Archie’s Recipe Book

Prison hooch and hot cakes

We finish out the year with the final three pages of recipes: Waffles, hot cakes, and hooch. This “wine” recipe calls for a giant pile of sugar and seems perfect for the prohibition era basement distillery.

The waffles and hot cake recipes both call for incorporating beaten egg whites (a meringue) into the batter. This is a great idea that I look forward to trying. I bet it makes for super fluffy pancakes. It also occurred to me, while transcribing these recipes, that once upon a time a waffle iron was just a big heavy pan that you baked waffles in (not some ridiculous contraption found next to a hotel’s continental breakfast).

What’s next for Archie’s Recipes? There’s a page or two of hand written measures I’d like to include and a bit of clean up to do. Finally I’d like to format this entire site as an ebook for easy sharing and archiving.

Soups, Sandwiches, Vegetables

How about a nice sandwich and soup for lunch? I hope you like ham. Soups, sandwiches, and vegetable dishes have been transcribed and added.

I remember having this bean soup (or something very similar) when I was young. Thick and creamy. Very hearty. Lots of ham. It’s amusing and appropriate that a southern vegetable soup recipe begins with a big animal bone. Recipes like this cheese and tomato sandwich follow the same lead. Bacon is just assumed to be part of the sandwich. The distinguishing characteristics are the cheese and tomato. Of course there’s bacon.

Many of these recipes take a more casual, conversational tone. Fewer lists of ingredients, more general notes on techniques. I wonder if these recipes, appearing later in the book, hint that Archie had grown more confident in the kitchen and needed to write less down.


Down South “salad” is just a means to add mayonnaise to things. The pear salad recipe has an interesting reference to “cooked” salad dressing. Cooked salad dressing is a mixture of dairy and eggs with other flavorings, thickened much the same way you would a béchamel sauce or a hollandaise. After cooking, these sauces were chilled and then used as a salad dressing. The eggs and dairy were readily available, but vegetable oils and olive oils weren’t as easy to come by. So why not make a white sauce you’d put on hot vegetables, and chill it for cold ones?

Red mangoes

Everybody loves macaroni. The macaroni section of Archie’s recipes includes a classic macaroni and cheese (complete with no-name Velveeta™), as well as macaroni loaf, and a go-to meat sauce for macaroni . Today when we hear “macaroni” we almost always think of elbow macaroni (maybe that comes in a blue box), but the term refers to the type of flour used not to the shape of the noodle. The macaroni and ham escallop recipe calls for “18 sticks” of macaroni. I can only assume that means 18 big, fat noodles. If I were attempting this recipe, I’d use lasagna noodles.

Pickles begin on page 63 with dill, onion, and sweet varieties. An orphaned recipe for sweet green tomato pickles is cross referenced here, but it lives with the sauces on page 66.

Tomato ketchup gets its own mention in the index and shares a page with sauerkraut and a recipe for cucumbers which looks suspiciously like another pickle recipe. The ketchup recipe calls for “red mangoes” which threw me. Mangoes? In Tennessee? In ketchup? How exotic. It turns out that the word “mango” became associated with anything pickled (mangoes first came to the United States pickled). A pickled concoction of bell pepper and cabbage was very popular and the word “mango” became associated with peppers.

The sauces section, beginning on page 65, includes a “Mexene” barbecue sauce. Mexene is the brand name of a chili powder mix you can still buy today. The barbecue sauce is vinegar based (the way god intended) but uses this Texan stye spice mix. I like to think of it as a great diplomatic outreach to other forms of barbecue.

The sauces finish off with a hollandaise made with “oleo” - generic slang for margarine. I guess you have to make do with what you have. (The technique is interesting, though.)


It’s been awhile. Let’s get meaty.

The meat section begins on page 55 with a recipe for Swedish meatballs. The recipe calls for Zwieback crumbs. I had to look that up. I have no memory of the word ‘Zwieback’ but upon seeing a photo, I had a sudden, visceral, almost genetic knowledge of what these taste like. These crunchy, sweet, sort of fatty little fake toasts. I know someone fed these to me as child.

On page 56 we learn about Mexene meatballs. Mexene is a Texas chili spice mix that is, apparently, still in production today. This, and the Hot Tamale Pie recipe make me think that there must have been some big influx of Texican/Mexican culture that swept the nation.

We also have a recipe for “kiby” - or is it kibbi, or kibbeh - which looks to be a sort of a wheat and beef variation on a falafel - Lebanese in origin apparently. I’d love to know how some Tennesseans got turned on to Lebanese cuisine.

Site updates, fish, jellies and jams

Along with some behind-the-scenes updates, I’ve updated the search tool to work a little bit better. If you type in a phrase like “angel food cake”, the search tool now does a better job of finding exactly those pages referencing that recipe, whereas before it would find any page that had the words “angel” or “food” or “cake” — which is not particularly useful.

This makes searching for a given recipe much easier. However, if there are no matches for that exact phrase the search tool will still try to find everything that matches. If you’re a search ninja and you already know to use quotes and keywords like “and”, the search tool will try to detect queries like that not do anything fancy to the search results. Give it a shot.

The one-page fish section is now up. One recipe is for “fish balls” - which are just meat balls but made with fish. This was a new concept to me. I think if were to modify the recipe I’d call them “fish dumplings” to protect the innocent.

The section on jams, jellies, and preserves is up too, and includes a neat little newspaper clipping with a watermelon rind preserves recipe.


All the frostings!

Many of the frosting recipes are just a list of ingredients with no instructions. I guess frosting technique is just knowledge you were supposed to have if you had any business in a kitchen at all.

I have tried to cross reference (link) cake recipes to their frosting recipes where indicated.

At least one of the ingredients will be hard to find. I don’t think you could find a 10¢ can of pineapple, even on eBay.


An intentionally-left-blank page marks the end of the pie section with recipes for spicy apple pie, orange chiffon pie, creamy chocolate chiffon pie, pecan pie, and a cherry cobbler.

The cherry cobbler recipe appears to have been provided by a Grace Ooter, written in lovely cursive in pencil.

Pudding and pie

Due to traveling out of town, a cold, and general laziness, I haven’t been updating the site. So here’s pages 33 through 38 closing out the pudding section and digging deep into pies.

Ice cream and pudding

Pages 31 and 32 bring us ice cream and pudding recipes. The ice box ice cream recipes are fascinating. Instead of using a machine to continually churn and slowly freeze the cream, they call for freezing and hand stirring the cream until light and airy. This, of course, had to be the way they did it before ice cream churns were invented.

And really, if you’re not making ice cream every day, why take up space and waste money on a contraption you’ll only use once or twice a year.

One of the recipes call for PET milk - I haven’t thought about that for ages. My mother always kept a can around in case of dessert. I don’t make desserts though (my wife and I have an agreement. She does desserts, I do everything else), so I never buy it or stock in at home. Those blue and white cans haven’t changed much over the years.