See local FSBO Real Estate North Alabama Family Home Cooking School Proximity
Gurley Lions Club serving the Gurley community since 1948

Reion Allison Notebook Cookbook

Lou Sams graciously shared this article 29 January 2005

I acquired this notebook as a gift from my Aunt, Margaret "Helen" Lehman Clark. She got the notebook from Ms. Lydia Allison, a neighbor and friend to her mother (my grandmother), Mrs. Erma Worley Lehman.
The two women lived across the street from one another on Ward Avenue in Five Points, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama.

The Allison family had associations with my grandmother's family lines for generations back in Big Cove, Alabama. The earliest one that I know of was when Erma's great-grandfather's sister, Nancy Cobb, married John Allison. Catherine "Kitty" Allison, married Erma's great-grandfather's brother, 6 term U.S. Congressman, W.R.W. Cobb. Allisons were friends and associates with Erma's Worley, Cobb, and Buford lines for many generations. Ms. Lydia Allison also taught school at Joe Bradley High School in Merrimack Village, Huntsville, Alabama, where Erma's husband, Ernest Lehman attended school.

The notebook is binded with a very well-worn, orange card stock type cover. The orange ribbon that ran along the spine is only partially remaining, mostly detached, and has turned brown for the most part. The notebook is of the "Keep Clean Line" brand, No. 6, according to the cover. Handwritten on the cover is this: " Reion Allison Bible Out Line Gurley, Ala Robert Donnell School".
Inside the notebook, the first third is indeed filled with Bible outlines on subjects such as The Creation, The First Sabbath, and many chapters in Genesis.
Next, an outline of Exodus, Chapter 1. Next are a couple of recipes, and a couple of torn out pages, followed by words from a hymn, and another recipe. Another song about "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean is next, then "Three cheers for the Red White and Blue." A couple of additional recipes appear before a couple of pages of Conundrums, such as these:
"What are the best ships in the world? Courtship and Friendship".
"If Mississippi should give Missouri her New Jersey, and Florida should keep her own Cape Sable, who would Delaware? Alaska (I'll ask her)"

Then we find several pages on a discourse (or poem) about "Our Railroads", followed by the words to "Dixie." Next appears another rendition of "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean" and then a song or poem called "Cho". More recipes follow. The end of the notebook has lists of words and their definitions, possibly spelling words. I liked these :
" Coquet - to trifle in love", "Coquette - a vain, jetting girl", "Taffy - flattery", "Sermonious - progressing", "Plavery - long tongue", "Melancholy - to feel blue and long", "Miazary - no definition given", "Corpulent - fat", and " Exquisite - a dainty."

I love the recipes, with outdated instructions, like "a tea cup full", " a wine glass full", "brown just short of burning", etc. Some of the names I was unfamiliar with, such as a Hop Doodle, Floating Island, or Transparent Pies. Obviously, Reion Allison thought them all worthwhile enough to include in her notebook. I wonder if we would think the same today, over 100 years later?

- Louise "Lou" Lehman Sams
January 2005

Reion Allison Notebook Cookbook

Black Fruit Cake Mrs. Adams

2 Lb. raisins, 2 lbs. currants, 1 lb citron, 1 lb powdered almonds, 1 lb. sugar, 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. butter, 12 eggs, 1 wine glass wine, 1 of brandy, 1 of rose water, 4 nutmegs, 1 table spoon cinnamon, 1 of mace.

Black Fruit Cake

Mrs. Adams 2 Lb. raisins, 2 lbs. currants, 1 lb citron, 1 lb powdered almonds, 1 lb. sugar, 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. butter, 12 eggs, 1 wine glass wine, 1 of brandy, 1 of rose water, 4 nutmegs, 1 table spoon cinnamon, 1 of mace. mix raisins and currants, and flour them well with part of the lb. of flour. Make a regular pould cake, next add spice and liquor, then almonds, next citron, last fruit. Bake four hours.

mix raisins and currants, and flour them well with part of the lb. of flour. Make a regular pould cake, next add spice and liquor, then almonds, next citron, last fruit. Bake four hours.

Floating Island Mrs. E.J.

Whites of 3 eggs broken into bowl. To these add 3 table spoons Ssgar, 3 table spoons jelly. Whip to a stiff froth: 1 pint of whipped cream sweetened and flavored to tast. Put cream at bottom of bowl and eggs on top.

Chow chow Pickle

Evening before, put a large (struck) layer of cabbage and salt. press down till morning; ten large onions prepared same way separate dishes.
sweeten 1 gal. vinegar to taste, 1 tumeric, 2 oz. mustard seed, celery seed, horseradish. Mix and put into vinegar. Put on fire, when it boils put in cabbage and onions and boil a few minutes. Dry next day on dishes.

Cheese Straws

Two and a half cups of grated cheese, half cup of melted butter: one teaspoon of salt, flour enough to roll out. Cut into strips about four inches long and quarter of an inch wide Bake in a quick oven.

Beatin Biscuit

1 Quart flour, piece of lard size of hen egg. Salt, use sweet milk enough to make stiff dough. Beat until light.

Caramel Filling

2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup cream, 8 tea spoons butter. Boil together until nearly the consistency of jelly. Flavor

Custard Pie

Three eggs, 2/3 cup of coffee Sugar, teaspoonful Dr. Price's Extract nutmeg and nearly a Pint of sweet milk.

Chilli sauce

12 large tomatoes, 3 onions (chop onions and tomatoes) 3 large peppers green (chop) 2 tablespoons salt 2 " " " sugar 1 " " " Pulverise cinamon 2 teacups vinegar "boil until thick"

Devil's Food

1 1/2 cups sugar (1) 1/2 cup butter creamed. (3) 1/2 cup butter milk 2 blocks of chocolate in 1/2 cup of Boiling water (or 1/2 cup coco). (2) 1 teaspoon soda in cup of chocolate 2 1/4 cups flour (4) 2 eggs Filling Bitter size of walnut 2 cups of sugar 1 block of chocolate water. (Note: The numbers in parentheses above are as they appear in the original handwritten recipe, but no idea what they mean.)

From Ladies Home Journal

One cup of sugar, one cup of milk; Two eggs beaten fine as silk. Salt and nutmeg (lemon'll do); Of baking powder, teaspoon two. Lightly stir the flour in; Cut in diamonds, twists, or rings. Drop with care the doughy things Into fat that briskly swells Evenly the spongy cells. Watch with care the time for turning, Fry them brown just short of burning. Roll in sugar; serve when cool Price - a quarter for this rule.


Whites 3 eggs beaten stiff. 10 spoons powdered sugar. Flavor with lemon. Butter a pan . Lay in white paper. Drop mixture with teaspoon inch apart. Sift sugar over and bake half hour in slow oven.

Fudge Mrs. Rour

4 oz chocolate, 1 cupful sugar, 1/2 cup milk; stir continually until the whole is well mixed, boil till it hardens when dropped into cold water.

Ginger Nut Crisps

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs beaten slightly, vanilla or lemon juice, enough flour to roll out soft, and thin. brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with chopped nuts, and candied ginger. Bake in slow oven.

Hop Doodle

Two cups flour, one cup sugar, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, butter size of an egg; mix; beat an egg and stir into a cup of milk. Make a hole in center of ingredients, put in egg and milk and mix with vigor. pour into a square biscuit tin Sprinkle quite thickly with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and get into the oven quickly as possible Cut into squares and serve hot. This is a delicious bin for tea or lunch.

Lemon Filling

Yellow of 2 eggs 2 lemons 1/2 cup sugar Little water

Marshmallow Filling

Soak a table spoonful of powdered gum Arabic in two table spoonfuls of warm water for half an hour; stand it over hot water and carefully stir until dissolved. Boil a cupful of sugar, and half cup water together until they spin a thread. Pour, while hot, over the whites of two well beaten eggs, beating continuosly. Then add the gum Arabic and beat until stiff and cold.

Prince of Wales Cake

Brown Part. Two cups brown sugar One cup butter One cup sour milk Three cups flour Two cups chopped citron or raisins One tea spoon soda dissolved in a little warm water. Two table spoons molasses, the same of cinnamon and nutmeg, two teaspoons cloves. Yelks of six eggs. White Part. Two cups white sugar One cup butter One teaspoon baking powder Three cups flour}Bake in tin and White six eggs.} put together with icing .

Salmon Salad

1 can salmon mashed fine 6 hard bolied eggs, whites chopped in small bits; yolks mashed with 1 table spoon prepared mustard, 1 teaspoon celery, black pepper, and vinegar enough to make thin; a sauce 2/3 full of cucumber pickle well chopped, then mix salmon, pickle, and whites of egg together; add sauce, if too dry add more vinegar.

Tea Cakes

3 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 spoon soda, flour enough to make soft dough.

Snow Cake

Whites of 9 eggs, 2 cups sugar 4 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup butter, 2 spoons baking powder. Beat the eggs to a stiff froth, add the sugar to the egg, and beat thoroughly. Cream the butter. To this add the flour and milk till all is in. Beat thoroughly, reserving a little flour to put baking powder in. Mix sugar and egg with butter and flour, then flavor, and last sift in the flour with baking powder. Stir well and put in hot oven. for gold cake add 1/2 cup of milk and 2/3 cup flour.

Sweet Cucumbers

Take cucumbers that has been in brine. Slice thin, about inch thick, soak out sault, boil in alum water half hour. to 4 lb cucumbers use 3 lb. white sugar making a syrup of 1 qt vinegar, I pt water, adding cucumbers cinnamon, mace and cloves. Boil all together until syrup is thick.

Reion Allison notebook August 13, 1900 Robert Donnell High School Gurley, Alabama

Lou Sams graciously shared this article 29 January 2005