The Winterville Center

Community and Culture in Winterville, Georgia

Georgia Historic Recipes from 1883


There is very little in life that can bond people together like food. Many cultures are known as much for their food as anything else, and even Georgia can be known for our delicious food. 


These recipes are from the 1883 edition of the Dixie Cookbook, compiled by Estelle Woods Wilcox. It is in the public domain. You can find this cookbook and more free public domain cookbooks at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.


Chicken Pot-pie 

Cut up a chicken and put on in hot water enough to cover, and take care that it does not cook dry ; while boiling cut off a slice from bread dough, add a small lump of lard, and mix up like light biscuit, roll, cut out with cake-cutter and set by stove to rise ; wash and pare potatoes of moderate size, and add them when chicken is almost done ; when potatoes begin to boil, season with salt and pepper, add dumplings and season again. See that there is water enough to keep from burning, cover very tightly, and do not take cover off until dumplings are done. They will cook in half an hour, and may be tested by lifting one edge of the lid, taking out a dumpling and breaking it open. Or, the dumplings may be placed in steamer over cold water, taking care to leave some of the holes in steamer open, as if all are covered by the dumplings, the steam will not be admitted, and they will not cook well. If there are too many dumplings to lie on bottom without covering all holes, attach them to the side and upper edge of steamer by wetting dough and pressing it to the edge. When done remove to vegetable dish and pour hot gravy over them. Dish potatoes by themselves, and chickens and dumplings together. Make-gravy by mixing two level table-spoons flour and a little butter together, and stir into the broth remaining in pot slowly, add more boiling water if needed and season with salt and pepper. Or, make dumplings with one pint sour milk, two well-beaten eggs, half tea-spoon soda (mixed in part of the flour), and flour enough to make as stiff as can be stirred with a spoon; or baking-powder and sweet milk may be used. Drop in by spoonfuls, cover tightly, and boil as above. A pot-pie may be made from a good boiling piece of beef; if too much grease arises skim off. 


Sliced-apple Pie 

Line pie-pan with crust, sprinkle with sugar, fill with tart apples sliced very thin, sprinkle sugar and a very little cinnamon over them, and add a few small bits of butter, and a table-spoon water; dredge in flour, .cover with the top crust, and bake half to three-quarters of an hour ; allow four or five table-spoons sugar to one pie. Or, line pans with crust, fill with sliced apples, put on top crust and bake ; take off top crust, put in sugar, bits of butter and seasoning, replace crust and serve warm. It is delicious with sweetened cream. Crab-apple pie, if made of " Transcendents," will fully equal those made of larger varieties of the apple. — Mrs. D. Buxton.


Meal Suggestions

The cookbook also has recommendations for how to create a meal with complementary flavors and textures.

For example, their recommendations for picnics include:

In the "Sunny South," picnics are in order as early as April, but in the more northern latitudes should never be attempted before the latter part of May or June, and September and October are the crowning months for them around the northern lakes, where hunting and fishing give zest to the sports. First, he up "at five o'clock in the morning," in order to have the chicken, biscuit, etc., freshly baked. Provide two baskets, one for the provisions, and the other for dishes and utensils, which should include the following: Table cloth and an oil-cloth to put under it, napkins, towels, plates, cups, forks, a few knives and table-spoons, tea-spoons, sauce dishes, tin cups (or tumblers, if the picnickers are of the over-fastidious variety); a tin bucket, for water, in which a bottle of cream, lemons, oranges, or other fruit may be carried to the scene of action; another with an extra close cover, partly filled with made chocolate, which may be readily reheated by setting in an old tin pail or pan in which water is kept boiling a la custard-kettle; a frying-pan; a coffee-pot, with the amount of prepared coffee needed tied in a coarse, white flannel bag: a tea-pot, with tea in a neat paper package ; tin boxes of salt, pepper, and sugar; a tin box for butter (if carried) placed next to block of ice, which should be well wrapped with a blanket and put in a shady corner of the pic nic wagon. For extra occasions, add a freezer filled with frozen cream, with ice well packed around it, and heavily wrapped with carpeting. To pack the basket, first put in plates, cups, and sauce dishes carefully with the tow els and napkins, and paper if needed; then add the rest, fitting them in tightly, and covering all w ith the table-cloth, and over it the oil-cloth. Tie the coffee and tea-pots, well wrapped up, and the frying-pan to the handles. Pack provision basket as full as the law allows, or as the nature of the occa sion and the elasticity of the appetites demand. 

The following bills of fare may be picked to pieces and recombined to suit tastes and occasions: 

Spring Picnics—Cold roast chicken; ham broiled on coals; fish fried or broiled; sardines; tongue; hard boiled eggs; eggs to be fried or scrambled; Boston cornbread; buttered rolls; ham sandwiches prepared with grated ham; orange marmalade; canned peaches; watermelon and beet sweetpickles; euchered plums; variety or bottled pickles; chow-chow; quince or plum jelly; raspberry or other jams ; Scotch fruit, rolled jelly, chocolate, Minnehaha, old-fashioned loaf, and marble cake ; coffee, chocolate, tea; cream and sugar; salt and pepper; oranges. 

Summer Picnics—Cold baked or broiled chicken ; cold boiled ham ; pickled salmon; cold veal loaf; Parker House rolls; light bread; box of butter; green corn boiled or roasted; new potatoes; sliced tomatoes; sliced lemon or orange jelly; strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries; lemonade, soda-beer or raspberry vinegar; coffee and tea; ice-cream; lemon or strawberry-ice; sponge, white, Buckeye, or lemon cake; watermelon, muskmelon, nutmeg-melon. 


Try Making One of These Historic Georgia Recipes!

Maybe you would like to try your hand at one of these recipes or another from this cookbook! Why not bring your creation to our next First Thursday potluck on August 1st at 12pm!


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