25 Old-Fashioned Recipes Your Grandma Knew By Heart

See how to make 25 Old-Fashioned Recipes Your Grandma Knew by Heart including biscuits, pie crust, fried apples and more on gracefullittlehoneybee.com© Dollar Photo Club

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25 Old Fashioned Recipes Your Grandma (probably) Knew by Heart

My grandma grew up cooking from scratch. It’s all she knew because convenience foods weren’t an option.

She learned how to cook from her mother by handfuls and pinches instead of cups and tablespoons. She cooked by memory and by feel.

I bet your grandma or someone you know is the same way. These women carried around a vast amount of knowledge with them that is sadly becoming lost in today’s culture.

Convenience foods are great, but when all you do to prepare dinner day in and day out is open a package, something important is lost.

Food is appreciated more and tastes better when it’s cooked from scratch and made with love. When you touch the dough and smell the yeast it truly feeds the soul.

I want us to get back to hands on cooking and that’s why I’m sharing with you a list of my favorite from scratch recipes. Some of these recipes have been adapted for modern cooking (hello slow cooker!), but I don’t think grandma would mind.

Are You Looking for More Old-Fashioned Tips? Try these articles!

How to Build an Old-Fashioned Frugal Pantry
6 Powerful Life Lessons from My Thrifty Grandma
40 Groceries to Stop Buying and Start Making to Save Money
30 Old-Fashioned Frugal Tips from Grandma
Frugal Lessons from the Amish Lifestyle

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25 Old-Fashioned Recipes Your Grandma Knew By Heart


Homemade Bread

Homemade Biscuits

Pumpkin Biscuits

Yeast Rolls

Pie Crust

How to Cook Dried Beans

Chicken Broth

Tomato Sauce

Sautéed Cabbage

Ham Bone Soup

Corn & Potato Chowder

Beef & Vegetable Soup

Sourdough Starter

Elderberry Syrup

Apple Pie

Pecan Pie

Butternut Squash Pie

Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Dehydrated Apple Rings

Pumpkin Puree

Apple Butter

Sweet Potato Bread

Red Hot Cinnamon Apples

Pan Fried Apples

I hope you enjoyed this list of old fashioned recipes. If you want even more old fashioned tips and tricks then you may want to check out Frugal Cooking Tips from the Great Depression. Have a great day friends!


Baking ingredients and an old enamel flour container.

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  1. My husband introduced me to pinto beans. His family served them with cornbread, fried potatoes and Wilted Lettuce. YUMMY. I USE ROMAINE CUT SMALL, (use the stem end too, it adds crunch) add CUT GREEN ONIONS, salt well, and pour hot bacon grease over and stir. Serve hot. I get potatoes, beans and lettuce on every spoonful. LOVE IT
    1. Can relate to your comment regarding pinto beans, cornbread and "wilted lettuce". I'm originally from Okla, but lived in here in Calif now for 60 years. And when I've mentioned the wilted lettuce salad, they look shocked. LOL I like it.
      1. Please, please, PLEASE help me find the "Wilted Lettuce" recipe! My mother and her friends loved this dish. I wouldn't even taste it at that time, in the 60s-70s. Mother's gone now but I find I love many of the things she loved. Dishes I turned my nose up at the time. Things like corn bread, beans, turnip greends, cobblers, etc. It was a Southern 'thang' or Arkansas favorite. Julia Young
        1. Love wilted lettuce, but don't have a specific receipe, it's just in my head. Prepare your lettuce. I put chooped onion in the lettuce. Fry about six strips of bacon. Drain and breakup. Leave some of the grease in the pan and add vinegar and a little bit of sugar. I'm going to say about 1/4 cup vinegar and tablespoon of sugar. Heat vinegar, sugar and crumbled bacon. Taste to make sure it's not to sweet. Pour hot mixture over lettuce. That's the best i can tell you. If i find my mo's recipei i willcome back and let you know
        2. Found recipe! 2 bunches of leaf lettuce 4 slices of bacon, diced 1/4 cup vinegar 1/3 cup chopped onions Salt, pepper 2 teaspoons sugar Shred lettuce with knife. In large skillet fry bacon until crisp. Add vinegar and sugar. Pour warm dressing over lettuce, toss until lettuce is wilted. Add sal and pepper to taste
        3. Hi Julia! My mother's cooking was "to taste" so you know the amounts are exactly that and no way specific. It really depended on how the garden was producing and how much bacon was left in the freezer. So here goes how I make Mother's Wilted Lettuce Salad. (1.) Harvest desired amount of lettuce and green onions from the garden. Wash, dry (salad spinner) and crisp in refrigerator until time to make salad.. I love to harvest early in morning, then bring the produce in and clean. It is then ready when I am ready to prepare the meal. (2.) Chop finely as many baby green onions as you wish to have in your salad. When you are ready to being the salad, continue with the rest of the recipe. (3.) Put letuce leaves in the bowl first, add chopped onions next and finally, once you have fried the bacon tender crisp, drained and chopped add to the salad bowel. You want everything ready for the dressing when it is finished. (4.) Fry as much bacon as you want tender crisp. Put bacon on paper towel to drain. Decide how much "salad oil", aka bacon drippings, you are using.. A good rule of thumb is start with about a 1/4 cup of bacon drippings, add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar (remember "to taste"). Bring to a hard boil, stirring all the time. (5) Depending on how wilted you want your salad, is how hot the dressing is poured over the salad. I like to let my dressing cool a bit. We don't like real wilted lettuce. (6.) Enjoy!! Hope this will help bring back many wonderful memories of your mother's dinner table and cooking with her. It sure does for me!
          1. Wilted lettuce was made with dandelion greens when I was little. We would go out in the spring and pick the greens and wash them.Then make the sweet/sour bacon dressing. YUM!!!!! My mother didn't waste anything.....
    2. I chop up lettuce real fine,add chopped eggs, onions,,sh cheese,cook bacon crumble ,with amount of grease, cook vinegar,sugar to taste pour over good!
    1. http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cake/friendship-cake-30-day-cake.html Is this the recipe you are looking for?
  2. I love your recipes...my grandmother had a cake recipe that had many layers with icing that was more of a glaze that icing with raisins and pecans in it....the layers were very thin and she would stack it high. Have you heard of a cake like that? I would love to make it for my family.
    1. It's called baklava!! There are really easy ways to make it now! I have used egg roll wrappers for the many layers of crust and the icing you are talking about is basically sugar water poured over it. It's a great dessert!
      1. Baklava is made with phylo, honey & nuts. It is not stacked very high. I don't think that is what the poster is looking for. Delicious as it is!
    2. I believe you may be referring to a stack cake. My grandmother used to make them. Not too long ago, Southern Living magazine had the cake on the cover.
  3. Raised on that meal. Mom always added a little vinegar to bacon grease before pouring over salad.
  4. I am so glad I came upon your post. I love the name of your blog. I instantly knew the meaning! Seeing your name brought it back to me that I regret at 12 yrs old voicing my opinion that I would not be called Missy and my name is Melissa. Perhaps it was my middle named combined "Missy Gay" . Lately I've been reflecting it has the southern charm I was raised with! Blessings to you and your family
    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes, my first name "Melissa" means Honey Bee, my middle "Anne" means grace and my maiden name was "Little" so that is where my blog name came from. :)
  5. I was pleasantly surprised as I read through your list to see that I already know how to make most of them, if not from memory, then at least from my mother's cookbooks. I was blessed to grow up on a farm where convenience foods were too expensive and everything was made from scratch every single day. I have fond memories of coming home from school on Friday and smelling bread baking for the coming week. Mother taught me by having me help her in the kitchen from the time I was big enough to stand on a step stool and stir whatever was in the bowl. I began cooking meals when I was about 10 and still enjoy cooking. I am nearly 50 and sometimes I feel like I belong in a bygone era, but I am trying to engage my children in the kitchen and they are all learning to cook by about 5 years old, with supervision, of course!
  6. Great list ! Both my Parents and Gparents are from NM, so our list is soooo very different from your ! I think the one that is the same is pinto beans ! I really should make a list tho. Green chile, red chile, tortillas, etc..............
  7. The simple cooking methods used by my parents, grandmother & so forth were the coolest science experiments when I was a child. When I used those recipes, I thought that it couldn't be that simple. The recipes worked beautifully. I am excited to try some of these recipes this summer. Thank you.
  8. The second you "adapt" them, they are no longer "old fashioned" and much of the natural flavors and textures are gone. I came for the scratch recipes, not the "openacana" recipes.
  9. My parents were from OK. We ate pinto beans cornbread & wilted salad. This is the first time I have seen someone who knows what it is.
  10. I grew up on farm food. Never had a processed meal (even basic flour and sugar) until I was ten. And it was the best decision my mother ever made. I have always had a clean bill of health. Thank you for this compiled list.
  11. Love your blog and recipes. It reminds me of my early days as a mother of three. You are such a smart wife, mother and cook! Your frugal habits will stay with you for all of your days, and you and your husband will see the payoff. Thank you for sharing. I hope more smart wives/mothers will pay attention to your tips.
  12. Thanks for sharing, I really like this. My sons always love the Chicken Broth. I do enjoy seeing frugal recipes and finding inspiration from your blog :-) Hope all is well with you and your loved ones.
  13. Our wilted lettuce recipe was lettuce, romaine or red leaf, green onions, BACON. The dressing was bacon grease with a tsp of sugar and 2 or 3 TBS of vinegar. So the grease isnt real hot but warm so it mixes with the vinegar. Love it.
  14. OMGosh, thanks for sharing, I know a lot of these recipes by heart also, but I'm a grandma. Lol My Mom had known so many recipes I don't know if I ever seen her open a cookbook & she always had a secret ingredient or special way of cooking. Thank you for the memories.
  15. I love finding other woman who have the back to basics ideology I use with my cooking. Frugality and Whole Foods. Love looking through all you recipes and blog posts!
  16. It's me again. I think I owe everyone an apology for that remark about not knowing how to cook beans. You can't know anything until you learn it, whether somebody teaches you are not or learn it on your own. I am extremely pleased to see so many young cooks learning the old recipes. So many of you who grew up eating pre-made, boxed, processed foods are discovering that food can be cooked at home and is so much better than the over salted, over soyed, over high fructosed corn syrup foods that food manufacturers are selling you. Missy, you have a nice site and keep up the good work with the good food makings.
  17. Love this blog . I still cook this way and always have . I have passed it on to my daughter . Being raised in the South ......being a good cook is genetic! Lol. I just had a pot of beans , cornbread and streaked meat for supper ! So yummy !
  18. Oh my goodness. I just found your site. Love it. Your alls wilted lettuce is called hot slaw here in KY. And our wilted lettuce is made up of iceberg lettuce (chopped), bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and then you place milk, sugar, mayo in a jar and shake it up then pour on your lettuce and give it a stir. Fattening but Delicious.
  19. I'm a touch, feel and smell cook! I often grab a few bottles of herbs and spices and smell my way through a recipe! I love all of your recipes thanks for posting them
  20. You have several recipes I would love to make and try but unfortunately I go into anaphylactic shock when I even take a small taste of sweet potatoes. My youngest son would love to make them but I don't know what handling the potatoes would do if I even tried to touch them after 63 years of not being around them. I love them (that is how I found out I was allergic to the I ate a huge one when I was 5)

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