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Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.

 

 

Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.

 

 

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Contestant, South Dakota State Fair, 2014

 

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

FAMILY HEIRLOOM RECIPES

Picnics and Family Reunions

 

South Dakota State Fair

August 31, 2014

 

Contestant

 

sour cream cookies south dakota state fair greater midwest foodways alliance

(Image by Catherine Lambrecht)

 

GRANDMA OCHELTREE'S SOUR CREAM COOKIES

Ruth Ann McManns, Reliance, South Dakota

 

My Heirloom Recipe is well·over 100 years old. When my grandma and grandpa were married in January 1907, Great Grandma Ocheltree shared with her new daughter-in-law this cookie recipe. Later, they moved to Reliance where I still live today. While we grew up on a farm south of town, my Grandma and Grandpa lived in Reliance. Our house being 4 1/2 miles out, my oldest sisters stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while going to school. They told us that Grandma always had these sugar cookies in her cookie jar and a glass of cold milk for an after school snack.

 

I do not remember our Ocheltree grandparents living in Reliance. They moved to California in the 30s. However, I do remember her visits to South Dakota. She wore lilac perfume. I liked being close to my grandma: she smelled so good. I think of her whenever I smell lilacs and whenever I eat a sugar cookie. I remember my mother making these cookies very clearly. She made them thick, and so light and soft. I use the same cookie cutter and metal measuring cup my mother used. That makes them even more special. The original recipe didn't have the amount of flour to use, but all homemakers of that day knew just how much flour was enough when making breads, cakes, or cookies. When watching my mother bake, I didn't know of any other way to measure vanilla than by using the cap of the vanilla bottle.

 

With so many ways to pass down pieces of our family, a recipe is just one kind of heirloom. Being so thoughtful by preserving memories, my older sister made a cookbook full of our family's recipes and stories. The thoughts of grandparents and growing up in a world 50 different than today rush back so easily with a simple smell, food, recipe, or story. We can make something as simple as a cookie recipe, and it inspires many stories at a family gathering. I still get teary when I read some of the stories in our family cookbook years later. Not only the stories from my loved ones gone before me, but also from my children and nieces and nephews.

 

The house my grandparents lived in still stands in Reliance today. I don't pass it but what I think of them. It will soon be demolished, and I feel a part of my family history will also be lost. However, we will always have Grandma Ocheltree's Sour Cream Cookie recipe.

 

sour cream cookie family photo south dakota state fair greater midwest foodways alliance

 

 

GRANDMA OCHELTREE'S SOUR CREAM COOKIES

Ruth Ann McManns, Reliance, South Dakota

 

GRANDMA OCHELTREE'S SOUR CREAM COOKIES

(Original)

 

2 cups sugar

1  cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. soda

Vanilla

Flour

 

Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and sour cream with soda added to it.  Add vanilla and flour to make a soft dough. Roll dough out, cut with cookie cutter. Sprinkle with sugar and put a raisin in the center of each cookie. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes.

 

Grandma 0 always had these cookies in her cookie jar for an after school snack for us. Grandma got the recipe from her mother-in-law, Alice Ochiltree when grandma and grandpa were married in January 1907.

 

It is an old family recipe, nearly 100 years old.

Grandma Ocheltree's Sour Cream Cookies (revised)
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
5 1/2 cups flour
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs and sour cream with soda added to it. Add vanilla and flour to make a soft dough. I use the mixer until the last cup of flour then I mix by hand. Roll out on a floured board and cut with a cookie cutter. Put on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar. You may put a raisin in the center of each cookie. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes.