Saturday, August 6, 2011

Economy Quilt Block

      I made this little 6" Economy block from scraps left over from my Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 quilt.  I love these fabrics and fussy cut them to make the block look best.  I got the pattern from The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird. 
     In the story excerpt below, my grandmother describes the 1915 hog butchering time that she remembers very distinctly because of what her father told her and her sister Ruth. 

from A Kansas Yankee by Harriet Woodbury George -

"One particular afternoon in late winter, I remember we were in our old kitchen, Dad, Ruth, and I, working on the annual butchering job - not that the butchering job was ours then.  We just did the final part - we took care of the lard rendering and sausage grinding and seasoning.  Dad had salted the hams and bacon and would see to the smoking of those parts when the salt period ended.  There was the smoke house in our backyard where he would burn green hickory wood for the curing process.  The men would usually kill and dress five or six large fattened hogs for our summer pork meat and lard.  Up on our kitchen stove we rendered some of our lard, if the weather was not suitable to use the big iron kettle over a fire outside.  I was helping to fill the crockery jars and had some lard left.  I mentioned there was some melted lard in one kettle which was enough to fry some doughnuts.  Papa said, 'I don't think that would make anyone mad.'  His voice was happy as we were all glad to have a reward at the end of our greasy job.  I proceeded to stir up the ingredients for doughnuts.  Then he said in a little different tone, 'Maybe you girls know I am thinking of getting married.  I have asked Mrs. Daniels if she would, and I think she will.'
"Ruth spoke right away, something like 'I'm sure it's all right with me,' but for some reason I could not say a word.  I thought she was a fine woman, as we had visited her in her home a few times, but she had never been in our home.  Knowing she was a city woman, I could not imagine her making lard and sausage, cooking for a table full of farm hands, and most of all, taking the place of our Mamma."

  Mamma's Doughnuts
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Flour to make a soft dough

1.  Blend together the sugar and butter.
2.  Add the salt, egg, baking powder, milk, and vanilla.
3.  Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough that can be rolled without sticking to board.
4.  Roll out 3/8" thick and cut with doughnut cutter.
5.  Fry in deep fat.  Should be hot enough to brown a cube of bread in 40 seconds. 
6.  Dust with sugar.  Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.
My grandmother's notes:  "As in all old-fashioned recipes, the amount of flour is quite vague, probably due to the use of flour made from varieties of wheat that differed in texture.  A cook was supposed to know 'by the feel' it seems.  However, I prefer more exact measurements from modern cook books.  We always used lard for deep frying the doughnuts."
              from The Woodbury Larder: A Legacy published by Phyllis Woodbury Bryant


  1. Your block turned out great and I am enjoying the excerpt as always.

  2. I love how this came out using the Joel Dewberry fabrics. Awesome.

  3. Thank you. I love that whole fabric line.

  4. that block is really special with the fussy cute fabrics, looks great!

  5. so pretty, love the stories and recipes


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