Archive for family recipes

Eastern NC BBQ

Somebody just asked me for the recipe for Eastern NC BBQ, so I just got permission from my aunt and uncle to post it here. It’s like a pig-pickin’ without a whole pig staring back at you.

I’m just going to copy this straight as my uncle, Bill, wrote it:

Eastern NC pork barbecue
6 lb. Boston butt
10 oz. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp salt

Put the Boston butt in a crockpot on high for 1 hour and then switch to low and cook for another 4 hours. Pour off the grease 3 hours after starting and again after cooking is done. While the meat is cooking, in a small pot, heat the vinegar, pepper and salt to a boil and immediately remove from heat. This will serve as the traditional Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce. The meat is ready when it falls off the bone and is stringy. Coarsely chop the hot pork with a meat cleaver or chef’s knife. Stir the sauce in with the pork until you have the taste and consistency you prefer. This barbecue should always be served with coleslaw [note from rhi: I hate coleslaw, so I disagree].

Note: If you’re not a purist, you could add other ingredients to the sauce such as brown sugar, sage, jalapeno peppers, and lemon or lime juice. If you add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce, it seems to help to retain the flavor over time while refrigerated.


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Monte Cristo

I’ve had good Monte Cristos and I have had one spectacularly BAD Monte Cristo. My mom makes great ones, and I learned to make mine from her.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about them.

The bad one I had was battered and deep fried. It was *painful* to eat. Ugh, it makes my stomach hurt every time I think about that sandwich.

But mine is much lighter than a deep fried monstrosity.

Here is a recipe for one sandwich, feel free to multiply the ingredients to make more.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

2 slices bread
1 slice american cheese
deli turkey
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
pinch salt
1-2 tsp butter or margarine
maple syrup

Make a sandwich with american cheese and turkey (if you can’t figure that out without more detailed instruction, then I’m sorry, I can’t help you).


Mix the egg, milk, and salt in a shallow baking dish. Dip both sides of the sandwich in the mixture.


Heat butter over medium heat and place sandwich in pan. Cook, flipping at least once, until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup.

Ready to eat

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Moravian Sugar Cake

While I’m on the subject of family recipes, this seemed like a good time to post my Moravian Sugar Cake recipe.

When I was little my grandparents had a needle point recipe for Moravian Sugar Cake on their wall. I thought it was a joke recipe, considering it called for mashed potatoes. As I got older I found out that it wasn’t a joke, and was amazed at anybody who would dare to make such a concoction. I wish I knew what happened to that needle point. (Note to family members: if anyone does happen to have that needle point, and isn’t feeling overly attached, I’d really love to have it).

This is a family recipe, it came from my cousin Susie for our long-in-coming-may-never-be-finished family cookbook, but to be truthful, I had never actually seen moravian sugar cake made from scratch, and the only from-scratch moravian sugar cake that I’d ever even tried was actually from Old Salem.

This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart, but it really wasn’t all that difficult, and the results were pretty darn good.


2 level cups milk
1 packed pkg. cake yeast, dry or compressed
1/2 cup warm, not hot, water (lukewarm for compressed)
1 rounded cup cooled mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
8 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard, melted
2 beaten eggs
1 level cup granulated sugar
2 level cups light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine (not melted)

Scald milk; cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water. In large mixing bowl, combine cooled milk, dissolved yeast, mashed potatoes and salt; mix well. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour; beat well. Cover. Let rise in warm place until light, about 1 hour. Add melted butter, shortening, eggs and granulated sugar; beat well. Gradually add remaining flour mixing after each addition until a smooth dough is formed. Spread dough in three greased 9 x 2 inch round baking pans. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Make 12 indentations in each cake (I couldn’t get indentations to form, so I kind of pinched it in places to make the top uneven). Using 1 cup of the brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter, cover the top of the cakes.

Also, it doesn’t say how to cook it. I did approximately 15 minutes at 375.

Here are some of the steps in photos:

Mash the potatoes-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Mix in the first set of ingredients-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Cover and let rise-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Let the dog lick the floor-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Mix in the second set of ingredients (the risen batter will swallow it!)-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Spread it in the pans and let rise again-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Put the topping on and put them in the oven-
Moravian Sugar Cake

Ready to eat!-
Moravian Sugar Cake

I do think that next time I would have used brown sugar in the cake instead of regular sugar. Though who knows what that would do to the recipe.

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Bowers family pimento cheese

If you are part of my family you almost certainly had the pimento cheese recipe memorized in the womb, and probably had to take an exit exam.

But for the rest of you, I’d like to tell you about this pimento cheese. It’s great, wonderful, and so very simple.

Bowers Pimento Cheese

1 stick sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese
1 stick extra-sharp Cracker Barrel brand cheddar cheese
Mayo (I like the olive oil kind)
Miracle whip (I use light)
1 4oz jar of diced pimentos, seeds removed if there are seeds. I like Dromedary brand the best.

Grate the cheeses, add the pimentos (including juice), and start adding mayo and miracle whip until you get a loose spreadable consistancy. Once it has been in the fridge for a while it will stiffen up, and you may have to add a bit more mayo/miracle whip.

Please, whatever else you do to this recipe, do not start out with pre-grated bags of cheese! Use Crackle Barrel, or at the very least, use a good brand!

Zach’s mom makes a killer pimento cheese that is different than this, but is really good, too. Maybe I’ll see if she minds if I post it here.

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