Herb recipes from Historic Homes of Powder Springs, Georgia


At the time the Seven Springs Historical Society began the planning of this cookbook, there was an increasing regional interest in herbs. Also, the Historical Society had special interests in herb gardening. Many of the members had planted herb gardens at home and used them in their cooking. Many of these members also belonged to the Mimosa Garden Club. So, in 1998, the Mimosa Garden club planted an Herb Garden at the Seven Springs Historical Society Museum, which was then located at 3901 Brownsville Road. The Garden Club Members and Historical Society Members maintained the garden for many years. Many of the herbs were donated by club members.

Imogene Abernathy gave fourteen herbs and helped with the planting in memory of her dear friend, Katherine Wyatt McDonald.

Herbs in the Garden at the Museum: Oregano thyme, Tarragon, Garden Sage, Lemon thyme, Garlic chives, Golden creeping thyme, Rosemary, Catnip, Sweet fennel, Rue, Lemon balm, Oregano thyme, Lamb’s ears and Chives.

Included in the cookbook, along with recipes, are guidelines on growing an Herb Garden; drying and preserving herbs; Herb Chart and a Life Cycle Information for Herb Chart plus hints on the use of herbs in cooking and everyday life. Many of these were handed down from one generation to another.

Herbs can be harvested, washed, tied in bunches and hung up to dry. Small quantities of small leaves, short pieces of stems and seed heads can be placed in stackable trays to dry and store. Tender herbs can be blanched and stored in the freezer.

Here are some of those recipes and hints that you will find in the Society’s cookbook:
PESTO RECIPE: Several sprigs of parsley, 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, ½ cup olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts. Put Garlic, parsley and basil into blender or mortar. Mix or pound to a paste. Continue mixing and gradually add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, if desired. When paste is smooth, stir in Olive oil. Serves 3-4 and can be used as sauce over a pound of noodles or as a dip.

HINT: Fresh dill is delectable added to soups, stews, salads, sandwich filling and vegetables.

SAGE TEA RECIPE: 1 quart spring water, ½ cup packed fresh sage leaves, juice of 1 lemon or lime and 3 tablespoons honey. Bring the water just to a boil and pour it over the sage leaves. Stir in the honey and juice. Steep the tea for about 20 minutes, then strain it into a warm teapot. Yields 4 cups.

HINT: Fern leaf tansy adds beautiful greenery to summer bouquets.

GREEK CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE: 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (about 3 chicken breasts), 2 medium cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped), 1¼ cups crumbled feta cheese. 2/3 cups sliced pitted ripe olives, ¼ cup snipped parsley. 1 cup mayonnaise, ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon dried oregano (crushed), 3 cloves garlic (minced) and lettuce leaves. In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, cucumber, feta cheese, olive and parsley; set aside. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, oregano and garlic; add to chicken mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and chill. Serve on lettuce leaves or in lettuce-lined pita bread halves. Makes 6 servings.

HINT: Place sweet bags or sachets between the cushions of your sofa and chairs to freshen up the living room. Also, tying several branches together and placing on dying embers of a fire creates a pleasing aroma.

MIXED HERB BUTTER RECIPE: ¼ pound butter or margarine, 1 tsp grated onion, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp tarragon, ½ tsp chopped parsley, and freshly ground pepper. Soften butter or margarine. Blend in grated onion, lemon juice, tarragon, parsley and pepper to taste. Especially good for fish.

HINT: Sprinkle springs of rosemary (with beef), thyme (with fish), or sage (with poultry) on barbecue coals near the end of cooking for subtle flavor and aroma.

A CHRISTMAS YULE LOG RECIPE: Blend together 8 oz cream cheese with 8 oz grated cheddar. Add and mix well: 2 tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp each thyme and rosemary, 1 tsp each garlic powder and grated onion, ½ cup chopped nuts, salt and pepper to taste. Form into two rolls and sprinkle with paprika for wooden log effect. Chill. Score with tines of fork for wooden log effect. Slice thin and serve on crackers.

HINT: Enclose rosemary sprigs in your Christmas Cards for “remembrance”. Add fresh or dried herb sprigs to your Christmas Manager display.

BOUQUET GARNI: This is a mixture of herbs used to season foods such as stews, soups, sauces, braised dishes and casseroles. Parsley, thyme, and bay leaf are the ‘must’ herbs (others may be added). They are tied together with string or in a cheesecloth bag so they can be removed from the dish after cooking and removed before serving.

There are over a hundred recipes in the cookbook. These recipes were contributed by the historical society members and come from their personal collections and those of their friends. Many are old family recipes given to the historical society members by the descendants of some of Powder Springs earliest residents.

Note: The original Herb Garden planted in 1998 at the Museum on Brownsville is still there. The garden was not moved when the Museum was moved to the Bodiford House on Marietta Street. However, as part of the landscape at the new museum, Rosemary was planted along the walkway between the parking area and the entrance to the back area of the house.

Cookbook Committee: Imogene Abernathy, Patti Briel, Sarah Frances Miller and Susan House Smith. Cookbooks are on display at the Museum.


Herb recipes from Historic Homes of
Powder Springs, Georgia

Part II – Stories

Preserving the histories of the houses and the families who lived in them was part of the intent of the Seven Springs Sampler. It also contains some amusing stories about some of the family members – bits and pieces of our local oral history – and a way of life at that time.

Here are more of those stories:

“A Ride Around the Square” by Sarah Frances Miller – C.M. Mctyre, a grocery-dry-goods merchant and cotton buyer in Powder Springs, bought a new car. He watched as the salesman demonstrated the wonderful machine. He purchased the car and decided to drive home for lunch. As he neared his house, he realized he had forgotten how to stop the car. He drove to Marietta and around the square. He drove home. Then he ran the wonderful machine into a tree in his yard. The motor finally stopped running. After that he walked to and from the store every day and walked home for lunch. He kept the car in the garage except when he wanted to make trips to his several farms or to Florid in the winter.

“A Bucket of Quinces” – Ted Leake remembers living at the Kiser-McKinney house (on Old Lost mountain Road). One day he was given an eight pound lard bucket full of quinces from the orchard. “Please take these to Mrs. Popham” requested his mother. It was a long way up the road. By the time he reached Mrs. Popham’s house, the bucket was only half full. Somehow his mother found out. So, the next day she gave him another bucket of quinces. “Be sure that the bucket is full when you give it to Mrs. Popham” she said.

“Advice to Students” – Students who board in the Dormitory, both boys and girls, should leave at home the following: cards, guns, pistols, intoxicating liquids, tobacco of all kinds, idleness, selfishness, laziness, profanity, and bad habits. Leave all of these at home and you will do well. -OR- Students are expected to conduct themselves in a refined manner. No communication is permitted between the boys and girls except in the presence of a member of the faculty. (From the Bulletin of the 7th District Agricultural and Mechanical (current John McEachern Schools) Arts School, Powder Springs, Georgia 1922-23, p.17).

“The Black Bonnet” – Plans were made to widen Marietta Street. It would be necessary to cut the row of oaks on either side of the street. The engineers from the State Department of Roads were going house to house to explain the plans. Mrs. Emma Camp put on her black bonnet and got her shotgun. She sat on the front steps with a shot gun across her knees. She told the engineers , “I do not want my Oaks cut.” Her statement was so forceful that roots of the oaks in front of her Victorian house are still pushing up the sidewalk. (4279 Marietta St.)

“Sugar Rationing” from the Cobb County Times, October 24,1918. “Approximately 200,000,000 pounds of sugar will be saved per year by a new ruling of the Food Administration which will prevent anyone from obtaining more than two pounds per month…The new Regulation effective from October 15th permits the consumer to purchase his allotment of sugar every 15 days or semi-monthly rather than every week”

“A spoonful of Sugar” – One day, Ted Leake came home from school and found a note on the dinning room table. It said “Take a bucket of water to your brother Walter who is plowing the back forty acre field.” So, as was his usual custom, he took a teaspoon out of a spoon holder and put it in the sugar bowl. He wondered where his six brothers and sisters were. When he put the spoon in his mouth, he began to cough and sputter and say all sorts of words. The sugar bowl had been filled with salt! The other children came in laughing. “We thought we would teach you not to eat so much sugar” they said.

“The Hidden Shoes” – Boyd Vaughn, one of Powder Springs’ early residents, was recovering from pneumonia. His father, Dr. J.S. Vaughn, did not think it wise for him to go to the square dance Friday night. So, he said to his wife, ‘Maggie, hide his shoes. That should keep him at home. The next morning the young man was sitting by the fire. His father noticed that there was a big hole in the sole of each bedroom shoe. He had danced in his bedroom shoes! Boyd had gone to the dance after all.

“Mutton for Sale” by Ted Leake – “Mutton for Sale on Broad Street Saturday.” Pony Adair sold mutton from the back of his wagon every Saturday. One man questioned him, “Why do you have mutton to sell when all I see are goats in the pasture when pass your place?” “Oh,” he replied, “Every time a kid is born, I name him Mutton. So, I have mutton to sell every Saturday.”

The Seven Springs Museum houses several copies of the Seven Springs Sampler in our library. Several are also on display elsewhere in the Museum.

Sarah Frances Miller, Powder Springs Historian and Seven Springs Historical Society President, contributed most of the histories and stories. Cookbook Committee: Imogene Abernathy, Patti Briel, Sarah Frances Miller and Susan Houser Smith.