; and I've had ever so many, but haven't returned them, and I ought, for they are debts of honour, you know.' -Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

I have been wanting to make these since I first read Little Women so I am very excited to share this recipe. It made no sense to me. The kids I knew hated limes. Why would anyone want to eat these? Was it a dare? Were they showing how tough they were by consuming them? I really didn't know then and still didn't know until now.

They're actually not bad! They're salty and sour and a bit tangy. I read of children in the 1860s eating them in conjunction with sweet candy. Other taste testers said they would go good with nuts and beer.

I cooked the vinegar to save time and added a bit of water to reduce the bite. I also was stuck using prepared ingredients as some of the fresh or whole spices were nowhere to be found. Feel free to use the fresh and whole kind if you can find them right now. The recipe is left open so you can pickle as many or few limes as you want. The spices should make up about 1/16 of the mixture.


Civil War Era Pickled Limes Recipe


- Limes
- Salt
-50% Vinegar to 50% Water Mixture
- Garlic, chopped
- Mustard Seed
- Cayenne Pepper
- Horseradish (shredded)


Quarter limes, leaving a bit so the 4 pieces stay connected. Place in a sanitized jar.

Sprinkle the limes with the salt, cover, and sit in a sunny spot until the rinds change colors (can be as little as 3 hours or take up to a week depending on sunlight.) Shake every day to coat the limes in juice.

Boil enough vinegar and water mixture to cover the limes.

Mix the Garlic, Mustard Seed, Cayenne Pepper and Horseradish together.

In a sanitized jar, add the limes and seasonings in alternating layers.

Carefully pour the vinegar over the limes. Let cool then cover and store in the fridge until the juice thickens.


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