woman with a large mixing bowl, spoon and cookbook Beans and Cornbread

Beans and Cornbread Title written in a font that is the individual letters on books




Here are some recipes for your enjoyment.  These recipes are general “home cooking” types of recipes.  This is not “gourmet” cooking unless you live in a part of the world where this type of food is “foreign”. (Our local grocery has cans [tins] of black-eyed peas in the “gourmet” section.  Can you believe it?  I’ve been eating “gourmet” food all my life, thinking it was just simple “home cooking”!)  

[If you see any references to a "rant" or "text after Granny's recipes" on here...  It isn't here anymore.  The "rant" has moved to the next page of this web site.]

If you have any recipes to add, please let me know what they are.  I am looking for “home cooking” type of recipes.  If it is copyright, I won’t be able to stick it here. Maybe I can learn how to add stuff to this if you send me more recipes. By the way, I wish a “certain somebody” would give me their famous “hunter stew” recipe!

 If at all possible do not make “low fat” (or even worse, “NO fat”) versions of these recipes!  It is not good to substitute “real” food with artificial processed chemicals.  Your taste buds and your body will thank you if you eat real food!  I know, not all of these recipes are 100% healthy since they contain processed foods at times.  It is better to eat real foods all the time.  If you get the right foods to eat you are satiated or satisfied. Then you are less likely to over eat. See the commentary on the next page.  I like to eat “real food” when I can, not just because of the “health” benefits.  We can pray for the food and God can fix any problems with it.  He also says in the Bible that we can eat almost anything.  I simply like the taste of “real food” and I feel better, the more of it I eat.  I am not really a “health food fanatic”.  I don’t believe in looking at food in that manner.  You can’t always look at food as “good food” / “bad food”.  If you view ice cream as a “bad food” and you only allow yourself to eat it when you have been “good”-----then ice cream becomes this unattainable food item.  The desire for it becomes greater that it should be.  If you say, “A little bit every day won’t kill me”---then you might eat a bowl twice a week or maybe “whenever”.  With a change in attitude, you won’t be tempted to overeat the ice cream.  It is all in the psychology.  You also have to learn to listen to your body.  Get to know when you have had enough of a food.  On the other hand, you could keep viewing the ice cream as a “bad food” and then substitute an imitation chemical “glop” for it and then ignore your body and eat it by the gallon.  You would have to train your mind to ignore your taste buds.  “I think it tastes just as good”. (“Although I like real ice cream better”.) Here is an article that proves my point, although it deals with children. http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/358300.stm

I just think the recipes on this page are examples of “beans and cornbread” types of foods.  You know, simple home cooked meals.

This list includes NO microwave dishes!  Food tastes better AND, it is much better for you, if it is cooked the old fashioned way!!  These recipes are also 100% soy free!! Yea!!!!

NEW September 13, 2006   Mom's Tuna Fish (Tuna Salad) Recipe [by way of my sister]  You make this and then spread it on bread for sandwiches. Or you can put some on lettuce and serve it as a salad.  Mix the following thoroughly in a bowl. 

1 Can Tuna

2 Tablespoons of "Miracle Whip" [a brand name of "salad dressing" that comes in a jar like mayonnaise---it is used on sandwiches like mayonnaise]

Sweet Pickle juice to taste [the juice from pickled cucumbers that is sweet rather than the kind that is "dill" or sour]

Diced Pickles  [diced sweet pickled cucumbers]

Pecan or Walnuts in small pieces  [That's "English" walnuts and NOT "black" walnuts!!!!]

Diced Apple 

Our One Pan Meal

Here is a recipe we make a lot around here.  I don’t know what you would call it. 

Take some meat, just about any kind from beefsteak to pork roast.  Lamb is very good!!  Put some olive oil or butter into an oven dish that you can cover. (Just enough to keep the meat and vegetables from sticking.  Just a little bit in the pan if you leave the fat on the meat.  A tablespoon or less.)  Leaving the fat on the meat allows for good flavor and helps keep the food from sticking.  It also makes the fat easier to remove.  It sometimes falls off the meat.  Put meat in the oven dish, with carrots, potatoes, and spices.  We don’t salt it because we salt it to each one’s taste when the dish is done.  It needs salt in my opinion.  Then you bake it until it is done.  If you are in a hurry, you can cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and it will cook much faster.


How Mom Makes A Roast 

Here is how my mother makes a beef roast in the oven.  Put the roast in a covered baking dish. Take a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and mix it with some water.  Be very careful which Lipton Onion Soup Mix you get!!!!  They have several varieties.  We used to get one that didn't have goofy flavorings and it did not list MSG on the package.  The other ones had MSG on the package.  (I know, packaged soup mix is not 100% "healthy" but it adds a nice flavor.  If you know how to make this flavor without the soup mix, then do that.) Pour the soup and water mixture over the roast. Bake it at 300 degrees F. from 2 to 2 ½ hours.  Put potatoes and carrots in for the last hour.  Yummy!!


Lamb chops ala Joe Bitner

Put lamb chops in a baking dish with pepper, salt, and butter.  (Please use real butter!! Keep our cows in business!)  Cover the dish and cook it until it is done.  (We used to eat a lot of lamb chops. And then our wonderful "German" deli. closed.  Now we go to an Italian one.)  Yummm!!  I think he originally meant this for pork chops.  Since he knew we were eating a lot of lamb, he gave it to me for lamb chops. He wouldn't eat lamb because of the "lanolin" taste.


A Great “Cleaning Out the Fridge” Soup—Great Multigenerational Cooking!!  It is a simple recipe really, but it takes a lot of words to tell how to make it. (This one is long.)

Here is a really good one.  It came from Olney, Texas.  It eventually makes a wonderful soup!!  This is a family recipe from Carolyn, my stepmother, and her mother (Ina Mae). (The "I" in this is Ina Mae, as I copied what she wrote on paper.  My additions are in [ ].)

First off, Ina Mae made a roast to the following specifications.....

Wipe meat with paper towel all sides, [I guess, after you rinse it with water?] then rub salt and black pepper on meat.  I use onion and garlic powder too some times. 

Brown meat in a small amount of oil--brown on both sides.  Reduce heat to low--not simmer--

Add about 1/2 cup of water, cover and continue cooking---either in heavy pan on top of stove or in a 350 degree oven.  Adding more hot water as needed to keep it cooking in liquid. 

When meat cooks tender, and ready to eat, remove meat, add more hot water to make as much gravy as desired.  In a small amount of cold water add about 2 tablespoons of flour and mix well, add to liquid in roaster, and bring to a boil, return meat to roaster, and let simmer until of right consistency. 

After we ate the roast and it sat in the refrigerator a day or two....  The following were added to a soup pot and cooked a few hours to make a very good soup.....  Any of these items are optional of course....You use whatever you happen to have on hand...

Stew Roast / With Gravy

Salt / Pepper

Garlic Powder

Sweet Basil


Two Bay Leaves [fish them out when soup is done]

Diced tomatoes

Small Can [Tin] Tomato sauce

Canned [Tinned] Vegetables Of Whatever Varity You Happen To Have On Hand-----DO NOT DRAIN!!

Fresh Vegetables If Available

Also Add Any Appropriate Item Cleaned From Refrigerator

Appropriate Amount Of Water


Here is a recipe from the country of Latvia. The best way to describe Kefir is that it is almost like a cross between yogurt and buttermilk.  It is not a sweet item like our western yogurts.  It should be from raw milk with natural enzymes and healthy bacteria in it.  It is a fermented milk product.  I acquired a taste for a pasteurized kefir I found at our local store.  I was enjoying the lack of heartburn because of getting some good lactobacillus.  Then our store quit selling the cow’s milk variety and sold only the “soy” variety.  Yuck!! (Then they went to selling the cow type again.  They flip flop back and forth.) This recipe is an example of European foods.  The flavors of their food are much different than the modern processed foods we eat here.  They eat “sour” as much or more than we eat “sweet”.  This one’s in metric measurements.  Most good modern cookbooks have conversion charts.  Or you can find conversion charts online.

 Cold Beetroot Soup with Kefir

 2 litres kefir or curdled milk (or sour milk with lumps)

600 grams boiled beetroots

1 fresh cucumber

5 hard boiled eggs


dill, chives, parsley or other greens

some citric acid if you wish

Grate the boiled and cooled beetroots or cut them in cubes.  Peel, slice and cut the cucumber. Put them into kefir, which can be thinned by beet-water (it can be 1litre kefir and 1litre beet-water). Add salt and citric acid to taste.  Chop the greens and add to the soup. Cut the eggs into quarters and put them in the plates when served.  Serve cold with a spoonful of sour cream.

Below is basically the document I sent out as an, E-mail on January 9, 2002.  It is my Granny’s cornbread recipe, plus some other family favorites. I include some of Granny’s interesting commentary also.

Once upon a time, in a city far away from here, there lived a young lady.  That lady was myself of course.  This lady pleaded with her dear granny to give up her famous cornbread recipe.  So a letter postmarked January 24, 1984 arrived at her door.  Our hero tried and tried for many long years to make this recipe.  She stirred it and cooked it at least three times.  Each time she baked it there was the gooiest mess.  Finally after craving this beloved dish, she decided to try it one last time.  Now much wiser, the young lady went on the internet and looked in cookbooks.  It took some digging to find a similar recipe.  The trick was to find one that did not call for sugar.  So our young lady, who is by now much, much, older, figured out how to make her dear granny's recipe.  It took two tries.  The second try was much better than the first.  She jumped up and down and yelled "Eureka!!  (I have found it!!)  It works!!!!".  It pays to use fresh baking powder.  It works very well now, but she thinks her cast iron skillet is larger than her granny's.  She discovered by her research, that adding more milk to the recipe is the key to avoiding the gooey mess. 


The “Potato Patties” recipe below, seems to be a variation of the Irish dish called “Fadge”.  Which makes sense, since there are lots of ethnic Irish in Texas.  (The legend is, that the Bitner’s have some Irish in them.)  The Irish traditionally eat them with their “fry up” breakfast.  The British, (and Irish) eat a “traditional” breakfast known as a “fry up”.  You can type “fry up” into www.google.com and get the exact ingredients.  That breakfast is similar (but not the same) as our traditional “American” breakfast of, fried eggs, sausage, ham, and pancakes etc.  The English eat beans with their’s.

Here we go.  Here is the revision of the recipe that Granny sent me. 

 1 Cup of corn meal

1 Heaping tablespoon of flour (regular white wheat flour)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 egg (I beat the egg before I put it into the dry ingredients.)

1 cup of milk  (either buttermilk, or "sweet" milk.  Regular milk is, also known as "sweet" milk.)

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for butter milk  OR 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for "sweet" milk

My second try came out thin----I mean the cornbread was not very thick in the end.  I think my skillet is bigger than Granny's was.  You can use the hard vegetable fat or "Crisco" instead of the bacon drippings.  But I think of it this way----would God naturally give us a food that was bad for us??  Does man know more than God?  Can man “invent” a healthier alternative to the foods that God has “created”?  I myself think the bacon drippings are a lot more "healthy" for us than hydrogenated vegetable fats.  I had to use Crisco because my bacon was a little green around the gills.  You aren't going to use much bacon drippings anyway.  Gee whiz!

Prepare your cast iron skillet:

Grease the bottom with bacon drippings or other animal fat.  Cover the pan well.  Put the skillet in a 400 degree F oven. (200 C / Gas Mark 6) You get the pan and grease nice and hot. (This prevents the cornbread from sticking to the pan.)

Meanwhile prepare batter:  Combine dry ingredients; add eggs and milk, mixing well. (It is good to use a whisk or a fork here.) 

Remove skillet from oven when grease starts to smoke; scrape batter into skillet.  Batter must start to sizzle as soon as it hits skillet.

Place in oven and continue baking for 20 - 25 minutes or until browned on top. 


Granny’s Original Recipe

Here is Granny's original letter. (Typed in as she wrote it, to the best of my ability. The spelling is “her's”.)  The postmark says, "Lubbock Tx 24 Jan. 1984".  On the back of the envelope it said, "1 egg in cornbread".  Not only did she send me her cornbread recipe, but she also sent along directions for making potato patties (a variation of “fadge”).

Tuesday a.m.

Dearest Robyn,

Just a note to tell you a little bit more on the corn bread.  No matter which you use, corn bread mix or regular corn meal, their should be a recipe on the pkg.  [Little did she know, but the recipe on the package is nothing like the recipe she used her whole life, and tried to send me.  Remember, don't make this version!  You will get a gooey mess if you do!!]

For cornbread made from regular meal, take about

1 cup of meal

1 heaping Tablespoon flour

1/2 tsp salt

about 1/3 cup milk, if you use buttermilk, use 1/2 tsp soda, if sweet milk 1/2 tsp Baking pd. 

Hope this will help. 

To about 2 cups of mashed potatoes, 1 egg 1 heaping tablespoon flour, 1/2 tsp salt.  Mix & drop patties in greased frying pan.  Good luck.  (Cook slowly)

Hope you are thinking about the cooking school.  You want know till you try it   We have to keep trying different things,

 Love u



Sometime in 1990 she sent directions for Chicken and dumplings. 


On the Chicken & dumplins, I add some flour to a little water & mix & add to the chicken, & this makes the juice thicker.  I found this clippin in your dads paper, Love u Granny  (Don't know what the "clippin" she sent, was about.  The subject was probably something like, my brother Darren's graduation from college?) 


Then in 1991 Granny sent me some recipes out of the paper for "potato cakes".  6 April 1991 postmark.  The letter she wrote was her way of saying that all was well and that there was no new “news” to tell. 

Monday, Windy & dry this morn.  As far as I know everybody is able to eat & go.  Love u Granny    Thought you might like this potato patties recipe

Mom (Teddye Jo) has always been able to make good beetroots.  She cooked them a special way.  One time she gave me her method over the telephone.  Be warned, she is not always able to duplicate her famous dishes.  One thing she told me as she gave me this, was that she kept an open can of frozen orange juice in the freezer door.  It was for taking a spoon full here or there to flavor various dishes. I think if I remember correctly, these measurements are not exact.  Mom may have said “about” as she gave them to me.  You may have to experiment with this one to get it “right” to your taste.  I was writing hurriedly as she gave me the recipe.  So I probably used my own abbreviations and my own short-hand to write it down. 

 How to cook Beets by T.J.

Boil till tender the beet roots

 Peel the beet roots

 Then slice them

 You put butter / salt / and sugar (to taste, I assume)

Then you put in 1/4 cup of orange juice made from the frozen can you keep in the freezer.  She said it was 1/4 cup made from 1 teaspoon of frozen juice. 

Then you put in very little vinegar. (probably apple cider vinegar---which type, white or brown, I don’t know.)

Bring to a boil again. 

If this recipe comes out anything like the way I remember it tasting from childhood-----then it is a very good recipe!!


Here is how Papa (Joe) told me to make "gravy".  This is a wonderful thing in small amounts.  It tastes better than it "sounds".  It is good spread over bread or the U.S. "biscuits".  It will need some salt to taste at its best.

2 tablespoons of animal fat;  1 tablespoon of flour; 1 cup of milk

You can use the grease or fat after you cook (fry) sausage, use the grease after you make bacon or fry a chicken.

Brown the flour in the grease.  Stir it with a fork or a whisk.  Add the milk.  Heat it to thicken it.  Stir it constantly with a whisk or a fork so you don't get lumps.  I learned “real quick” that no matter how runny you think it is at the very first, NEVER add more flour to the above ingredients.  It WILL thicken up as it cooks.  I had to learn a lesson in patience.  I once made a nice thick dish of some mess, which Papa told me, was called "booley"(spelling?  boolie?).  He said they ate it in East Texas when he was a kid.  (I can’t find “booley” on the net so that I can verify the spelling.  If anyone knows how to spell it properly, let me know.)  I have a friend who is originally from East Texas.  She says that “booley”? is originally from Louisiana.  It is a “Cajun” dish.

Papa Joe’s recipe for “Chicken and Dressing”.

Traditionally the chicken would be stuffed with the “stuffing”.  “Dressing” is the “Southern” (U.S.) way to say “stuffing”.  To use cornbread for the “stuffing” or “dressing”, is the “Southern” way.  “Up North” they use “light bread” or regular wheat flour bread.  This present recipe seems like a much easier way to make the “chicken and dressing”.

You will eventually need a baking pan, sized to fit the amount of mixture you end up with.  You can make it for a large group of people, depending on the amount of the ingredients.  Papa gave me the recipe for a small group of people. 

Of course ideally, it is best to get a chicken that has been “properly raised”.  I mean, a chicken that is “flesh colored” and not the sickly yellow of most “store bought” chickens.  The very best birds are allowed to roam around and eat the worms, grasshoppers and other foods that chickens naturally eat.  The natural diet of the chicken does not necessarily include “soybeans and marigolds”!  If you can freshly grind your own corn meal, that is ideal also.  The stuff in the stores is probably a little old or rancid.  But since the “ideal” is not always available, do the best you can.

I tell you how to make this dish so that it is a little on the "sweet" side.  But traditionally it is not such a sweet dish.  With the advent of corn bread mixes that add so much sugar to the mix, this dish comes out sweeter than it did when I was a kid.  If you use the cornbread recipe that is further up this page, then this dish won't come out so sweet.  I think it is good either way.  But we don't need all the sugar.

Put the whole chicken or pieces in a pot of water with “poultry seasoning”.  Not too much “poultry seasoning”. ("Poultry seasoning" is a prepared mix of spices that go well with bird meat.  I am not sure of what is in it. If you don't have it available where you live, then just put a variety of spices that go with chicken into the mix.  Sage is one of the main ones in the tin.  They don't normally add spices that are hot.  This is not a dish that would be good "hot" from spices or pepper.) 

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

You boil the chicken until it is “done” or cooked.  You let it get tender.  SAVE THE BROTH!  Then you take the chicken out of the broth and pull the meat off the bone. 

Then you make a batch of corn bread.  You either use the recipe above or you use a mix.  (Mix = pre-packaged dry ingredients you add milk or water to.)  Most, mixes I have seen have sugar in them.  If you use the recipe at the top of this page, you may add sugar to it to make the “dressing” slightly sweet.  I would assume that if the apple is sweet enough, you may not have to add sugar.  To the corn bread batter, mix the following,

1 stalk celery cut small; 1 small onion cut small; one small apple cut small.  Cook the cornbread as per the usual instructions until done. 

Ok, now…  take the cooked, cooled cornbread.  Crumble it into the baking dish.  Put the chicken meat into it.  Pour enough broth over it so that the mixture will stir well.  Bake it until it is cooked. 

It will come out with a consistency similar to a dense cake or brownies.  I know of no dish on earth quite like this one.  Man, am I getting hungry!

Now here is how Papa Joe makes “Chicken and Dumplings”.

He uses flour tortillas for the dumplings.  Granny used canned (tinned) biscuits for many years.  I have used biscuit mix, biscuits before.  If you can’t buy canned biscuits or flour tortillas and you want to know how to make biscuits or flour tortillas write me and I will tell you how.  I have recipes, but they are copyright.  You can also look them up on the net.  (I wish we could go into the chicken business.  “The ‘Ideal’ chicken company.  The best chicken is an ‘Ideal’ chicken!”)

Again, you will need a nice “ideal” chicken to cook.  If you don’t have an “ideal” chicken available, then use whatever you can find.  Kosher and Halal are supposed to be good.  Then there’s “Amish” chickens.  I think the “Amish” chicken is not always truly raised by the Amish or according to Amish ways.  At least our local “Amish” chickens are not truly “Amish”.  I don’t think the true Amish can use that name as a trade name on products.  I looked it up, just because it says “Amish” that does not mean it is any better than regular “store bought” chickens.  The word “Amish” on the label is no guarantee that it is a free range, organic chicken.  We do not eat much chicken around our house.  During W.W.II, the city we live in, had a law allowing each household to own two laying hens.  I was wanting to see if they ever repealed that law.  It would be nice to have some real eggs for a change.  “Growing your own” is the only way I know of to get an “ideal” chicken for cooking.  I know there are good farm producers available, but I haven’t found them since I haven’t looked for them.  You have to make sure the chicken is not fed the standard “feed” with soy and such items.  They need to spend time outside to be truly “free range”.  Just because they are in a bigger barn with air circulating, that does not quite cut it.  Factory farming is still factory farming. 

Finally, take your nice “ideal” chicken and boil it until it is done.  Add the usual salt and pepper as you cook it.  I think you should cut the chicken into pieces before you cook it.  You cover the chicken in milk and water.  You cut the tortillas in strips.  You put the strips into the pot with the chicken.  Bring the pot to a boil for about 20 minutes.  This is different than Granny made it.  I don’t think she put milk in it.  If you want it thick add a small amount of flour in water like Granny instructed above.

November 24, 2004  Papa Joe's Brisket

This is how you make a beef brisket. We have to special order it from our local "Italian" deli.  It is very good if you follow the directions exactly.  We cook them thawed out.  We order a five pound brisket and have it cut into three pieces.  http://lacantinamarket.com/

Use heavy aluminum foil, salt, and pepper.  You stick the brisket in the heavy aluminum foil.  You have to have enough to cover (wrap) up the whole piece of meat.  It might be advantageous to buy the long aluminum foil.  Make sure it is not the thin stuff.  Joyce leaves the foil slightly loose around the meat.  Papa wrapped it tight.  I guess it is good to allow room for the juices to settle.  You put the oven on 275.  You wrap the meat in the foil, and stick it in a roasting pan or deep baking pan (tin). You cook the meat for around five hours.  It is slow cooked and very good!!  Oh, by the way, you salt and pepper the brisket before you seal up the foil.  When the meat is cooked you can put the "drippings" in a pan and add a bit of flour to it.  Then you have a really good gravy!!

I am done for now.  If you have any recipes to add to the collection-----PLEASE DO!!!!  I wish my mother could duplicate her famous "cleaning out the refrigerator soup". 

I have to clean the kitchen from my earlier mess...... Robyn

The Commentary that was promised to be below the above text has moved.  Please see the "Food, 'Dieting' and 'Size' Rant" page.


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This site was last updated 09/13/06