Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 9:36 AM
Subject: Hunting up pea sauce...
Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
I'm on a recipe hunt and it's really driving me batty! I'm hoping you
can help me in my search.
I grew up (and still live) in southwestern Arkansas, as did
generations of my family before me. We have always eaten a lot of
blackeyed peas and purple hull peas. Years ago when I was a little
sprout, my grandmother and several other ladies I knew would make what
we called "pea sauce" every summer. Sadly, all the folks I knew who
made it have passed on. I've asked quite a few people in my town about
it - the older people usually remember it, but don't know how to make
it, and the younger people don't generally remember ever eating it at
I'll do my best to describe it. The ingredients that I recall are:
tomatoes, onions, sugar, salt, vinegar, and peppers of some sort -
whether they were hot or sweet or both, I don't know. I honestly don't
recall if there where any herbs or spices in it, but I think not, as
my Ma was suspicious of "boughten" things like that! I'm sure that
most everyone who made it had their own unique recipe - I'm looking
for a starting point to work from as I try to approximate my Ma's pea
The texture was that of a fairly fine salsa (but not pureed), and the
liquid in it was like a thin syrup. Everything was cooked, but it
wasn't cooked enough to turn into a tomato sauce. Speaking of tomato
sauce, I've heard some people refer to this as "tomato sauce," but
it's more like salsa than, say, spaghetti sauce. I've also heard
people refer to it as "pepper sauce" but to me that means the vinegar
from pickled jalapenos that we pour onto pinto beans. The pea sauce
had a sweet-and-sour taste, more on the sweet side, similar to bread
and butter pickles; it was not hot at all. Ma would make many, many
little freezer boxes full each summer and store them in her deep
freeze. When one was needed (about once a week or so), she'd just put
it in the refrigerator until it thawed and it was fit for use. We ate
it, still ice cold, spooned over hot blackeyed peas or purple hull
peas. Nothing in the world has ever tasted quite so good!
If you have a likely candidate for a starting place, I'd be overjoyed!
Thank you very much,
I grew up in North Mississippi, eating purple hull and black-eyed peas, too.
We always used "pepper sauce" like you describe on ours, but some people
used relish of one sort or another. "Chow chow" was a favorite, but unlike
what you describe, it has green tomatoes and often a bit of cabbage as in
There are recipes on the web called "pea sauce" and "pea dip", but they are
not anything like what you describe. Most of them are sauces that contain
"Tomato sauce" was a bit more productive. See below for a couple of recipes
for such a sauce for serving over peas. They do contain spices, though.
The best candidate that I found is the third recipe below - "red tomato relish".
If you don't like any of these and decide to search more, I suggest that you
search for relishes. I think you'll have more success looking at relish
recipes than at sauces.
Ripe Tomato Sauce
24 lg. ripe tomatoes, cut up
4 lg. onions, chopped
3 lg. bell peppers, chopped
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 pt. vinegar (1 c.)
2 c. sugar
Add all ingredients and cook until thick. Place in clean, prepared jar
(pint) and seal. Store. If you like a little relish with your peas, this is an
excellent sauce. If you add jalapeno peppers, this would taste like picante sauce.
Tomato Chili Sauce
1 lg. pkg. tomatoes
8 lg. onions
3 c. vinegar
2 jalapeno peppers
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 lg. bell pepper
1 tsp. cayenne or red pepper
Peel and chop tomatoes. Cook all ingredients together, stirring occasionally.
Put in fruit jars and seal tightly. Very good over fresh peas or beans.
Red Tomato Relish
15 lg. red ripe tomatoes
10 sweet banana peppers
3 hot peppers
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. vinegar
3 lg. white onions
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
Drop tomatoes in boiling water, peel and quarter. Remove seeds from
peppers. Chop. Dice onions. Add all to a large pot. Simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Ladle into jars and seal. Bring on a pot of beans or peas.
Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:26 PM
Subject: Sweet Sauerkraut Recipe Request
Back in the 1950s when I was a teenager, my mother used a sauerkraut recipe
that I really liked. Many years later I asked her about it, but she didn't
remember it. I've tried searching the internet for something like it and
been unsuccessful. It is not the Franks Quality Kraut recipe, although that
is a good one.
The sauerkraut was made with some kind of sweet thickener. She did not use
brown sugar. The thickener must have made with flour and white sugar, but I
don't know what else.
Do you know of any recipe like that, or can you find anything like that?
I would certainly be appreciative if you could.
Just to clarify, I’m looking here for a sauerkraut dish - a way of serving sauerkraut - not a way of making sauerkraut.
There are lots of sauerkraut dishes that have sugar and might appear to be thickened, but most contain peppers and sometimes pimentos and/or onions.
See below for some recipes. The third one, in particular, has flour in it and is thickened. If it wasn’t like any of these, then I am at a loss
unless you can provide more details regarding it.
Cold, Sweet Sauerkraut
2 cans sauerkraut
1 lg. onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
Sm. jar pimento
Dash of pepper
Drain and rinse sauerkraut several times to get some of the sourness out.
Mix sugar and vinegar.
Add sauerkraut, onion, bell pepper, pimento (to add color), and a dash of
pepper. Refrigerate and serve cold.
Sweet Sauerkraut Salad
1 can (2 1/2 lb.) sauerkraut with juice
1 heaping c. sugar
1 sm. green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can pimentos, cut fine
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Dash of salt
Let stand overnight. Do not drain kraut.
1 (32 oz.) jar sauerkraut
3 tbsp. shortening
2 tbsp. flour
1 diced lg. onion
2 tsp. caraway seed
2 tbsp. sugar
Put sauerkraut, caraway seed and water from sauerkraut in a medium pan,
use stainless steel or glass. Cover. Bring to a boil. Turn down and
simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Saute onion in shortening until
onion turns golden and stir in flour. Turn heat down and leave on stove
for approximately 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Add to cooked
sauerkraut, stir well and cook slowly until thickened. Add 2 tablespoons
sugar to suit your taste.
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:34 AM
Subject: RE: Recipe for Sam's Club Bettercream Whipped Icing for cakes/pies
Hoping you can help me out with a recipe to use at home on my cakes.
We recently bought a b-day cake at our local Cold Stone Creamery and loved
the icing they used on their cakes. We asked about their recipe and was told
that they used Bettercream Whipped Frosting from Sam's .
I went to Sam's Club and inquired about it in the bakery. They sell it in
large white tubs for around $20 tubs. I by no means need that amount of icing
to make 1 cake at home. I've searched the internet for Sam's Club Bettercreme
Whipped Frosting but haven't been able to find it. I keep getting Buttercream
icing recipes. Those recipes are just too sweet. I would appreciate any help
or advice you could give.
“Bettercream” or “Bettercreme” frosting is a product of the Rich’s Company. Even when it’s sold under the Sam’s or Wal-Mart name,
it’s still being made by Rich’s. It’s a commercial non-dairy product, and therefore the actual recipe isn’t available.
This product is made like non-dairy coffee creamers and is made with ingredients that you can’t get for home use.
On the site, I have a copycat recipe for "Bettercream Frosting" that I found back in 2006. It’s only a “tastes like” recipe.
It does contain milk and butter. It doesn’t say anything about whipping. See:
There is a whipped vanilla frosting here. The photo looks similar to “Bettercream”:
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
You can buy Rich’s Bettercream by the quart for $6.95. See here (scroll down the page):
Wilton’s sells a dry whipped icing product. You just add ice water and whip. See:
Hello Uncle Phaedrus,
Let me begin by telling you how much I like your site. I go every day hoping
to find new postings. I have also made a request or two. You always came
through with the recipes for me. Thanks a bunch. Now to the other reason for
this e-mail. In your 01/20/12 posting I wanted to add my two cents to Susan's
request. I hope it will help her find what she is looking for.
I buy Rich's Buttercreme Non Dairy Icing & Filling in a quart milk like carton,
from my Smart&Final store here in California.
It is a small warehouse store. It is also called Cash&Carry in the north west.
I would think other stores simular elsewhere in the U.S would carry their product.
Maybe You or Susan could contact Rich's to see who in Susan's area carries this
product. There is also a product called Frostin Pride. This is simular to Rich's
product. I have used this also.
I purchased this at S&F also. I hope this information helps.
I wish I could do more. Pat.
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 11:00 AM
Subject: cellar of Macy's in Herald Square
Macy's use to sell sticky buns moons ago. Do you know the recipie?
Sorry, I had no success with this request. I’ll post it on the site. Maybe a reader can help.