Saturday, March 6, 2010

Helen Peard Lanigan's Recipes

     This is the post office in London, Ohio, in 1946, where Helen Peard Lanigan would have gone to purchase stamps. Helen was grandma's maternal aunt whom grandma lived with all of her growing up years, from age five to eighteen. Grandma was close to Helen and Aunt Delphine, along with her uncle, John.
Helen owned a copy of the "The Searchlight Cook Book" and wrote many recipes down in its pages. When Helen passed away grandma inherited this cook book, and then Uncle Ed inherited the cook book. I borrowed said cook book and copied all of the hand-written recipes down that Helen had copied and I will bring them here for you to read, decide to try or not, and add them as family recipes to your own collection.
     Many families seem to have food traditions that go back for generations, some even coming from the Old Country. I'm not sure where Helen got these recipes, most likely not the old country, but they definitely go back a few generations.
     There are some interesting recipes in this collection, perhaps a few that are strange sounding that would have possibly have been common a few decades ago, and all were made regularly. There are also some tasty sounding recipes that I hope to try sometime in the near future. I hope you are able to find a few that sound good to you, too.

(Effie's) Ruth's Rolls

I do not know who Ruth was. Perhaps she was a neighbor or a relative of Aunt Effie's, but regardless, these sound good! If you know how to make bread then this recipe will be easy to follow. If you aren't very skilled in bread-making then refer to a recipe for yeast rolls and follow the directions using these ingredients.
I looove cinnamon rolls, which is what these are. Make a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk to drizzle over these when done.

(Effie's) Ruth's Rolls
(As written in one of Aunt Effie's cook books)

Dissolve 1/2 cake yeast, 1 tsp. sugar in half cup water. 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 heaping Tbls. butter, heat to lukewarm, 1 quart flour, sifted, 3 big Tbls. sugar, 1 scant Tbls salt, 1 egg; add milk and dissolved yeast to flour and knead. Put in buttered pan until morning. Roll out 3/4" and spread with butter and cinnamon and sugar. Let raise 2 hours and bake.
*Do not heat liquids above 115 degrees or it will kill the yeast! 105-115 is best.
*1 quart flour is roughly 4 cups; you may need a bit more for kneading

Effie's Good Ginger Bread

This recipe can be baked by using a similar recipe so you will know about what size pans to use and how long to bake.

Effie's Good Ginger Bread
(As written in one of Aunt Effie's cook books)

One half cup sugar, 1 cup molasses, 1/2 cup butter and lard mixed, 1 tsp. each of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 well beaten eggs, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. soda in one cup hot water.

*Unrefined lard can be found at the Ashery Farms store on 30th St., Heath, Ohio. You want to avoid hydrogenated lard as it is not good for your heart. Pure lard is healthy in moderation.

Effie's Maple Walnut

This recipe merely says Maple Walnut, however, I believe this is a cake and should be treated as such. Aunt Effie loved anything maple. This is written out exactly as it appeared in her cook book.

Effie's Maple Walnut
(As written in one of Aunt Effie's cook books)

Cream 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter; add yolks of 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt and 1 cup nuts. Last, 2 egg whites beaten stiff.

*As a cake, genbtly fold in the egg whites at the end.
*Bake in a greased pan or pans at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, then check for doneness with a toothpick.
*You can make your own icing from brown sugar, powdered sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla or use a canned white icing.

Effie's Untitled II

I believe this recipe must be baked (the addtition of baking powder) and is a graham cracker cake. Similar recipes for Graham Cracker Cake appear on the web on such sites as, and these recipes usually have coconut and/or pineapple in them. Refer to these recipes to help you make this recipe.

I wrote this exactly as copied from the book. All directions with an asterisk in front of it are my suggestions.

Effie's Untitled II

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup sugar; add 3 egg yolks, beaten light. Roll 23 graham crackers with 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 cup milk, beat whites and fold in vanilla.

*To "roll" graham crackers means to crush them with a rolling pin.
*Use the 3 leftover egg whites to beat stiff before folding in batter.
*Use 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
*Place this in a greased baking pan (guesstimate based on amount of batter, but a 13"x9" seems right) and bake at 350 for about 40-60 minutes (check after 30 minutes).
*If the batter seems to require a higher temperature, then the next time you make bump oven to 375 degrees and bake until tests done.

Effie's Untitled I

This recipe does not have a title. It was just written on the page in Effie's free flowing handwriting. It is obviously a cooked ice cream. Refer to other cooked ice creams for directions on how to make this recipe.

Effie's Untitled I

4 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pint whipping cream
vanilla and almond

Beat eggs yolks well. Add sugar and flavorings, mix in cream. Add beaten egg whites and freeze.
Mash 1 quart berries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, beat through, then cool. Add 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/2 pint whipping cream beaten stiff, and whites of two eggs beaten stiff, freeze.
The vanilla and almond would be extracts.

Effie's Graham Cracker Ice Cream

When Aunt Effie passed away in September of 1979, all of her things were dispersed to all the family. Some went to Jerry's house, some to Ed's; Grandma and Grandpa kept a few things, and Grandma gave to me the two donkey planters that used to sit on a shelf in Effie's kitchen, two of her homemade aprons, and three of her cookbooks. Later on, in the 90's, Grandpa had a plastic garbage bag with quite a few glass items that had belonged to Effie, many cracked and broken because of the lack of care, and I got to go through these items choosing a few more things that had belonged to Effie. These sit up on my shelf above the books in my dining room. I cherish all of these things and their link to Aunt Effie from so long ago.
Hand-written in Effie's hand were several recipes in the three cook books, and I print them here for all of you to try and enjoy. Some recipes do not have directions, and some directions on the recipes are not clear at all; you will have to figure them out for yourself.

Graham Cracker Ice Cream

1/2 cup sugar
1 pint coffee cream
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine and freeze; when partly froaen, take out and whip until smooth and fluffy; continue freezing.
1 pint is 16 ounces or 2 cups.
Graham crackers are easily crumbed in a blender or food processor.