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Historic Recipes - 02

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We invite you to try some of these historic recipes from Kansas, found in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society. Please let us know how you like the dishes!

Food Preservation

Food preservation has been an essential activity throughout history. The very cycle of the seasons creates periods of shortage and abundance of different foods at different points of the year. This problem was only worsened with the development of agriculture as people sacrificed their mobility and came to rely on fewer sources of food, each with its own cycle of growing season. Only through human effort and ingenuity has it become possible to obtain some of these foods throughout the year. People from different ethnic backgrounds brought their own unique traditions of food preservation to share with other Kansans. Here are a few examples:


GooseberriesGooseberry Jelly


4 quarters gooseberries
6 cups water
1 package of pectin
5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cooking oil


1.    Wash and stem gooseberries. Cook gooseberries in water. Strain juice through several thicknesses of cheesecloth.

2.    Put 4 cups of the juice and pectin into kettle. Stir pectin until dissolved in juice. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add cooking oil to keep down the foam. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Cook 2 minutes or until 2 beads form on the side of a wooden spoon.

3.    Skim off the top and pour jelly into jars. Seal with paraffin.

From Sylvia Sutton, Greeley

Food Preservation
Kansas Historical Society
© 1993

Rose Hip JamRose Hip Jam


Rose Hips (Wash and snip the bud ends off with scissors)


1.    Place rose hips and water in saucepan. Use 1 cup of water for each pound of rose hips. Simmer mixture for 20 mixtures.
2.    Push the cooked pulp through a sieve. Add ½ pound of sugar for each pound of pulp. Add a dash of cinnamon.
3.    Simmer the mixture until it is thick.
4.    Pour into sterilized jars. Cover jam with a thin layer of paraffin.

From Georgia Patton, Kansas City

Food Preservation
Kansas Historical Society
© 1993



10 ounces table salt
3 ounces fresh ground garlic
5 ounces ground peppercorns
60 pounds pork, ground once through 3/8 inch or ½ inch grinder
1 ounce paprika
20 ounces white wine
1 ½ ounces black pepper


1.    Mix all ingredients together. Stuff mixture into 2 inch beef casings. Every 14 inches tie with string (at both ends).

2.    Hang sausage in smoke house on racks. Use only hickory wood to smoke. Smoke at 35 to 45 degrees.

3.    Smoke for 14 days. Every second day smoke for only 3 hours.

From Joseph Zugecic, Kansas City

Food Preservation
Kansas Historical Society
© 1993


Christmas Candy-Making, Wichita Daily EagleStick Candy

Wichita Daily Eagle
April 6, 1890

To make stick candy which will equal in excellence of taste that of the best confectionery, boil together one pound sugar, one cup water, one-half teaspoon glycerine until the syrup, when tried in cold water, is very brittle, shaping if bent, when it must at once be poured into lightly buttered dishes. just before pouring out stir in two teaspoons of the desired flavoring. When coal enough to handle pull till white, roll and form into sticks. A pleasing variety may be had by the use of vegetable colorings, which are harmless.





Six Minute Pudding from Hays Free PressSix Minute Pudding Recipe

Hays Free Press
December 22, 1917

Here's a new one—a moist delicious desert that can be made in a hurry.

To one and one-half cups of milk add one cup of Grape-Nuts and one level tablespoonful of sugar, boil six minutes, cool and serve with milk or cream. Add raisings if desired.

Get a package of Grape-Nuts from your grocer and try this pleasing recipe.


Home Candy Making

Wichita Daily Eagle
January 2, 1891

The time of home candy making being upon us, recipes for two delightful sorts are selected from the recipes of Practical Housekeeper:

Ice Cream Candy—Put one pound of granulated sugar. with a tin cup of water, into a porcelain lined saucepan, and stir over the fire until dissolved; then boil without stirring until it hardens when dropped in water. When done, put in two ounces of butter and a tablespoonful of extract of vanilla, also half a teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Pour in a well greased pan. If desired to make fancy, divide, and color one pan pink. When nearly cold pull each part separately, twist the pink and white together, cut in sticks,  put in a large, deep dish, cover and let stand two hours.

Chocolate Caramels—Dissolve a pound and a half of granulated sugar in a coffee cup of rich cream, add a good sized pinch of cream of tartar dissolved in a little warm water, let come to a boil, and put in four ounces of grated chocolate. Boil rapidly and stir until it is hard. Pour out to cool in a shallow dish. Cut in squares when cold. Cocoanut, lemon, or vanilla caramels may be made in the same way.


Barton County Democrat
August 4, 1911

Entry: Historic Recipes - 02

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2014

Date Modified: July 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.