Every now and then I publish an island recipe on our
Ocracoke Journal. In this month’s Ocracoke Newsletter I share a few more
recipes taken from three island cookbooks:
Ocracoke Cook Book (usually referred to as the Green Cook Book),
originally published sometime in the early 1960s by the Woman’s Society of
Christian Service of the United Methodist church.
Ocracoke Cook Book (usually referred to as the Yellow Cook Book),
originally published about 1980 by the United Methodist Women of Ocracoke Island,
Toiders’ Recipes and Remembrances, first published in 1993 by the Ocracoke
Fire Protection Association.
Clam Fritters, by Mrs. Bertha O’Neal (Green Cook Book)
1 quart clams chopped fine
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Salt & pepper
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together. Add to
clams. Beat in egg. Fry in hot fat till brown. Serves about six.
Crab Cakes by
Mrs. Elizabeth G. Howard (Green Cook Book)
1 ½ lb cooked crab meat
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tblsp finely chopped onion
2 tblsp finely chopped green pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp thyme
Blend mixture, form into medium size cakes. Roll cakes
lightly in flour and fry in deep hot Crisco until brown and crisp. Serve with
hot Tabasco sauce.
Stewed Wild Goose
by Mrs. Eva Williams (Green Cook Book)
¼ lb salt pork
¼ cup flour
8 potatoes halved
Corn dumplings or drop pastry dumplings
Cut up goose
Salt & pepper
Pod of red pepper
In large pot fry out salt pork until light brown, add flour
slightly browned, add cut up fowl. Add salt, pepper, pod red pepper, and enough
water to cover. Cook until tender, then add potatoes and corn dumplings. Lay
dumplings in top or add drop dumplings when nearly done.
Wild ducks prepared the same way but ingredients will have
to be reduced according to number and size of ducks.
Old Drum Ocracoke
Style by Danny & Margaret Garrish (Yellow Cook Book)
The “ceremony:” Boil drum in lightly salted water until it
flakes. In another pot, boil about 2 medium potatoes per person. Hard boil 2
eggs per person. Dice a good size bowl of onions. Dice and fry out (render)
salt pork until brown and crunchy.
Assemble at the table, fixing each plate individually. Mash
potatoes with fork, flake drum in with potatoes and sprinkle generously with
diced onion. Add salt, pepper and chop up the hard boiled egg in the mixture,
adding a good helping of cracklings and grease. Sprinkle with vinegar if
Be sure to mix enough on the first plate. Somehow the second
plateful never tastes as good as the first. Never plan anything for a couple of
hours after you eat this. Just slide under the table and rest a spell. Don’t
forge the baked cornbread and lots of butter.
Shrimp Pie by
Dell Scarborough (Yellow Cook Book)
½ stick margarine
2 hard boiled eggs
Salt & pepper to taste
2 lbs shelled shrimp
2 cup diced potatoes
1 small onion
1 recipe biscuit dough
Cook shrimp until tender; add cooked potatoes, chopped
onions, margarine, chopped eggs, pepper and salt. Add 3 c. of hot water and
cook for 5 minutes. Thicken with a tbsp. of cornstarch which has been mixed
with a little cold water. Pour in a fairly deep baking pan. Cover the top with
rolled-our biscuit dough. Bake until brown (15 or 20 minutes). Serve hot with
cole slaw and sliced tomatoes.
Soft Cornbread by
Hilda Scarborough (Yellow Cook Book)
1 cup white cornmeal
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp bacon grease or oil
½ cup sugar
Put cornmeal and water on stove to heat until the meal
leaves side of pan. Stir once in a while. Then add other ingredients and mix
well. Bake in greased pan, 9 x 12 x 2 inches at 375 degrees about 40 minutes.
Fig Preserves by
Mildred O’Neal (Hoi Toiders)
10 quarts of figs
5 lbs of sugar
Wash figs and let stand overnight with sugar. Next morning
put on to cook in a large pot. Cook over low heat until very hot, then medium
until it boils. Cut back to low and cook about 6 hours until thick. Pack into
jars and seal at once. Makes about 3 quarts or 6 pints.
Wilma’s Easter Eggs
by Wilma Austin Williams (Hoi Toiders)
2 packages of powdered sugar
½ cup chopped nuts
½ pound of butter, softened
½ box of raisins
1 small jar of maraschino cherries, cut up and their juice
1 small can of coconut
1 8 ounce package of Bakers chocolate
Put sugar in a large bowl and work in softened butter. Add
nuts, raisins, coconut and cherries. Slowly add juice until mixture can be
molded into egg shapes. Set egg shapes onto waxed paper and chill. Melt
chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Spoon it over chilled egg shapes.
Chill again and when hardened decorate with icing, candies or candied fruit.
Frances’ Fig Cake
by Frances O’Neal
1 cup of Crisco oil
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of buttermilk
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of allspice
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 pint of fig preserves, chopped
1 cup of chopped nuts
Mix oil and sugar. Beat and add eggs. Add dry ingredients
alternately with buttermilk. Add figs and nuts last. Mix well. Bake in a tube
pan for 1 hour or until done.
These are just a few of the many recipes for delicious
island foods that you can find in these three books. You can purchase the
Yellow Cook Book, as well as other island cookbooks, here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/cook.htm.
The Green Cook Book is available at the Ocracoke Preservation Museum. Hoi
Toiders is out of print.