Thursday, November 14, 2013

Great-Great Grandma Dunmire's Burn Salve and Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt Block

***** Congratulations to Julie Fukuda and Bonni *****
the two winners of a copy of Secret Santa
including Marie Bostwick's short story "The Yellow Rose of Christmas."
Happy Reading, you two!  Julie and Bonni, please send your mailing address to, and I'll send your book to you.  And thank you to Kensington Books for this wonderful give-away!

While reading the short stories found in Aunt Jane of Kentucky, I thought of this old family recipe for burn salve from my Great-Great Grandma Dunmire: 
Great-Great Grandma Dunmire’s Burn Salve
1 pound lard
1 pound rosin (sealing wax)
10 ounces beeswax
2 ounces oil of lavender

Simmer together the lard, rosin, and beeswax.  Stir constantly until well blended.  Cool to lukewarm.  Stir in the oil of lavender until well mixed.  Pour into small jars.  Use as a dressing.  Change twice a day or more if needed.

You can see one of the beautiful quilts Grandma Dunmire made here

If you'd like to make the Grandmother's Flower Garden block shown above, here's a wonderful video by Eleanor Burns.

Do you have an interesting old family recipe that Aunt Jane might have used?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comments sections below for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's just-released book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Only one of my grandmothers cooked like Aunt Jane, but, I don't ever remember her using a recipe, unless it was for pecan pie, and that recipe, unfortunately, went missing before she died. My mother also doesn't remember her using many recipes. She just added a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.... and it always came out wonderful. My hubby's grandmother used recipes, but, not measuring cups. Instead, she'd pull out a coffee cup (or mug) and use that. Sometimes the cup was small, and sometimes she pulled out a large mug. Oops! That made a big difference in how the recipe came out.

  2. I am reminded by Cheryl of my mother's tales of learning how to cook some favorite things from her mother-in-law, and her frustration with recipes that were measured out in pinches and handfuls. I do have some old recipes I have not tried in years, but copied them from Mom and Gram before getting married and moving to Japan. I recall how much I enjoyed "Swedish meat ring" ... just a plain mix of cooked ground meat but spread over biscuit dough, rolled up, put in a ring shape, and then sliced and twisted before being baked.

    1. Oh yes, and I can hardly believe I actually won a book. Can you see my smile from halfway around the world?

  3. My grandmother was a great cook! Most of her recipes were in her head. She loved to bake and her dinner rolls were perfection. She used measuring tools but sometimes added a pinch or dash more.

  4. Woo hoo! I won? I can't believe. I'll send you my address. That is just what I needed as a pick me up after a long week at work. As for the recipe....My grandmother believed all things could be handled by hugs. She didn't need a recipe for that. She was a great cook though. Nothing fancy but good sturdy farm food. We never went to her place without smelling food cooking. Cookies or jam, etc. Mom told her not to spoil us and she would say, "I'm not spoiling them. These cookies had to be reheated in the oven to soften them up so they wouldn't break their teeth on them they were so hard." Mom would just look at the sink and counter where the flour and eggs were still out and the dishes in the sink and calmly said "uh huh". :) By the way, my grandmother would set out cookies at Christmas time for Santa and our Barbie's would get a vacation at the North Pole every Thanksgiving. There was a magical step that would transport them to the North Pole after everybody had gone to bed. They would come back with a whole new wardrobe and were so kind as to remember to bring Grandma an apron (as a thank you for being their travel agent)that just happened to match the material of their new wardrobe.

  5. I have an old recipe my aunt gave me--for Lefse! I can't imagine why I would want to make Lefse, though. LOL (sorry to those Norwegians who love it)

  6. In pioneer days in the Midwest, women had to be doctor and nurse, in addition their many other jobs. Burns were fairly common from open fires, etc. My mother, as the wife of a farmer/rancher, made this salve to use for the men in her early days (Kansas during the 1930's) . It was very soothing and healing. I have a very old book for pioneer women giving recipes, and necessary information such as "How to deliver a baby".

  7. My mum makes the lightest "golden syrup dumplings". Mine never work.
    My mother in law use to make the best "rice pudding" but once her tin tray was damaged she couldn't get the recipe right. She was unable to help me get it sorted.
    So unfortunately I am not that lucky to be able to pass it down.

  8. Not for food but like Aunt Jane's a remedy. My mom was very much a teetotaler. I remember my surprise when I found that the cough medicine she gave us kids was made from equal parts of honey, lemon juice and whiskey!


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