Bi-Centennial Cookbook

From “way back” in 1976 . . .

I’m 40 years late, but “Better Late Than Never” and so today I tell of a small Cook Book that was published by localite. Charles P. Hines, to commemorate the Bicentennial Year of 1976. See? Forty years late, but I just ‘ found’ it myself, and think  it’s worth sharing with you.

Each recipe is special, for each one comes from the home of either a National and State leader of that time.

They begin with President Gerald Ford and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and inasmuch as it was the end of one Presidential term, recipes are also from the then President-elect James Earl Carter and his Vice President-elect Walter F. Mondale.

Following, alphabetically, from Alaska to Wyoming are recipes from the Governors. Some recipes are similar to today’s. but then there are surprises, such as Nevada’s .

See, from childhood on, I’ve heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters and, thought it a ‘funny’, and a lot of nonsense, but I was wrong and here is the authentic recipe straight from the office of then Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan . And you’ll have to search for a Sheep Camp, rather than  your Butcher Shop, to find these delicacies. .


Wash well 5 dozen Mountain Oysters. Fry slowly until cooked, in a large cast iron skillet, in butter.

In a separate iron pan, brown a sliced onion in butter.   Then add sliced Pimentos, sliced green Bell Peppers, sliced Garlic, Minced Parsley and 3 chopped fresh Tomatoes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Brown 2 Tbsp. flour in butter, add salt, black pepper and allspice to taste. Next add 1 Quart white wine to the sauce. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Pour this sauce over the Hot Mountain Oysters. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE….. Mountain Oysters  (often referred to as Rocky Mountain Oysters) are actually the testicles (removed from the skin sack) of two-month old lambs. The operation is  routinely performed at all Sheep Camps in order to let the lamb mature into the body of an adult sheep, and   yet retain the delicate flavor of the immature animal.  Koshkola is a favorite of the Basque Sheep men in Nevada whose ancestors brought the ages-old technique from the ‘Old Country.’


The next recipe comes from then Governor Ray Blanton of Tennessee.,and to me, worth trying.


Soak in water one cup Black-eyed Peas overnight, and then boil, in water, along with bacon until done. BUT NOT MUSHY. Drain well.

Mix following ingredients and marinate the cooked beans in it for 5  (Five) days before serving. (I would suggest refrigeration, better safe than sorry)

1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 medium onion, slivered
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp pepper sauce
1 tsp savory salt

After five days, drain well and serve on thin squares of cornbread.’

Quite a few of the recipes found in the Bicentennial Book are such as we use today, but I have chosen from those which are ‘different’, perhaps from their ancestery, or peculiar to the food available in their areas. And so here is South Carolina’s then Governor, James B. Edwards, who calls it his favorite Ice Cream. It was, he states, his Grandmother’s Recipe.


Mix together:
One quart Buttermilk
One Pint whipping cream
Two cups sugar
One Tbsp Vanilla
Mix ingredients and pour into an Ice Cream churn and then freeze.


And finally , in choosing unique and different recipes, I’ve chosen to share a recipe given by Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representative in Washington DC, but from Oklahoma and he tells us how his family serves the lowly Turnip, and makes of them, a special dish..

3 medium size turnips
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Peel the turnips. cut in slices and boil for about 15 minutes in salted water. Make a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Pour this over the drained, cooked turnips and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake for about ten minutes and serve very hot. Serves 4.


One thought on “Bi-Centennial Cookbook

  1. I suppose it is all about how we were raised, but I sure hope I never get desperate enough to eat grass hoppers or sheep balls,/shudder.

    And “5 dozen Mountain Oysters” ? ? ? How many does that serve? In my case, about 200,000. And imagine those 30 poor little sheep.

    I wonder if the real story is that the little sheep had wonderful soprano singing voices, and the elders of the flock wanted to preserve their “talent.”

    Thank about that next time you hear a chorus of sheep baa-ing away . . .

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