Monday, November 20, 2017

Fairy Cookies

This recipe is from page 45 of Log Cabin Cooking Pioneer Recipes & Food Lore by Barbara Swell.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

cream together sugar and butter.  Add eggs, soda, sour cream, and extract.  Add enough flour to make a soft dough.  Roll out thin or drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees until slightly browned.  

ADDITIONS:  Dried fruit can be added to batter, sugar can be sprinkled on top, or a nut can be pressed in center of each cookie.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pigs in A Puddle Recipe

This recipe is found on page 28 of Log Cabin Cooking Pioneer Recipes & Food Lore written by Barbara Swell.

                                             PIGS IN A PUDDLE

1/2 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, pork)
1 onion, chopped
Binder, can be cooked rice or breadcurmbs
A cabbage
1 qt. tomatoes, stewed or chopped spiced with slat and pepper
Italian herbs to taste

  Brown meat and onion and drain off fat.  Add cooked rice or bread crumbs.  Drop outer leaves of cabbage into boiling water just until softened.  Put a spoonful of meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf and roll up egg roll style.  Place in a shallow, greased pan.  Cover with tomato sauce and bake at 350 degrees about 30-45 minutes until bubbly.

Ragin' Cajun Recipe

I got this recipe from our local Co-op magazine.  Texas Co-op power from the February 2017 edition.

Amongst the many things to love about Louisiana's food is its lack of pre-tence.  Despite the elegant restaurants in the French Quarter, some of my most memorable meals have been on the back roads of Cajun country at grocery stores, butcher shops and even gas stations. With Mardi Gras this month, it's time to simmer up a big pot of my smoky, spicy red beans for a Big Easy fix.
                                           Paula Disbrowe, Food Editor

Smoky Red Beans and Rice

1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon grease
4 ounces fatty pork (such as shoulder or boneless ribs), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 pound andouille (or other smoked sausage), split in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces
10 cups chicken stock or water
Cooked white rice
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

1.  Place the beans in a large pot, cover with 4 inches water and soak 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the cubed pork and cook, stirring, until the fat begins to render, about 3 minutes.  Add the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic, and stir to combine.  Add the salt, pepper and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.  Add bay leaves, parsley, thyme and andouille, and cook, stirring, until the sausage has browned, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.  (If the beans become too dry, add more water as needed.)

4.  Remove from heat.  Using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot, then stir in.  Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove bay leaves, then taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

5.  Serve the warm beans over cooked white rice and garnish with green onions and hot sauce, as desired.  Serves 4-6

Monday, November 13, 2017

Old fashioned Recipes for Cornmeal Mush, Johnny Cake in Rhyme, Johnny or Journey Cake, Hoe Cake, Hunter's Cake and Ash Cake

These recipes are from an old cookbook have written by Barbara Swell.  The name of it is Log Cabin Cooking Pioneer Recipes & Food Lore.  I enjoy this little paperback a lot. Takes me back in time.


  Boil 2 cups water, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and sprinkle in cornmeal slowly while stirring until mush becomes thick.  Eat warm with butter and honey or molasses or put in a bread pan and chill until set.  Slice and fry in a frying pan with a bit of butter until crisp on both sides, then serve with maple syrup or honey.

POLENTA:  To warm mush, add Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, Italian herbs to taste, and diced sun dried tomatoes.  Chill in bread pan, slice, and fry in a small amount of butter or olive oil until brown.



Two cups Indian (cornmeal), one cup wheat;
One cup good eggs that you can eat.
One-half cup molasses too.
One big spoon sugar added thereto;
Salt and soda, each a small spoon.
Mix up quickly and bake it soon.
                          from: Brenner, My Folks Come in a Covered Wagon


Make a thick mush, add a pinch of salt, make into small cakes and bake on a greased pan until browned.


He's small potatoes and few to the hill.
He's all vine and not taters!
He flies around like a parched pea in a hot skillet.
He's helpless as spilled beans on a dresser.  



Make as Johnny Cake, add a little butter and cook on a clean, greased hoe over hot coals (or you could always us a hot oven).


Make as Hoe Cake and add a pinch of baking soda.  Bake on a board near the fire.


2 cups cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp. soda
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. salt

Clear a spot out of the ashes in the fireplace, drop batter onto the hearth.  When the dough forms a crust, cover with ashes and hot coals.  Bake until done through about 15-20 minutes.

Recipes taken from pages 19 and 17 of Barbara Swell's Log Cabin Cooking Pioneer Recipes & Food Lore.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Digging For Your Roots

Digging For Your Roots  is a page I created to start finding families and ancestry for other people for a low fee.   I am currently researching 7 families. I am researching Fortune, Mullins, Emory, Spahn, Callahan, Simmons, and Phillips families.  Plus I am still doing some on my own.  I enjoy doing research and have spare time to do others.  You can contact me at if you would like to hire me to research your family.  Please put Family Research in the subject line.  I will need all and as much information as you can about whoever you know of in your family to get started.  The more information you have to give me, the less time I spend looking and that is cheaper for you.

Say you want to find your great-grandfather, but don't know his name.  Start with yourself, send me your name, date of birth, where you were born, then go with parents and send me all their info on birth and death and places of birth and death.  I am happy to look.  Even if you just want me to find one person or information on one person, I am happy to do so for a modest fee.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dimmit County Mesquite Roots Sal A. and Lillie Cude Armstrong page 137-138

Sal A. and Lillie Cued Armstrong on the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary on August 10, 1948.  (photo courtesy Dolly Cramer Armstrong)

  Sal A. Armstrong was born in Somerset, Texas on April 8, 1880.  His father, George W. Armstrong, died when Sal was nine year old.  His grandfather William "Billy" Armstrong raised Sal and his three brothers on the San Miguel Ranch near Pearsall, Texas.
  Billy Armstrong was born in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1823.  His parents were George and Theresa Rice Armstrong.  William left home at an early age.  He went to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, where he hunted, trapped, and traded furs and skins on Lake Pippin for winter.  He came to Austin, Texas, where he joined the ranger service as a member of Captain Katy's company and served three months.  Then he joined Captain Ross's company for six months.  In 1884 he married Zaruah Fulcher, a native of Arkansas.
  After they were married the Armstrongs moved to Lavaca County, Texas, where Billy farmed and did stock raising.  In 1864 Zaruah died, leaving him with five sons and a daughter.: Sam, Tom, George, Bill, Jim, and Theresa.
  Bill Armstrong married Nancy Ryan the following year.  In 1868 he moved to Bee County, Texas and bought a ranch below Beeville.  He came to Frio County, Texas in 1882 and owned the 6,000-acre San Miguel Ranch on the McGill Creek, 12 miles from Pearsall.
  Sal A. Armstrong grew up in this household.  He married Lillie Cude on August 10, 1898.  She was born October 17, 1880 near Seguin, Texas and moved to Frio County, within 15 miles of Pearsall, when she was seven years old.  She was the daughter of Willis Franklin and Mary Elizabeth Harrell Cude.  Her brothers and sisters, in order of age, were Milvern, Elmer, Lillie Lee, Pink, Alice, Scott, Bessie, Sydney, Roy, Jack, Mamie, and Tim.
The SAl A. Armstrong family.  Left to right: Lillian (Little), Sal Alvin, Marie (Huffhines), Jewell (Kincaid), George, Edythe (Rosenberry), Earl, and parents, Lillie Cude and Salt A. Armstrong. (Photo courtesy Dolly Cramer Armstrong)

  In 1906 Sal and Lillie arrived in Dimmit County from Pearsall.  They had three children then.  In 1910 Sal Armstrong helped organize and name the town of Big Wells.  In 1912 he was elected commissioner of Dimmit County Precinct No. 3 for two years.
  In 1922 Sal was elected commissioner again.  He resigned in 1924 when he bought a ranch and moved over the county line to Zavala County.  From 1923 to 1939 he was a partner with Charles H. Hoyle, establishing the Hoyle-Armstrong Cattle Company.  Hoyle was a resident of St. Louis, Missouri.
  In 1930 Sal Armstrong moved to Carrizo Springs and built the house on the Eagle Pass highway that is now owned by the James B. Catletts.  Sal served as director of the Citizens State Bank in Carrizo Springs during the 1940's.
  Sal A. and Lillie Cude Armstrong had eight children:  Earl of Crystal City, Texas; Edythe Armstrong Rosenberry of Wichita FAlls, Texas; George of Uvalde, Texas; Marie Armstrong Huffhines of Wichita Falls; Jewell Armstrong Kinkaid of Uvalde; Sal Alvin on Big Wells, Texas (see separate story); Lillian Lee Armstrong Little of San Antonio, Texas; and Travis, who died in 1920 at the age of four years.
  Sal and Lillie were known and loved by all.  Sal was an enthusiastic participant of rodeos and ropings, and was instrumental in staging them in Dimmit County.  Harry Williams of the San Antonio Light wrote of him in column "Trails," reprinted in the Carrizo Springs Javelin on July 31, 1930.  "A rodeo in that country without Sal at or around close to the head of it would be lacking something."
  In a similar article reprinted in the Javelin May 1, 1930, Williams said,
   A word about this Sal Armstrong.  You know how these old cowboys are about nicknaming one another.  Well, around 35 or 40 years ago when Sal was just beginning to step out in this world and put on white collars and go to dances, some wag just had a fancy to call him Sam around the ranch and round-up, and the name stuck.  Really, he's one of the Great Big Guys of the ranch world of the great Brush County.
  He's handsome as any Helen, Maria, or Apollo that ever went into a drug store, for part of it, and then just a regular fellow for the rest of it, and big and able after that.  
  Sal Armstrong was dedicated to civic improvement.  He helped start the rodeo grounds, ballpark, football field, and airport in Dimmit County.
  Florence Fenley wrote stories about Sal and LIllie.  They were first printed in the Cattleman magazine, then in Fenley's book, Oldtimers of Southwest Texas (Uvalde: Hornby Press, 1957).  Fenley brought out Sal's sense of humor and storytelling ability.  The following is from her book, quoting Sal's description of courtship of Lillie Cude.

  "She had a bunch of brothers." said he, "and I used to buy this Mexican candy at ten cents a pund and bring it out to their place for the boys.  I sure had 'em on my side after I fed 'em candy for a while and I had 'em trained to steal the other fellow's candy he brought out and eat it up before he could get to give it to her.  That was usually nice chocolate candy.  Once I brought a lot of that Mexican candy out to the boys and had it tied up in a flour sack.  I didn't know the sack had a hole in the corner and I scattered candy all the way to her home.  When I got there, it was nearly all gone, but them boys took the trail and picked up candy all the way to Frio river."

  Sal A. Armstrong died on April 16, 1949.  LIllie Cude Armstrong died on July 29, 1969.  Both are buried in Uvalde.
                                   Sal Alvin Armstrong
                                    Big Wells