Things Mother Used to Make: A Nostalgic Collection of Traditional Bread Recipes

There’s something incredibly comforting about the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. It brings back memories of childhood, warmth, and the love that went into every loaf. This collection of traditional bread recipes pays homage to the classics that mothers used to make, from hearty Boston Brown Bread to sweet, fried Bannocks. Let’s dive into these timeless recipes and bring a bit of nostalgia back into our kitchens.



  • 1 cupful of thick sour milk
  • 2 cupfuls of flour
  • 1/2 cupful of Indian meal
  • 1/4 cupful of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Mix the sour milk, flour, Indian meal, sugar, egg, soda, and salt together until you get a stiff batter.
  2. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture, about the size of a walnut, into boiling fat.
  3. Fry until golden brown and serve warm with maple syrup.

Boston Brown Bread


  • 1 cupful of rye meal
  • 1 cupful of graham meal
  • 1/2 cupful of flour
  • 1 cupful of Indian meal
  • 1 cupful of sweet milk
  • 1 cupful of sour milk
  • 1 cupful of molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoonful of soda


  1. Stir the rye meal, graham meal, flour, Indian meal, and salt together.
  2. Beat the soda into the molasses until it foams and then add the sour milk.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a well-greased tin pail.
  4. Place the pail into a kettle of boiling water and steam for three to four hours, keeping it tightly covered.

Brown Bread (Baked)


  • 1 cupful of Indian meal
  • 1 cupful of rye meal (scant)
  • 1/2 cupful of flour
  • 1 cupful of molasses
  • 1 cupful of milk or water
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda


  1. Combine the meals and flour.
  2. Stir the soda into the molasses until it foams, then add the milk or water.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased tin pail with a cover.
  4. Bake for two and a half hours.

Coffee Cakes


  • Leftover yeast bread dough


  1. When your dough for yeast bread is risen and light, cut off small pieces.
  2. Roll each piece into a rope about the thickness of a finger and four inches long.
  3. Fold and twist each piece to form a two-inch-long twist.
  4. Fry in deep fat and serve hot with coffee.

Corn Meal Gems


  • 2 cupfuls of flour
  • 1 cupful of corn meal (bolted is best)
  • 2 cupfuls of milk
  • 1 teaspoonful of baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cupful of sugar
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt


  1. Stir the flour and meal together, then add the cream of tartar, soda, salt, and sugar.
  2. Beat the egg, add the milk to it, and stir into the other ingredients.
  3. Bake in a gem-pan for twenty minutes.

Cream of Tartar Biscuits


  • 1 pint of flour
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
  • 1 tablespoonful of lard


  1. Stir the cream of tartar, soda, salt, and lard into the flour.
  2. Mix with milk or water, handling as little as possible.
  3. Roll out the dough and cut into rounds.
  4. Bake until golden brown.



  • Use the recipe for doughnuts, adding one egg and a little more butter.


  1. Roll a small piece of the dough to the size of your finger and eight inches long.
  2. Double it and twist the two rolls together.
  3. Fry in boiling fat until golden brown.

Delicious Dip Toast


  • Bread slices
  • Hot, salted milk
  • Butter
  • 1 quart of milk
  • 2 tablespoonfuls of flour


  1. Cut slices of bread, half an inch thick, and toast each side to a delicate brown.
  2. Dip the toasted slices into hot, salted milk until soft.
  3. Lay them on a platter and spread a little butter over each slice.
  4. Heat one quart of milk in a double boiler and salt to taste.
  5. Wet the flour with a little water, stir until smooth, and pour into the milk when boiling.
  6. Cook until thickened to the consistency of rich cream, then pour over the toasted bread. Serve hot.



  • 1 egg
  • 1 cupful of milk
  • 1 1/2 cupfuls of sugar
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • Piece of butter the size of a walnut
  • 1/4 teaspoonful of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Salt and flour to roll soft


  1. Beat the egg and sugar together and add the milk and butter.
  2. Stir the soda and cream of tartar into the flour, dry.
  3. Mix all together, adding flour and salt as needed.
  4. Cut into rings and fry in deep fat.
  5. Lay them on brown paper when you take them from the fat.

Fried Bread


  • Slices of stale bread
  • Pork or bacon fat
  • Milk or water
  • Salt to taste


  1. After frying pork or bacon, put slices of stale bread into the fat.
  2. As it fries, pour a little milk or water over each slice and salt to taste.
  3. Turn and fry on the opposite side until golden brown.

German Toast


  • 1 cupful of milk
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 or 5 slices of bread


  1. Beat together the egg, milk, and salt.
  2. Dip slices of stale bread into this mixture.
  3. Fry on a griddle in butter or pork fat until golden brown.
  4. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

Soft Gingerbread


  • 1 cupful of molasses
  • 1 cupful of sour milk
  • 1/2 cupful of butter or lard
  • 1 teaspoonful of ginger
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
  • Flour for a stiff batter


  1. Stir the soda into the molasses until it foams, then add sour milk, ginger, salt, and melted butter.
  2. Gradually add enough flour to form a stiff batter.
  3. Pour into a greased baking sheet and bake until done.

Huckleberry Cake


  1. Pick over, wash, and flour one cupful of fresh huckleberries.
  2. Add the berries to the batter for soft gingerbread.
  3. Serve hot with butter.

Quick Graham Bread


  • 1 pint of graham meal
  • 1/2 cupful of molasses
  • 1 cupful of sour milk
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt


  1. Stir soda into the molasses, add sour milk and salt.
  2. Mix all together with the meal, beating well.
  3. Bake for thirty minutes in a moderate oven.

Graham Bread (Raised Overnight)


  • 3 cupfuls of flour
  • 3 cupfuls of graham meal
  • 3 tablespoonfuls of sugar
  • 1 tablespoonful of lard
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
  • 1 yeast cake


  1. Mix flour and meal together and rub in lard, sugar, and salt.
  2. Dissolve the yeast cake in half a cup of cold water.
  3. Mix with warm water at night and set in a warm place to rise.
  4. In the morning, stir and let rise to twice its bulk.
  5. Knead and put in baking pans. Let rise again and bake for forty-five minutes.

Graham Muffins


  • 1 pint of graham flour
  • 1/2 pint of white flour
  • 1/2 cupful of molasses
  • 1 teaspoonful of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt


  1. Put the salt into the flour and soda into the molasses.
  2. Stir all together and mix with milk or water.
  3. Drop into muffin tins and bake for twenty minutes.

Sour Milk Griddle Cakes


  • 2 cupfuls of sour milk
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
  • Flour for a thin batter


  1. Stir the soda and salt into the milk and add flour enough to make a thin batter.

Ultimate Summer Herb Guide: Grow and Enjoy Fresh Herbs All Season Long

Summer is the perfect season to cultivate a thriving herb garden. With longer days and warmer temperatures, many herbs flourish, adding fresh flavors to your dishes and aromas to your garden. This comprehensive guide explores the best herbs to grow in summer, tips for caring for them, and creative ways to use your summer herb harvest.


Growing herbs in the summer is a rewarding and enjoyable activity that provides fresh, flavorful ingredients for your kitchen and a fragrant, green space in your garden or balcony. This guide will help you choose the best herbs to grow in summer, provide tips for planting and caring for your herbs, and inspire you with creative ways to use and preserve your herb harvest.

Best Herbs to Grow in Summer

Basil is a quintessential summer herb, thriving in warm temperatures and full sun. There are many varieties of basil, including sweet basil, Thai basil, and lemon basil, each with its unique flavor profile. Use basil fresh in salads, pestos, and as a garnish for a variety of dishes.

Mint is a hardy herb that grows well in summer but can become invasive if not contained. Plant mint in a pot to control its spread. Varieties like spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint are perfect for teas, desserts, and refreshing summer drinks.

Rosemary loves the heat and can tolerate dry conditions, making it an excellent choice for summer gardens. Its woody stems and aromatic needles are perfect for seasoning meats, potatoes, and bread. Rosemary can also be used to make herbal oils and wreaths.

Thyme is a drought-tolerant herb that thrives in sunny, well-drained soil. It has a subtle, earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. Thyme also has medicinal properties and can be used in teas and salves.

Oregano is a robust herb that flourishes in the summer sun. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, adding a punch of flavor to pizzas, pastas, and grilled meats. Oregano is also a natural antiseptic and can be used in homemade cleaning products.

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a fast-growing herb that prefers cooler summer temperatures and partial shade. It is widely used in Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. Both the leaves and seeds (coriander) are edible, offering a fresh, citrusy flavor.

Dill grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is commonly used in pickling and adds a fresh, tangy flavor to salads, fish dishes, and sauces. The delicate fronds can also be used to garnish dishes, while the seeds are a great addition to bread and spice mixes.

Chives are a versatile herb with a mild onion flavor. They grow well in summer and prefer full sun to partial shade. Use fresh chives to add a burst of flavor to salads, soups, and egg dishes. The edible purple flowers also make a beautiful garnish.

Planting and Growing Summer Herbs

Choosing the Right Location
Select a sunny location for your herb garden, as most summer herbs require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Ensure the site has well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

Soil Preparation and Fertilization
Prepare your soil by mixing in organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve fertility and drainage. Herbs generally do not require heavy fertilization, but a balanced, slow-release fertilizer can support healthy growth.

Watering and Mulching
Water your herbs regularly, especially during dry spells, but avoid overwatering. Most herbs prefer slightly dry soil between waterings. Mulch around your herbs with organic materials like straw or bark to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Companion Planting
Companion planting involves growing herbs alongside other plants to enhance growth, repel pests, or improve flavor. For example, planting basil near tomatoes can deter pests and improve tomato flavor, while mint can repel ants and aphids.

Caring for Your Summer Herb Garden

Pruning and Harvesting
Regular pruning encourages bushy growth and prevents herbs from becoming leggy. Harvest herbs in the morning when their essential oils are most concentrated. Use sharp scissors or pruners to cut just above a leaf node, and avoid removing more than one-third of the plant at a time.

Pest and Disease Management
Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Use organic pest control methods, such as insecticidal soap or neem oil, to manage infestations. Prevent diseases by ensuring good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and removing any diseased foliage promptly.

Tips for Container Gardening
Growing herbs in containers is ideal for small spaces and allows for better control over soil and water conditions. Use pots with drainage holes and a high-quality potting mix. Group herbs with similar water and light needs together, and rotate the containers regularly to ensure even sun exposure.

Creative Uses for Fresh Summer Herbs

Culinary Uses
Incorporate fresh herbs into your cooking to enhance flavor and nutrition. Add basil to pasta dishes, mint to fruit salads, rosemary to roasted meats, and thyme to soups. Experiment with herb-infused oils, butters, and vinegars for a gourmet touch.

Herbal Teas and Infusions
Make refreshing herbal teas and infusions with your summer herbs. Combine mint, lemon balm, and chamomile for a soothing tea, or try a mix of basil, rosemary, and sage for a more robust flavor. Infused waters with herbs and fruits are also a healthy and delicious way to stay hydrated.

DIY Beauty and Skincare
Use fresh herbs to create natural beauty and skincare products. Infuse oils with lavender, rosemary, or chamomile for homemade lotions and balms. Create a soothing facial steam with mint and eucalyptus, or make a refreshing herbal toner with witch hazel and thyme.

Home Fragrance and Decor
Fresh herbs can be used to make your home smell wonderful and look beautiful. Create herb bundles or wreaths with rosemary, lavender, and sage. Make potpourri with dried herbs and flowers, or simmer herbs on the stove with citrus peels for a natural air freshener.

Preserving and Storing Summer Herbs

Drying Herbs
Drying is a simple and effective way to preserve herbs. Bundle small bunches of herbs and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area. Alternatively, use a dehydrator or an oven set to low heat. Once dry, store the herbs in airtight containers away from light and moisture.

Freezing Herbs
Freezing preserves the fresh flavor of herbs. Chop the herbs and place them in ice cube trays, covering them with water or olive oil. Once frozen, transfer the herb cubes to a freezer bag for easy use in soups, stews, and sauces.

Making Herb-Infused Oils and Vinegars
Create flavorful herb-infused oils and vinegars by steeping fresh herbs in a base oil or vinegar. Use sterilized jars and bottles, and store the infusions in a cool, dark place. Herb-infused oils and vinegars add a gourmet touch to salads, marinades, and dressings.


Growing summer herbs is a rewarding endeavor that provides fresh, flavorful ingredients for your kitchen and a fragrant, green space in your garden. By choosing the right herbs, providing proper care, and using your harvest creatively, you can enjoy the benefits of a thriving summer herb garden. Start planting today and discover the joys of home-grown herbs.

This nostalgic collection of traditional bread recipes brings the warmth and love of homemade baking back into our kitchens. From the crispy edges of Bannocks to the soft sweetness of Boston Brown Bread, these recipes are a testament to the simple yet delicious traditions that have been passed down through generations. Enjoy baking and sharing these comforting classics with your loved ones.


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