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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Butter Beans and Biscuits: c.1959

Butter Beans and Biscuits: c.1959

Family dinner just beginning. The color scheme in this photo just tickles me to no end. That green and the vibrant orange. Plus that meal sure looks good. The biscuits are made using an old family recipe and I can confirm that they are as good as they look here. Woodrow's Kodachrome slide. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Aunt Mary's Biscuit recipe!

This may be a first for Shorpy - a recipe posting.
But first I must add a caveat: I have never baked these rolls (that is what they actually are) so I cannot guarantee the recipe. I've certainly had them though, and if done properly, they are as amazing as they look. I found this recipe in our old church cook book, so it is written in her words. The process is serious old-school and if I were to tackle it today, I would certainly use original ingredients (including real shortening) rather than make substitutions. Also, leave plenty of time. Mary was the older sister of my husband's mother, seated next to him here on the right. I never knew the rolls by any other name other than...

Aunt Mary's Rolls

16 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
about 1/5 c. salt
3 T. shortening
2 pkgs dry yeast (dissolved in 1 & 1/3 qt. lukewarm water)

Mix all ingredients and knead vigorously about 10 minutes. Place in large greased mixing bowl to rise. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Pinch off small portions and shape out rolls. Roll in melted butter and place in baking pan. Let rise again until double in size, or when pressed with finger tip, dent comes out. Bake at 450-500 degrees until done. Brush tops with butter when taken from oven. Can also be shaped into loves of bread.

As for the other dinner items. The extra strong "jello" is most likely a bowl of very well simmered corn. There are butter beans in the close bowl. Looks like turkey other southern delights. As for the family dynamic, I couldn't say. It's obviously a special meal (possibly Thanksgiving), and the little one in the high chair
is probably making a fuss and all that's needed is that certain look from Dad. Thanks for all the great comments. This is one of my favorite photos of the group.
Oh and Radiomatt...would you believe? I still have a McCormick pepper tin just like that one in my cabinet. Alarming isn't it?

Family table action

I'm glad we keep returning to this photo. Am I imagining things, Deborah, or is there something going on with the two little girls? The one on Dad's knee looks to have been crying recently, while Dad is definitely giving the hairy eyeball to the younger one, as if to say, I don't want any more nonsense out of you. Her body language is clearly tense and withdrawing. The boy on the left with the back of his head to us is checking it all out. Mom is all la-de-da, pouring the coffee. In the meantime, the future Deborah husband is having none of it, preferring the lens to the family heat.


Thanks for letting us visit for a bit. Nice looking group of folks, especially that dashing devil at the right! HA!


Is the clear bowl filled with range stuff Jello and fruit? I am wondering about the spoon in it. It looks bent. That is STRONG Jello!


The colors are fantastic and the meal looks great.

Did you always eat this well or is this a special occasion?


Wonderful photo; the lovely green of the room reminds me of the dining room at Mount Vernon.

Deborah, is the biscuit recipe a family secret? There are many of us here who would love to try it, especially if we had some of whatever's in that Ball jar to go with them!!!

Not Sure The Last Time I Saw One.

I remember those McCormick's pepper tins. I think they used them at least into the '70s.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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