Archive for category Olive’s Recipe Box

Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box – Sauerkraut Salad – may lead to bloating and flatulence

Warning: Excessive consumption of sauerkraut may lead to bloating and flatulence.

This is a series of posts of one of the recipes that came from my grandmother Olive Roll Howes’ recipe box.

Do you love sauerkraut and looking for a healthier way to add it to your plate? You mean I don’t have to have it with fatted and salted sausages, served on top a hot dog made with processed ____ (well, you fill in the blank)? Yes, there are alternatives. But…here is the disclaimer. There is a bit of sugar in this recipe.

Unpasteurized sauerkraut has health benefits. You know, the most important ones, low calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kraut has more beneficial bacteria1 than live yogurt. About that fiber, might I suggest this dish for Friday or Saturday? That way you won’t offend your co-workers during the work week.Sauerkraut Salad1 jar – 32 ounce Sauerkraut        1 chopped green pepper
1/3 cup white vinegar                  2 chopped small onions
1 cup of sugar                                4 stalks chopped celery

Pour sauerkraut into colander, run cold water through it and set aside to drain.
Combine vinegar with sugar, boil 1 (one) minute, then set aside to cool.
Mix sauerkraut with chopped green pepper, onions, and celery.
When syrup is cool, pour over vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Recipe Variations
There are plenty of sugar substitutes that could be used, such as honey or agave nectar. That could help with the sugar rush. I would try cutting up the small snack size red or orange peppers to add color to the dish.

Before you ask, “Why don’t you include an image of the dish?” This series is about the recipe cards themselves. If I can find a “royalty free” image that resembles the dish, I will post it. If not, no go.

1Wikipedia and TheGuardian (

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Oleo, Texas Cake and Frosting – Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box

Here is another recipe from my grandmother’s box.

Oleo!  I am that old to remember hearing the word when I was growing up.  The word was used in reference to butter in my grandmother’s house.  Oleo is an out-dated word for margarine.  Back in time, Oleo was made with vegetable oils.  I am not in the mood to debate with anyone on what ingredients margarine is made with today.  Yes, I use butter.  A pound of butter usually lasts about two months in my house.

Finding a recipe in Grandma Olive’s recipe box was a delight.  It brought back memories of her cooking at the family cottage.  I loved her peach or apple cobblers.  The crust on the bottom and top, tasted wonderfully.  Unfortunately, no cobbler recipes have been found. I remember that she made them in a meatloaf or rectangular dish.

I found the index card for Texas cake that listed Oleo as an ingredient.  The recipe could have been written back in the 1960’s.  The card did not list any frosting which I thought was odd, because this is a sheet cake.  Thumbing through the stack, I located the Frosting for Texas cake index card.

I do not remember having this cake at any family gatherings.  Nor, have I ever made this cake.  So if you try the recipe, let met know.  The goal for Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box is to share a part of her life.  To memorialize her to family members that didn’t get to know her.  And, not let her be forgotten.

The size of the sheet pan is not listed.  Based on the amount of ingredients, it is probably a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13 pan.  The baking time is not listed either.  A good baker knows to cook a cake until it’s done and does not use a timer.  A pan of that size may take about 20-30 minutes.  Oven temps vary, make sure to check the cake at 20 minutes to see if it needs to bake a little longer.  Don’t ask me.  I bake brownies and cookies.

Texas Cake

2 sticks Oleo (margarine)Texas Cake
4 Tbsp Cocoa (powder)
1 cup water – bring to boil
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix (above ingredients) well, then add 2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda

Spread/pour into pan and bake a 350 (degrees)

Frosting for Texas Cake

1 stick of Oleo
4 Tbsp of cocoa (powder)
6 Tbsp of milk (boil one minute)
add vanilla (probably 1 tsp) and mix well
Optional – Add nuts (pecans) 1/2 to 1 cup
[Spread over cooled Texas Cake]


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Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box – Dutch Coleslaw

My aunts and my mother were divvying up my grandmother, Olive Roll Howes (1910-1996), belongings after she was moved to a nursing home in 1990’s. I think my mother ended up with the bulk of the paper files in several boxes. I was amazed at the number of boxes my mother brought home. My grandmother lived in a senior citizen apartment. The square footage was small, probably around 500 sq. feet.

My mother was sorting through the boxes at our house and there was no time to do it at grandmother’s place. As I watched my mother, I was exclaiming, “Where did Grandma find the space to put all the “stuff” in her tiny apartment? “ Being curious person genealogists can be, I started reading the letters, slips of paper, piles of statements, and et cetera in amazement.

There were cancelled checks from the 1950’s. Garnishment receipts for child support payments from an Uncle. 1952 military training records for the same uncle while he was training in Florida. A letter from her great uncle regarding burial plots, an envelope with a torn out page from the phone book.  The page contain surnames of possible relatives she was trying to track down in Kentucky or Indiana. Genealogy is genetic. I still treasure those items today.

Dutch Coleslaw Recipe

Dutch Coleslaw Recipe

It is amazing what she kept. At the time, I managed to snag a few items and placed them in my room. Lucky that I did. My mother threw out a lot of the boxes during one of her cleaning sprees. I do not want to take a gander what treasure trove was thrown out. A couple of boxes did end up at my sister’s house. I went through and grabbed what I could when I found the boxes in the attic.

In among the paper files were recipes Olive collected. Some came from her friends that I remember from my childhood. Others were copied from newspapers in her own handwriting to index cards. The cards provide a lovely example of her handwriting. Compared to mine, Olive’s penmanship remained flowing and fluid even in her older years.  The handwriting is similar to my own mother’s. Seeing the writing reminds of her and brings a tear to my eyes. My own mother passed away 12 years ago.

I am posting the Dutch Coleslaw recipe today, because it is a play on words.  The word “coleslaw” is derived from the Dutch word “koolsla.” So why call it Dutch coleslaw?   Even though I have Dutch settlers who arrived in the 17th century, this is not a family recipe handed down through time.  Because this recipe lists mayonnaise as an ingredient, which was was invented in the 1800’s.

Dutch Coleslaw
Shred cabbage for 1 quart, plus 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrotsSoak in salt water in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Press out water.
Dressing – 1/4 cup of vinegar,  1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 c of sugar, add salt to taste
[add dressing to shredded cabbage and mix]
Let stand in refrigerator – several hours to blend flavors


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