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Digging into some tasty history
Liberty lore
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During our December Liberty County Historical Society meeting, Scott Adams presented suggested a heritage dessert social for our next meeting.
Everyone would bring in their favorite dessert that they remembered from childhood or that had been passed down through the years. And they would tell the history of the food and copies of recipes for all.
I must say, this was one of the most "delicious" meetings we have had. The tables were lined with tempting desserts. It is ironic that three of the dishes presented were made from rice.
Rice was once the most important cash crop in Liberty County. Gen. James Oglethorpe considered rice cultivation as important in the new colony of Georgia as indigo for dyes, mulberry for silk and grapes for wine.  
The Woodmanston Plantation, established in 1760 by John and William LeConte, in Liberty County, covered approximately 3,300 and had more than 200 slaves living and working on it. Between 200 and 500 acres were used for rice cultivation. A typical rice field yielded 30 to 60 bushels. Rice was sold as well as kept for everyday eating.
It is one of those foods that "sticks to your ribs."
The desserts shared last week were not made from rice as the colonists knew it but from a product first made in 1932 -Rice Krispies.  
Another ingredient in a prized recipe was peanut butter. People used to grind peanuts until they became like butter. But since 1904, we do not have to grind our own peanut butter. C. H. Sumner introduced peanut butter as we know it to the world in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis. Georgia is a leading producer of peanuts.
Jamie Wisner, an English teacher at Bradwell Institute, introduced his concoction and told its history. Peanut butter confection is famous from the Bradwell Cafeteria. Paula Miller said students would trade their entire lunch for an extra piece of it. Jamie's mother, Avis Wisner, a past history teacher at Bradwell and past president of LCHS, managed to weasel the huge-quantity recipe for peanut butter confection and break it down to family size.
Three of my favorites desserts were a lemon pie, peach cobbler and tea cakes. Virginia Rozier made a homemade crust for her mouth-watering lemon pie. Paula made a delicious peach cobbler with lots of peaches. The tea cakes were so good it was hard to decide which were the yummiest, Hazel Todd's or Scott Adams'. We had many other desserts; cherry pudding cake by Jeff Staggs, my own grape jelly cake, a coconut cake and Rice Krispie bars by Sarah Hein, and homemade syrup bread and date nut balls by Hazel.
When I was 8, Daddy had all of us "young'uns" go with him and Mama to the woods to pick wild grapes on vines high up in the trees. He wanted the largest washtub we had filled before we could leave. He told us Mama was going to make jelly. Well, all we had ever had was blackberry jelly and we could almost taste this new kind of jelly. We picked and picked until finally we filled that large tub. When we returned home, Daddy took them to the well and began washing them. Then he told us that he had tricked us. He was going to use them to make wine! We were very disappointed!
I am sharing three of the simple heritage recipes with you.

Peanut butter confection  (Jamie Wisner)

1 pint white Karo syrup
18 ounce jar creamy peanut butter
7 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup sugar
Mix sugar and syrup and bring to a boil, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool two minutes. Stir in peanut butter and stir until smooth. Stir in Rice Krispies. Mix well. Spread into butter greased pan and allow to cool until firm.  Cut into squares.

Jelly Cake (Margie Love)
1 jar grape jelly or any flavor
1 recipe for layer cake or use 1 box yellow cake mix
Bake three or four or more layers. Take a fork and whip the jelly in the jar. Spread some on each of the hot layers as you take them up. Set the jar of jelly in the microwave for the top layer and let it melt a minute or two. Pour over the top layer. Let cake set at least 24 hours before cutting.

Tea Cakes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream or milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
2 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg. Add flour and milk alternately mixing as you go. Add vanilla. Put dollops of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe was handed down from Scott Adams' great-great grandmother. Hazel Todd made a batch from a similar recipe.

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