Have a blast from the past with the tomato jelly recipe

1914

The Old Timers Athletic Association’s Best Recipes cookbook has a recipe on page forty-three which just might be as good as all those Old Timers’ home runs.

Even before tasting it, just reading that recipe’s name, “Tomato Jelly,” might transport some of us via memory back to growing up days in our childhood homes, watching or maybe even helping our mothers, aunts and grandmas make jellies, jams and preserves from fruits and, maybe even, back then, from tomatoes.   

It might in fact make us wish we could make a “home run” all the way back to those times long gone. These kinds of recipes really can take today’s senior generations all that long journey back home to our childhood yesterdays, even if only via the memories they stir up.

Unusual as it sounds, it might now be just as much a modern-day delight for younger generations who enjoy trying new-to-them “old-fashioned” foods, just a bit different from the routine foods they’re finding on today’s typical menus and supermarket shelves.

“Please pass the tomato jelly.” How often do we hear that request for tomato jelly at the family dining table these days or see it in stores? Not a lot, maybe, not a lot most places anymore.

Happily, it just might indeed be happening a bit more than we might think here in the Apopka area because a local community cookbook recipe contributor a while back kindly contributed her recipe for tomato jelly to a local cookbook committee, and they published it on page forty-three of their Old Timers Athletic Association’s Best Recipes.

This is one of the niftiest little fewer-than-fifty pages cookbooks you’ll find anywhere and, happily, we can proudly say that it is one of so very many wonderful Apopka community cookbooks, every one of them a treasure.

Enjoy the tomato jelly, hush puppies, monkey bread and all the other recipes below selected from as many of our Apopka-area cookbooks as can fit here, including an unusual recipe from Joanne Sorensen for Chocolate Gravy.

NINA MOFFET’S TOMATO JELLY

Recipe from Old Timer’s Athletic Association’s Best Recipes

1 cup fresh basil leaves or half-cup of crushed dried basil leaves

1-3/4 cups tomato juice

1/2 cup strained lime juice

4 cups sugar

1/2 of a six-ounce bottle of liquid pectin

4 sterilized six-ounce jelly jars

4 fresh basil leaves for decoration

Paraffin

In stainless steel or enamel saucepan, boil the basil and tomato juice. Remove cover from pan and steep for fifteen minutes. Strain through cheesecloth into enamel or stainless steel pan. Heat and add lime juice and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Boil the mixture; add pectin (one minute). Skim foam carefully. Pour into jars and cover with hot paraffin.

JOANNE SORENSEN’S

CHOCOLATE GRAVY

Recipe from Grace United Methodist Church’s Treasured Recipes

1 cup sugar

3 heaping tablespoons flour

2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

2 to 3 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continually, until thick.

BYRON BUTLER’S

SWEET POTATO PONE

Recipe from Lake Hill Baptist Church’s Treasures from Heaven

4 or 5 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and grated

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1 cup cane syrup

1 cup orange marmalade

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 stick oleo (margarine)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or amount to your taste)

1/4 teaspoon allspice (or amount to your taste)

In a heavy boiler, mix all ingredients. Cook on top of stove, stirring often and scraping bottom of pot so mixture will not burn. Pour into a well-greased cast iron skillet. Bake in oven at 300 to 350 degrees until center is firm. Leave in skillet for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then turn out on plate to cool.

DEBBIE O’DONNELL’S

GRAPE SALAD

Recipe from Holy Spirit Episcopal Church’s Taste & See

2 pounds green grapes, seedless

2 pounds red grapes, seedless

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces sour cream

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup pecan pieces

In mixer, blend together sugar, vanilla, cream cheese and sour cream until creamy. Gently toss with grapes. Pour into serving dish. Combine brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle on top of grape mixture.

Put salad in refrigerator for eight to twelve hours. Recipe yields twelve servings.

FRANK RIEVES’

HUSH PUPPIES, SOUTHERN STYLE

Recipe from Calvary Church of The Nazarene’s A Harvest of Recipes

1 cup pancake mix

1/3 cup plain cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup buttermilk

Sift first five ingredients. Mix in last three ingredients just prior to frying. Drop by teaspoonful into heated deep fryer. Fry on all sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

ANNA HEATH’S MONKEY BREAD

Recipe from Lake Hill Baptist Church’s Treasures from Heaven

16 biscuits

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans

1/3 cup butter

2 tablespoons water

Mix together sugar, pecans, butter and water. Cook mixture on low heat. Pour over biscuits cut into fourths in separate bowl. Mix well.

Butter the bundt pan. Place the biscuits in bundt pan. Bake at 375 degrees for fifteen to twenty-five minutes.

Remove from pan and let stand a few minutes, then dump on serving dish.

CINDI SHAFFER’S

CRUNCHY COLESLAW

Recipe from Church of the Holy Spirit’s Taste & See

2 bags Angel Hair Coleslaw

1 bunch of green onions, diced

2 grated carrots (optional)

1 cup almonds, sliced

2 packages Ramen Beef Noodles

1 cup oil

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Mix together the coleslaw, green onions, and grated carrots. Cover and refrigerate. Mix together the oil, vinegar, sugar and beef seasoning package from Ramen noodles. Refrigerate.

Break the Ramen noodles into pieces and place on cookie sheet with sliced almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for five to ten minutes or until toasted and lightly browned. Just before serving, toss the coleslaw mix, dressing and the noodle/almond mix together. Recipe makes eight servings.

fudgeRUTH BOLHUIS’

EXCELLENT PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

Recipe from Carole Arthur’s
Older Americans Cookbook

3 tablespoons margarine

2 cups sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

1-1/3 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla

In electric frying pan, combine margarine, sugar and evaporated milk. Cook at 280 degrees for five minutes. Turn off the heat. Add peanut butter, marshmallows and vanilla. Stir until blended. Pour in square buttered nine by twelve-inch pan. Cool and cut.