My grandmother used to say, "I'm not a "fancy" cook.
Lucile's mother, Harriet Serepta Knapp Ellingwood, did not learn to cook as a girl, as the cooking was done by others. By the early 1900's, times had changed and when the family moved to the Lazy E Ranch, located between Collinsville and Skiatook, Mrs. Ellingwood required Lucile to go into the kitchen and learn to cook from the ranch cooks. That certainly explains why we are not "fancy" cooks in our family.
Later, as a young wife and new mother, Lucile continued learning the "Southern style" cooking from her mother-in-law, Ulala McAfee Morrow, extended family and neighbor ladies. She learned how to use local plants, herbs and bulbs in her cooking. Preparation was from foods that were readily available from the farm. A "mess of greens" with warm skillet cornbread slathered with fresh butter and sorghum molasses or preserves was commonly served as a summer night's meal. Fresh farm eggs were often scrambled into the greens to add extra nutrition. It was quick, easy and healthy and didn't add to the heat in the house in the summertime.
As you review the recipes, notice that the older recipes contain varying amounts of flour, lard or butter, eggs, milk and a small amount of sugar. The amounts of the ingredients change as the recipes progress from a biscuit dough to a bread dough to an egg bread or sweet dough to a cake. Note that there are no mixing directions or baking directions. Girls received "directions" as they worked side-by-side in the kitchen with their mothers, older sisters, aunts or extended family members. In addition, there are no baking times or temperatures. Cooking on a wood stove must have been quite a challenge!
Just a generation later, cooking methods across our nation changed drastically. By the 1940's, most of the country's homes had natural gas and/or electricity along with modern kitchen appliances. More efficient transportation brought a variety of foods never possible before. As a result, commercial entities marketed new foods to consumers by providing recipes. An example are the Sunkist recipes that show housewives various ways to eat oranges. This was a promotional campaign by the California fruit growers to increase the use (and sales) of citrus fruits across the nation. No longer was an orange just a special treat to be found in a stocking on Christmas morning.
By the 1950's, recipes began to incorporate various prepared foods, often as a "base". For example, a mayonnaise cake or a Jello salad. By this time, recipes provided very exact mixing and baking directions including exact oven temperatures and cooking times.
Heritage recipes are fun to try. I hope you have a good time as you enjoy a nice piece of Golden Angelfood Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream along with a nice cold glass of Boiled Eggnog or a nice scoop of Frozen Custard.