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The Old Farmhouse Kitchen: Recipes and Old-time Nostalgia


What evokes the same happy memories as licking an ice cream cone, Mom's fresh cookies, the old swimming hole, gathering with your cousins and lots of the best food in the world? At least, in your own world! My goal with writing this Farm Cookbook is to provide the subtle ambiance a farm life as it created in your own kitchen! Whether you are a farm girl or a farmer, or just wish you were, this book will produce irresistible creations and charm. Within yourself, there must be the desire to cook recipe with simple goodness, a recipe easy to follow that will, and does, provide refreshing success.

About the Author

Frances Anna Gillette was born in Vancouver, Washington, and raised in Yacolt, Washington. Fran is the oldest of seven children and learned to cook at a very young age, when food on the farm was simple and wholesome. Frances A. Abernathy married Francis W. Gillette in 1959; together they were blessed with eight children. “The Old Farmhouse Kitchen” is Fran’s fourth published and copyrighted cookbook. Fran printed “Tastes of Country” four times and now those books are gone. This book contains several of those treasured recipes. Fran says “Thank you” to all the people who have bought and used her recipe books. Her goal is to share good recipes and she feels passionate about keeping good food on the table.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

In upper Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, is a copper mining area known as “The Copper Country.” Copper has been mined here since the ancient times. The copper is pure native copper. This is the only place in the world where it was mined commercially.

Most of the grandparents of the people I grew up with were from “the old country” (i.e., England, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Italy, France). Cornwall, England, was highly represented as the Cornish had been expert miners for centuries, mostly mining tin. The tin mining in Cornwall was dying out, and when the Cornish heard of the copper mining opening up, they came in droves. Wherever they go they are known as “Cousin Jacks.” The story is if the mines needed new help, they always had a cousin Jack that came to work.

The Cornish men got the jobs as bosses as they were the only newcomers who spoke English. They brought with them their Cornish pasty, a juicy meat and vegetable mixture enclosed in a pastry crust. If you insist on being genuinely Cornish, you use only rutabaga as the vegetable. In this day, everyone's pasty is as individual as everyone's bread. Even as little children, we always had a cup of tea with our pasty, English style, a custom my mother learned from the Cornish.

My sister cross-stitched a picture of the typical lunch pail of the miner. In the bottom went the hot tea, which kept the pasty warm. In the upper part went the pasty. I heard recently that some of the old timers made the pasty half meat and vegetable and the other half fruit. ― CORINNE KYSAR

From Corinne Kysar. Corinne says she uses pork sausage for lean pork.

2 cups lean ground beef
3/4 cup lean pork
3 cups potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium rutabaga,
 (can be diced or grated)
2 tsp. salt
Plenty of pepper

Combine all ingredients. Use your own crust recipe. Use a luncheon plate for a guide when cutting pastry out for pasty. Place 3/4 cup of mixture on lower half of circle and dot with butter. Fold top over and crimp edges to seal. Pierce top crust with fork. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 for 45 minutes.

Corinne says, “a true Cornish pasty has no carrots in it.” In place of potatoes, use frozen hash browns, a wonderful tip from Alice Ek.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Fran Gillette Cookbooks (June 1, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0963606646
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0963606648
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.69 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.4 x 0.4 x 11 inches