Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Genevieve's Recipe Box: Thanksgiving Edition

Since it's time for another Thanksgiving dinner, it seemed like a good time to rifle through my grandma Genevieve's recipe box for vintage and heirloom recipes for the upcoming holiday. If you haven't finalized your menu yet and are looking for something new-but-old to try, here you go!

Rich Brown Giblet Gravy 

(Note: my dad still loves the turkey neck and giblets, because my grandma cooked them up so well.)

1 quart water
Turkey neck and giblets
1/2 cup flour
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons salt
Turkey fat
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet

Bring quart of water to boil. Add turkey neck and giblets, cook until tender. Drain off broth, measure and if necessary add additional water to make three cups total. Mince and add neck meat and giblets. In a separate bowl, blend thoroughly 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup cold water and 2 tsps. salt. Add to broth gradually, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Drain fat from roasting pan, measure and return 1/2 cup fat to the pan. Add thickened giblet sauce, stirring vigorously until thoroughly blended. Stir in two tsps. Kitchen Bouquet. Heat until thoroughly hot. Yields about one quart.

Broccoli Casserole

2 pkgs. frozen, chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs
4 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 cup Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 cup Ritz Crackers

Mix all ingredients except crumbs, pour into square, well-buttered baking dish. Sprinkle crumbs on top. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wild and Long Grain Rice Dressing for Duck or Cornish Hens

2 pkgs. rice (Will fill 3 cornish hens and make large casserole, or 1 pkg make small casserole) Use only 1/2 of herbs in one pkg.
bouillon cubes
1/2 pound ground beef (optional)
1 can mushroom pieces

Cook rice as on pkg, but add beef bouillon cubes. Brown onion and celery, cut up. Add about 1/2 pound of ground beef (optional). Add 1 can mushroom pieces. Add this to rice.

Note from Gen: I put giblets on top of rice casserole and cover it with foil until about done.

Whatever you end up doing for the holiday, I hope you have a great meal and great company! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Otis's Siblings: Delia and LG Latham

I've been doing a disservice to my great-great-grandfather Otis's sister Delia, by telling you all about her siblings and not devoting a whole post to her. So let's fix that today.

As you know, my grandmother's grandfather Otis Vaughn had three siblings who survived to adulthood. We've learned about his sister Phebe and his brother BF already. Today let's focus on his sister Delia, the second oldest of the Vaughn clan.

Cordelia Bowher Vaughn, circa 1860s?
Cordelia Bowher Vaughn was born in Tecumseh, Michigan on Feb. 16, 1833, during the few years that Sam and Sarah lived there before continuing on to Wisconsin. Delia was five years younger than BF. Another brother, Melvin, had been born in 1831, but died in infancy. When she was just two years old, Sam and Sarah had another daughter, Abbie, while living temporarily in Franklin, Michigan.

When she was four years old, Delia's parents packed up a covered wagon (including among their belongings two dozen dozen grafted apple trees*) and traveled south around Lake Michigan, passing through the fledgling town of Chicago the year it became incorporated as a city. Sam's sister Mary and her husband made the trip as well, so it's likely the extended family caravanned together through Chicago. They arrived in Spring Prairie in March, 1837. Delia had just turned four years old; she would live in Walworth County for the rest of her life.

When they first arrived in Spring Prairie, the little family  -- Sam and Sarah, BF, Delia and Abbie -- lived in a log cabin that Sam built. Phebe was born in the log cabin the next year. It wasn't until the fall of 1839 that Sam built the frame farmhouse on the property and they moved into a real house, so from the time she was four until she was seven, all Delia would have known was life in a log cabin or a covered wagon.

Two years after they moved into the farmhouse, my great-great-grandfather Otis was born there, rounding out the Vaughn family in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin.

LeGrand Latham, Delia's husband
In 1861, Delia married LeGrand (LG) Latham. LG was the son of early Elkhorn settlers Hollis Latham and Lemira (or Louisa?) Bradley Latham. In fact, LG's parents had the distinction of being the first couple married in the town of Elkhorn -- they were married there in April 1838.  LG was born in Elkhorn in January, 1839 and was named for another prominent early Elkhorn settler, LeGrand Rockwell. (Rockwell was the first clerk of court, register of deeds, acting postmaster and founder of the first bank in Elkhorn.)

Louisa Latham as a girl. She bears a resemblance to BF's four daugthers.

In 1862, Delia and LG had their first child -- a  son they named Hollis after LG's father. Three years later, a daughter was born. They named her Louisa.

Delia (back left) and Phebe pose with what appears to be LeGrand(?) and an unknown sitter
It seems they remained close with the Vaughn side of the family. Both Phebe and Delia had moved to Elkhorn when they were married, so it is safe to assume they saw each other often.  The few times that Delia and LG appear in Corinne's scrapbook, they are usually mentioned along with Delia's siblings.
  • Date unknown: Otis Vaughn and family, of Burlington; Peter Howard and wife; and LG Latham and wife, journeyed northward on Saturday afternoon until they came to Idlewild at Lake Lauderdale, where a week will be spent in pleasure and resting...
  • Date unknown: Mrs. Harriman and Mrs. Latham, of Elkhorn, made their brother, Mr. Otis Vaughn and family, in this village a pleasant visit last Friday, returning to the quiet village of Elkhorn in the evening after a day's pleasure viewing the sights of this bustling city [Burlington.]
I have not discovered what LG did for a living prior to 1876. But in that year, he and Phebe's husband Rufus became partners in a meat market in Elkhorn. Rufus eventually bought him out, and in 1900, LG's profession is listed as "nursery agent," so presumably he owned or was working for a nursery in the area.

Louisa and HDL Adkins wedding photo, 1887
In 1887, their daughter Louisa went on to marry HDL Adkins, who worked at the First National Bank in Elkhorn. Sadly, she died in 1889 at the age of 24, most likely from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. (Twenty years later, the same tragedy would befall Delia's niece Rispah. In fact, all of the Vaughn siblings would lose a daughter relatively young, echoing the loss of their own sister Abbie at the age of 15.)

Hollis married Emily Duckett and they went on to have just one child -- a daughter born five years after his sister Louisa passed away. They named their daughter after Louisa, but changed the spelling slightly to Louesa. Hollis found work with the railroad and moved his family all over Illinois -- they lived in Hancock, Chillicothe, Aleda and Rock Island. (Interestingly, Hollis's daugther Louesa seems to have been quite a wild child. She got pregnant at 16 and went on to have a total of nine children, the youngest of whom just passed away in 2007.)

Delia, later in life
Of Otis's siblings, Delia is the most enigmatic. I know the least about her life, perhaps because unlike Phebe, Delia had a child and grandchildren who survived her and to whom I assume she left the bulk of the things that would help to tell her story. She appears the least in the scrapbook as well, which could mean her name appeared in the paper less often than that of her siblings. Or it could just be that when Edna was doing this research, she was less interested in the Lathams and therefore didn't send requests to newspapers for clippings containing their names. It's hard to say.

Fifteen years after losing her daughter, Delia herself passed away at the age of 71. Her obituary described her as a "well known and esteemed resident of the city [Elkhorn]." It went on to describe:
The fulsome measure of love and esteem however which scores of friends and acquaintances held for her came not from a long residence but from an active life rich in sympathy and good works toward her neighbors and friends. Her life has been of availing helpfulness and her own patience in bearing those tribulations, the all too common lot of life, made firm those bonds so rudely broken by her death.

*This fascinating article from Mother Jones about early American apple trees is really educational, and well worth reading. It helped put into perspective why my great-great-great-grandfather Sam would have prioritized bringing two dozen apple trees with him in a covered wagon.