I Wuz Just Thinking: Old friends and old recipes


Where the teepees once stood were a Church, the General Store, the Grist Mill, the Saloon and the cotton Gin, Saw Mill and School.  


I love browsing through them, especially if I am familiar with the person who submitted the recipes.

Recently, the 1968 copy of a Cherokee Club Cookbook was sitting on a corner table top in my den. I wuz just thinking of my mother as my brother, John Mahurin, gave this cookbook to our mother, Lou Ella Mahurin, for Christmas that year.


Our dad, John Herbert Mahurin, told his children that we originated from the Cherokee tribe of American Indians.  He was born in Indian Territory of Oklahoma and grew up near the towns of Wilson, Woodard, Sulphur, and Sugar Creek.

“The East Texas Cherokee,” he said, “came from the Carolinas, being driven westward by the white settlers in their greed for land.  These Cherokee discovered the fertile lands and lush streams of the pine country.  They then left their indelible mark upon this land.

“The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 created neutral ground or a “No Man’s Land” between Spain, who owned Texas, and the United States.  In this buffer state north of the Sabine, the Caddo, the Cherokee and many friendly tribes dwelt in plenty.

“Here, the white occupancy was recorded in 1824 by land grants made by the Republic of Mexico.  In time, the white man came in great numbers pushing the peaceful tribes farther and farther to the west.  Only the names such as Cherokee Creek and Cherokee Lake remain to remind us of those early days.”

Betty Mahurin Baker

Where the teepees once stood on the shores of fish filled creeks grew Elderville, Peatown, Fredonia, and other settlements.  Here stood the Church, the General Store, the Grist Mill, the Saloon and the cotton Gin, Saw Mill and School.  Home was a cabin raised with the help of the neighbors.

Within the Cherokee Club cookbook itself, was a handwritten recipe given to my mother by our friend, Hazel Still.  This “Apple Sauce Cake” recipe had been hunted by her children Juanita, “Bullet”, Linda Nell, and a younger brother, for years.  I knew Hazel had given it to my mother, but I had no idea in what book or box she may have placed it.

Another hand written recipe was stapled to a divider. It was “Cherrie Salad Supreme” by Vivian Morris.

In some of the recipes, Mother had marked through the printed ingredients or added ingredients to her liking.

The Cherokee Club kitchen had recipes, and I recognized of some of the dishes my mother prepared when she catered social events: Cheese wafers, olive cheese balls, date muffins, cheese grits, and others.

I enjoy reading the recipes and seeing the names of the Kilgorites who I knew when I was growing up.

Mrs. Leroy Rader’s “Chocolate Icing”,  ‘Brown Sugar and Date Pudding,”  and “Chicken Pie.”

Mrs. Thelma Morris and her “Fudge cake,” “Stuffed Pork Chops,” “Pumpkin Chips,” and “Fig Preserves.”

Mrs. E.C. Middlebrook and her “Coffee cake” and “Lemon Ice Cream Pie.

Mrs. O.N. Pederson “Sunday Morning Rolls,” “Swedish Meat Balls,” “Green Peas,” and “Strawberry Preserves”.

Mrs. Fay Hamilton’s “Angel Pie.”

Cammie Elder and her “Miss Cammie’s Pound Cake”.

Mrs. Frank Elder, Jr. with her “Chocolate Pound cake.”

Mrs. S. W. Ross “Devi’s Spice Cake,” “Sugar Cookies,” and “Old Recipe Cream Pie”.

Mrs. B. G. Bronstad “Ice Box Cookies.”

Mrs. Joe Taliaferro “Praline Kisses,” “Rum Balls,” “Baked Beans,” and  “Tomato Catsup.”

Mrs. L.N. Crim’s “Salmon Souffle.”

Nora Elder “Ham Roll,”  “Pear Conserve,” and  “Chili Sauce.”

Mrs. A.P. Noyes with her”Pie Delight.”

Mrs. Jim McMurrey’s “Roast Turkey Southern Dressing” and  “Busy Day Soup.”

Now, to begin cooking by using the recipes and having wonderful memories of my mother and friends from years ago, as I wuz just thinking.

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