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September 01, 2013

Bassett Historical Center has a wonderful collection of cookbooks.  Many are local cookbooks that were published by different organizations, churches in the area, schools, and garden clubs. There are community cookbooks, family cookbooks, and older cookbooks that were a favorite of many families in Henry County.  There are several on our shelves that patrons had when they were first married or one that was compiled and belonged to a family matriarch who cherished the recipes that were handed down  possibly from a mother or grandmother.

Some of the recipes have been used so much that corners of the pages had been turned down when we received them, there were splatters on a page and many pages had paper clips on them with other recipes found that were keepers.

Some of the favorite cookbooks at the Center are "Recipe Sharing by the Philpotts" and "50 Years on the Roundabout: What's Cookin' at DuPont."  The two cookbooks that people will want to see, as their cookbooks have been used so much one can't tell what is in the actual recipe, are "Bassett's Favorite Recipes" by the Bassett Garden Club and the "Charity League Recipes 1931" compiled by the Charity League of Martinsville in 1931.

My grandmother had a recipe for Christmas Frozen Custard that everyone in our family loved and looked forward to at Christmas. Having the recipe and making that certain dish does not necessarily mean it would be the same as mama's custard.  My mother tried to make it, I even tried to make it, and so did one of my daughters.   Using the same ingredients, doing the same thing each try, the custard just never tasted the same. Now why is that?  

In going through one of our newer collections, I found a family recipe that is simply called Cheese Pie.  It is written in the handwriting of Mrs. Pocahontas Hundley Bassett (Mrs. J.D. Bassett, Sr.) with two notations, one of which is by her daughter, Mrs. Anne Pocahontas Bassett Stanley (Mrs. Thomas B. Stanley, Sr.)simply stating that it was "mother's recipe."  The other notation was written by her granddaughter, Mrs. Anne Stanley Chatham (Mrs. Hugh H. Chatham, Sr.) and it states that the recipe was the "original used for family breakfasts all through the years.  It is delicious!!"  Breakfast was specified; however, I was told that it could be used for any meal.  Here is the recipe:

                                    Ms. Pokey's Cheese Pie

l lb. cheddar cheese and cut it up; put it in the top of a double boiler and keep stirring until all is melted.  Keep heat high.

Break 3 eggs in bowl, adding 2 tablespoons of sugar to each egg. 
Beat.
Pour slowly in cheese and add a dash of salt.

Put in uncooked pie crust.
Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top.

Start on low, about 300 degrees, no higher than 300.  

(Time was not given; however, other recipes close to this one say 20-30 minutes.)










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