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Pickled Spiced Crabapples

From: Jerry 
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 2:12 PM
Subject: Pickled crab apple garnish


My late wife used to make pickled crab apple rings. (I made the coring punch.) I miss them (but not nearly as much as I miss her). 
They came out red (dye? beet juice?) and there may have been alum in the recipe, although that was probably only for watermelon rind. 
I see no recipes in a web search and few references of any kind. Can you help me to pickle some of my neighbors crab apples. 
It will be some time before they grow and ripen, so there's not a rush. My large pressure cooker holds seven quart jars, 
so I rarely just steam the things I put up.

Thank you.


Hello Jerry,

I remember spiced or pickled crabapples and crabapple rings from my childhood. They were served as a garnish or as a side item, and they were a deep red color. They may have even been served in the lunchroom at my elementary school. I seem to remember them being sold commercially in a fat brown glass jar. There are lots of recipes for pickled or spiced crabapples. I have some on my site at: Pickled Crabapples. However, those recipes, like most of the ones that I found, are for whole crabapples rather than rings, and they do not have added red coloring. I did find a couple of recipes for spiced whole crabapples with added red coloring. See below. I did not find even one recipe for spiced crabapple rings. My thinking is that if you want to make spiced crabapple rings, just slice the crabapples first and use one of these recipes. I don’t see that it would make any difference. The first recipe is obviously “per jar”, but I have no idea how much of the “red hots” candy to use. I’m also sending a recipe for “crabapple butter”, similar to apple butter but with crabapples. If you want to research further, be sure to search using both “crabapples” and “crab apples”. I found it both ways.



1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. vinegar
Red food coloring
Hot cinnamon candy (“red hots”)

Boil and pour over crab apples in jars.  Process 5-10 minutes in hot water bath.  

7 lbs. crab apples
Water to cover
8 c. sugar
2 c. vinegar
2 c. fruit liquid
Red food coloring
1 (3 inch) stick cinnamon
1 tbsp. whole cloves
2 sm. pieces ginger (may be omitted)
2 blades mace

I peel the apples (splits will occur with skins on) and precook them 5 minutes in enough water to cover them.  
Drain.  Save the fruit liquid.  (If you end up short of enough liquid to put in syrup, just add more water.)  
Combine the remaining ingredients.  I like to put the spices in a cheese cloth bag, so they can be removed before canning.  
Add more coloring to your choice.  Cook the liquids 5 minutes.  Then add the apples and cook slowly until tender and transparent.  
Pack into hot, sterilized jars.  Cover with hot syrup.  Seal.  

10 lb. crabapples
7 1/2 c. white sugar
4 c. water
1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Wash crabapples, remove the stems and blossom ends.  
Place in large preserving kettle, add water, cover and cook until soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  
Put through a coarse sieve.  Return to kettle, add sugar and spice.  Cook slowly until thick, about 2 hours.  
Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal at once.  

Old Cream Soda Recipe

From: Molly
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 10:09 PM
Subject: home made cream soda recipes

I am looking for a recipe for homemade cream soda. the recipe that I am looking has the real cream in it. it was in an 1850 cookbook. 
hope you can help

Hello Molly,

I wrote you back and asked you for the name of the 1850 cookbook. That lead is a dead-end without the name of the cookbook. I have not received a reply, so I’ll tell you what I have found. I did not find any mention at all of a cream soda recipe from an 1850 cookbook. Cream soda is different in different countries. The modern stuff we drink in America is “American cream soda,” and it does not, and apparently never did, contain real cream. It is sweetened carbonated water with vanilla flavoring. It’s called cream soda because it’s an attempt to recreate the taste of an ice cream soda, using no dairy products.

The oldest recipe that is called “cream soda”, according to Wikipedia, was written by E.M. Sheldon and published in Michigan Farmer in 1852. It called for water, cream of tartar, Epsom salts, sugar, tartaric acid, egg, and milk, to be mixed, then heated, and when cool mixed with water and a quarter teaspoonful of soda (sodium bicarbonate) to make an effervescent drink. See: Cream Soda This was not the cream soda we know today.

According to “Illustrated history of Wayne, Maine; being a contemporary and past history of a small New England town” by Jack Perkins, cream soda was invented by George K. Broomhall of Wayne, Maine, a brevet general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. However, that one line in that one book was the only source for that statement that I could find.

There is another variety of cream soda called “Italian cream soda”. This is usually a mixture of carbonated water and half and half or cream combined with vanilla syrup. Ingredient amounts vary, but the taste is usually that of sweetened, flavored milk. This kind of cream soda can be found in Italian restaurants. There are recipes for Italian cream soda on these sites:




 i do not know the name of the cookbook. a friend just told me about and she had seen it in  an 1850 cookbook.
my friend sent me the recipe for cream soda and i wanted to share it with you. 
i have not tried it yet and i will let you know what i think when i try it

thanks so much


for those who want to make their own Cream Soda.

My remarks are in ( )

1 lbs of loaf sugar 
1 cup of rich cream
1 quart of water 
1 large Mexican vanilla bean (open and scraped out) 
1 ounce tartaric acid (cream of tartar)

Mix the ingredients and bring slowly to a boil. Then put in jars (I would keep jars in fridge) 
Take a large tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of soda (baking soda) to a glass of very cold spring water 
(ice water will do fine) and mix thoroughly. (I used the immersible blender)

I suppose one could try other flavors besides vanilla, just don't use much liquid flavors, cinnamon or tamarind sound good, 
maybe be a couple drops of natural lemon extract?Instead of water one could try a qt of herb tea such as peppermint, 
rosehip (rose hip will give a slight apple flavor) or even (diluted?) fruit juice.
When I made the recipe I had a friend who had a cow and I had fresh cream but extra heavy whipping cream may work just as well.
Experiment and use your imagination
-----Original Message----- 
From: Jay  
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 6:09 PM 
Subject: Re: Old Cream Soda Recipe 


This recipe is adapted from Donald R. Bell's ebook compilation of old
beverage recipes called, "Classic Soft Drink Recipes":

Cream Soda

Loaf sugar 10 lb
water 3 gills

Mix, and warm gradually, so as not to burn;

good rich cream 2 quarts
extract vanilla 1-1/2 oz
extract nutmeg 1/4 oz
and tartaric acid 4 oz

Just bring to a boiling heat; for if you cook it any length of time it
will crystallize. Use 4 or 5 spoonfuls of this syrup instead of 3, as
in other syrups; put 1/3 teaspoonful of soda to a glass, if used
without fountain. For charged fountains, no acid is used.


Hello Jay,

Thanks for sending the recipe. Does Bell's book say where he got this recipe?


Bell compiled these recipes from public domain cookbooks.  This particular recipe came from:

Young, Daniel. “Young’s Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets; 
or A Collection of Above 500 Useful Receipts on a Variety of Subjects.” 
Toronto: Rowsell Ellis, 1861. 


Applesauce Hamburgers

From: Marla 
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 6:10 PM
Subject: hamburger recipe

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

When I was a child I remember a family cookout at which a older cousin made hamburgers for the grill using 
applesauce and onion soup mix along with other ingredients.  She is no longer living and I would like to make some.  
I can't find a recipe that sounds like I remember hers being.  Seems that no one else ever uses applesauce.  
Seems like the recipe may have come from the Lipton Onion Soup mix box.  Can you help me find this recipe.


Hello Marla,

See below.



5 lbs. ground beef
1 c. applesauce
1 c. Ritz cracker crumbs
5 tsp. Accent
3 tsp. Tabasco sauce (optional)
5 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 env. onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

  Mix all ingredients and grill. Or make patties, separated with wax paper & freeze them.

Fannie Farmer Fudge

From: Elizabeth
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2012 12:49 AM
Subject: Looking For a Special Fudge Recipe

Hello Uncle Phaedrus:

My Mother has lost my Aunt Betty Jean's Recipe for fudge. It's a little unusual of a fudge recipe. 
I have been looking online for over a year and a half now, and even longer in cook books of a variety of sorts, 
and still have not found it. I have been told by my Mother that Aunt Betty Jean get it out of an old Fannie Farmer 
(or Fanny Farmer) cookbook; but which one, or which year, my Mother doesn't know. It is definitely one of the 
best recipes for fudge. I sure would appreciate the help in getting this recipe. 


J. Elizabeth 

Here is as much as I know of the recipe...

2 cups sugar
2 squares chocolate (OR) 1/4 cup cocoa 
? Not sure how much water
3/4 cup canned milk
1/8 cup Light Karo Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoons real butter PLUS a little more To lightly grease a large plate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few grains of salt 
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1) Lightly grease a large plate, and set aside.
2) In the 2 quart saucepan, boil together sugar & chocolate & water over medium heat,
        STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until it boils up and then back down.
3) Remove from heat.
4) Add canned milk & Light Karo Corn Syrup, and Return to heat, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY,
        until it reaches softball stage (234 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
5) Remove from heat.
6) Add 2 tablespoons of butter & vanilla & salt, but do not stir them in. 
7) Leave to cool in the pan, Without stirring it, until the bottom of the pan can be touched.
8) Add nuts. 
9) Beat it, by hand, until it starts to loose its shine. (IF it is too liquidy, stir in ? I don't know 
        how much peanut butter. IF too dry, add ? I don't know how much water and cook again.
10) Pour onto the large prepared, lightly greased (with some butter) plate, and cut.
NOTE: My Aunt Betty Jean & My Mother always used a wooden spoon to stir and beat the fudge with. 

Hello Elizabeth,

I cannot find a fudge recipe from any edition of Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook that exactly matches your description. You must consider the possibility that your Aunt started with a recipe from Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook, but modified it over the years. If so, then you are not likely to find a recipe exactly like it. Of course, there have been many editions of Farmer’s cookbook over the years, and I do not have access to every edition. Searching for fudge recipes from Farmer’s cookbooks that called for corn syrup, I found the below one from the 1951 edition. The copy of her cookbook that we have is the 1979 edition, and the recipe in it is the bottom one. These recipes are very similar to each other with very slight differences, and both are somewhat similar to your description. These are the only ones that I could find that were similar to your description and that stated they were from Farmer’s cookbook.


Fannie Farmer Fudge

Recipe By     : Fannie Farmer Merritt Boston Cooking School Cook Book 1951
Serving Size  : 12   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Chocolate                        Fudge

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   2      cups           Sugar
   3/4  cup              Milk
   2      Tbsp          Light Corn Syrup  
   1/8  Tsp             Salt
   2      Squares(ounces) Unsweetened Chocolate -- Or
   4      Tbsp          Unsweetened Cocoa
   2      Tbsp          Butter
   1      Tsp           Vanilla

Cook all but the butter and the vanilla to  234°F. (soft ball stage
- about 17 minutes until drops of the hot liquid turn to balls when dripped into
a glass of cold water ) Stir gently until the chocolate is melted, and
afterwards occasionally so the fudge won't burn. Remove from the heat, add
butter, but don't stir. Let stand until lukewarm and add the vanilla. Beat with
a wooden spoon until the fudge is no longer glassy and is thick and creamy. Pour
into a slightly buttered pan about 8 - by - 14 inches.

Sour Cream Fudge: Use sour cream in place of milk and butter.

Nut Fudge: Before pouring into pan, add 1/2 to 1 cup broken nuts.

Penuche: Use light brown sugar in place of white sugar. Omit the chocolate. Cook
to 240 degrees F.
Fannie Farmer Fudge from the 1979 version of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
(1 1/2 pounds)


2      Squares(ounces) Unsweetened Chocolate, in small pieces Or
4      Tbsp          Unsweetened Cocoa
2      cups           Sugar
3/4  cup              Milk
2      Tbsp          Light Corn Syrup  
2      Tbsp          Butter, in small pieces
2      Tsp           Vanilla

Grease an 8 x 8-inch pan. Combine the chocolate or cocoa, sugar, milk, and corn syrup in a 3-qt heavy pot, 
stirring to blend all the ingredients. Set over low heat and, stirring slowly, bring to a boil. 
Cover the pot and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Continue to boil slowly, without stirring, 
until the syrup reaches soft ball stage (234°F). Remove from heat, add the butter without stirring, 
and set the pot on a cooling surface or rack. Do not stir until the syrup is lukewarm(110°F), 
then add the vanilla and stir without stopping until the mixture loses its gloss and thickens. 
Pour into the greased pan and mark into squares, When firm, cut into pieces and store overnight.

Chocolate-Sour Cream Fudge - Substitute 3/4 cup sour cream for the milk and butter.

Chocolate Nut Fudge - Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts before turning the candy out of the pot.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge - Stir in 1 1/2 cups small marshmallows before turning the candy out of the pot. 

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