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:

  • The 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.
  • The Ocracoke Cook Book (usually referred to as the Yellow Cook Book), originally published about 1980 by the United Methodist Women of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.
  • Hoi 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
1 egg
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
1 egg
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 desired. Enjoy!

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
3 eggs
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.