5 Pioneer Recipes Our Ancestors Made

pioneer recipes

When we have to live off our food storage, we will have to adapt to a diet that is similar to what our pioneer ancestors ate. Since we will not have the prepared, convenience foods many people are used to, or the variety we are used too, it will benefit us to know how those old-timers cooked. Here are some examples of pioneer recipes.

Cornmeal Pudding

  • 3 Cups cornmeal mash
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Beaten eggs
  • ½ Cup melted butter
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • ½ Cup milk
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Stir together and cook over an open fire. This is a good recipe for cooking in a Dutch Oven. Serve with honey or syrup if you have it.

Spotted Pup

pioneer recipes

Take your leftover cooked rice and put in Dutch oven.

  • Cover with milk and well-beaten eggs.
  • Add a dash of salt.
  • Sweeten well with sugar.
  • Add raisins or dried fruit and a little nutmeg and vanilla.

Bake slowly until egg mixture is cooked and raisins or fruit are soft.

How to Make Tough Beef Tender

(From 1886 Daily Bee, Sacramento, California)

  • Lay meat out smoothly and wipe it dry.
  • Take a coffee cup full of fine breadcrumbs, a little salt and pepper, a little powdered thyme or other sweet herb, and just enough milk to moisten to a stiff dressing. Mix well and spread over the meat. Roll it up and tie it up with twine.
  • Brown in salt pork fat, then put in half a pint of water. Cover and cook.
  • The toughest meat is made tender and nutritious when cooked in this way.
See also  Making Yogurt From the Powdered Milk In Your Storage

Red Bean Pie

  • 1 Cup cooked and mashed pinto beans.
  • 1 Cup sugar.
  • 3 Beaten egg yolks.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg.

Place combined ingredients in an uncooked piecrust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Make a meringue with the leftover egg whites.  Spread over baked pie and return to oven to brown

Easy-to-Make Pioneer Bread Recipe

  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 6 Tablespoon of butter
  • 4 Tablespoon of powdered or fresh milk

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and milk.  Add water, a little bit at a time, to obtain a dough that’s not too liquid. Put in a greased pan, cover and cook over campfire over low to moderate heat.  It takes about an hour to cook.

Hopefully these pioneer recipes will give you some ideas of how to cook with your food storage. If you like these types of recipes, here are a couple of old-time cookbooks:

Log Cabin Cooking: Pioneer Recipes & Food Lore by Barbara Swell

The Pioneer Cookbook by Miriam Barton


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8 thoughts on “5 Pioneer Recipes Our Ancestors Made”

  1. Tough beef. In stead of thyme, sweet herb and milk, rub the inside with oil add 2cloves garlic, oregano, parsley and grated cheese. Brown meet and cook in tomato sauce and you have Braciole.
    My all time favorite

  2. Rice pudding the old-fashioned unbaked way. 2 cups rice 4 cups water, bring to a boil, put tight lid on turn down to low, cook for 20 min, do not lift the lid! Mean time mix 1 cup sugar, 4 to 6 eggs 1 tsp vanilla, 1 can of evaporated milk mix together well, can add 1 cup raisins 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg. When rice is done remove from heat and immediately add milk mixture and stir well. The heat of the rice will cook the eggs. You can add more sugar if wanted. . This is a depression Era or before recipe that my mom and grandma made. I have never seen it in a cookbook and I have around a 1000 of them. It’s pretty tasty.

    1. Deborah, you’ll have to do that by touch and feel. If you use dry milk instead of liquid milk, that will affect the amount of water added. Add a small amount of water at a time until the bread dough feels like bread dough. When I’ve made this, I used about 5-6 tablespoons of water, along with liquid milk. The bread loaf is small — about the size small football. Since it doesn’t contain yeast, it’s a denser bread. I used wheat flour and the flavor was excellent.

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