For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.
August 1980 • Forty-five years before this recipe was published, The State profiled Haywood County resident Calvin F. Christopher, “our most prolific inventor,” who was said to have filed more than 100 patents. In 1914, Christopher patented a “dinner pail” — a rectangular box with four compartments. It included a space for eating utensils and a cup holder, and was produced by the county’s new Union Manufacturing Co.
Yield: 10 sandwiches.
2½ cups cooked chicken, shredded 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced 5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon dry mustard ¼ cup dill pickle relish, drained well Salt and pepper to taste 20 slices thin sandwich bread
In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, celery, eggs, cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dry mustard, and pickle relish. Mix well to combine ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide and spread chicken mixture evenly on top of 10 slices of bread. Top each with remaining bread. Press tops of sandwiches lightly and slice diagonally. Wrap sandwiches in wax paper or plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to serve.
April 1976 • One of North Carolina’s largest egg producers saw massive growth during the 1970s and ’80s. In 1943, fourth-generation Braswell Family Farms in Nashville began producing and selling cornmeal out of the old Boddie Mill. In the late 1970s, the family started raising chickens and producing their own eggs, and the company soon became a major franchisee for Eggland’s Best. Today, they produce about 540 million eggs a year.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
¾ cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons onion, diced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 8 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped ½ cup celery, diced 2 ripe avocados, pitted and chopped Mixed greens (for serving)
Mix together mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, and salt until well combined. Add eggs, celery, and avocados. Toss lightly. Serve over mixed greens.
September 1, 1969 • The issue of The State that featured this recipe also tackled the age-old tomato debate: Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Carol Dare asserted that, by definition, the tomato must be a fruit. In any case, the North Carolina tomato industry was booming, with about 2,000 acres of trellis tomatoes growing in the western part of the state alone.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
3 cups cooked ham, diced 2 tablespoons onion, diced ¼ cup French salad dressing ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon mustard ½ cup celery, diced 4 to 6 ripe medium tomatoes, cored Salt and pepper to taste Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Mix together ham, onion, French dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, and celery.
Place tomatoes on a platter, stem side down. Cut each tomato, not quite through, into six wedges. Lightly sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt and pepper. Scoop ham salad into the center of each tomato. Garnish with parsley. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
October 18, 1941 • This recipe originally suggested that home cooks use a thimble to make space for a tart jelly filling. These cookies are a take on thimble, or thumbprint, cookies, believed to have originated in 19th-century Europe. A common variety from Sweden is called hallongrotta, meaning “raspberry cave.”
Yield: 16 cookies.
¾ cup shortening ½ cup granulated sugar 1 large egg yolk 1½ cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons raspberry jam
Using an electric mixer, cream together shortening and sugar until well combined. Add egg yolk and flour, and continue mixing on low speed. Scrape dough onto the counter and form a ball. The dough will be crumbly. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes. Pinch off pieces of dough, about the size of a Ping-Pong ball, and roll into balls. Place balls of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, approximately 1 inch apart. Flatten the center of each ball with your thumb, making a small indentation, and fill with raspberry jam. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
Remove cookies from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Spread out a blanket among Blue Ridge blooms at the Biltmore Estate gardens, or place your basket by the statue of Queen Elizabeth I at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo. Check out eight gardens for a summer picnic at ourstate.com/picnic-spots.