Family Recipe Friday: (Old-Fashioned) Salad Dressing

Benita (McGinnis) McCormick (1889 – 1984)

This recipe was written in Benita (McGinnis) McCormick’s hand on a back page of Congregational Church Recipes.  The book, first published in 1916 in Conneaut, Ohio, was a gift to her in 1921, presumably as a wedding gift, from her maternal aunt, Delia “Di” Gaffney.
The cookbook eventually made its way to my mother, Joan (Schiavon) Huesca and then to me.  It is now in the possession of my cousin, Suzanne, Benita’s granddaughter.
“To My Dear Detty,” reads this
inscription from Delia Gaffney,
on the inside first page of 
“Congregational  Church 
Recipes,” dated 1921.

Salad Dressing 

To one scant cup of vinegar, add a lump of butter the size of a walnut, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp. salt.  Set on stove in a glass.

Put in a dessert spoon full of cornstarch and ½ spoon flour, 1 tsp dry mustard and mix well.  Add enough water to make a smooth paste.  Beat egg and enough milk to fill the glass.  Stir well and add to vinegar mixture.  Cook till thick.


Being a good no-nonsense midwesterner, Benita titled the recipe simply, “Salad Dressing.”   Presumably, she used this recipe often, because the page on which it appears is mildly stained.  Her descriptions of the ingredients (“a lump of butter the size of a walnut”) are amusing yet typical of the time.
I wonder if she got the recipe from her mother?


Copyright ©  2014  Linda Huesca Tully

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