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Period Plantation Short'nin Bread

Discussion in 'Foods of the Civil War' started by donna, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    250px-Shortbreadrounds.jpg

    We all must have sang the song, "Short'nin Bread" as children. It originated among slaves working on plantations in the early 1800s. The gist of the song is that the doctor orders short'nin bread to help heal the sick children and it does work.

    Short'nin bread was a treat that plantation cooks could whip up easily. It only required butter, brown sugar and flour. The word short'nin bread is actually shortbread. It had been popular in England for hundreds of years. The difference with the plantation type and the English type is the brown sugar which gave the South's short'nin bread a distinctive flavor.

    Short'nin Bread Recipe (recreated)


    2 cups butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    4 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    2. Line a 17x 11.5 jellyroll pan with parchment, or spray with non-stick spray.
    3. In a large bowl of a mixer, cream the butter; beat in the sugar until very light and fluffy.
    Turn mixer down to low speed and add the flour and salt., mixing until smooth.
    4. Alternately, the dough may be done by hand. Make sure the butter is very soft and mix it well with the brown sugar; work the flour and salt in by hand until smooth. ( Of course, this be way plantation cook would have done it.)
    5. Press the dough evenly onto the prepared pan.
    6. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, score the dough into squares, eight on the long side of the pan by six on the shorter side.
    7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown.
    8. Immediately use the sharp knife to cut through the score marks into squares.
    9. Cool thoroughly before serving.

    This is fun recipe to make with children. As it cooks, they can sing the song "Short'nin' Bread".

    Lyrics to song Short'nin' Bread".

    "Three little children, lyin' in bed
    Two were sick and the other 'most dead
    Sent for the doctor and the doctor said,
    "Give those children some short'nin' bread."

    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread.

    Put on the skillet, slip on the lid,
    Mama's gonna make a little short'nin' bread,
    That ain't all she's gonna do,
    Mama's gonna make a little coffee, too.

    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin,
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread.

    When these children, sick in bed,
    Heard that talk about short'nin' bread,
    Popped up well to dance and sing,
    Skipped around and cut the pigeon wing.

    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
    Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread."

    Recipe for Short'nin Bread
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2017

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  3. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    I remember that song! Sometimes very simple things are so very good. Here's something to dance to while you're making it!

     
  4. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Simple is always good in cooking. As I wrote, this can be a fun recipe to make with your children or grandchildren.

    My son always liked to help me cook. Now , he is the cook in the house. His wife just doesn't care about cooking. His son, my grandson, who is nine likes to help him cook. I guess the cooking is being handed down from generation to generation. I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother, and so on.
     
  5. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    In the interest of historical accuracy--those lyrics have been changed. :smile:
     
  6. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    I didn't know lyrics had been changed. These ones I got off line and didn't say anything.
     
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  7. chellers

    chellers Brigadier General Moderator Trivia Game Winner

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    A couple more verses:

    I snuck to the kitchen, picked up the lid
    I filled my pockets full of shortnin' bread
    I winked at the pretty little girl and said
    "Baby, how'd you like some shortnin' bread"

    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread

    Got caught with the skillet
    Got caught with the lid
    Got caught with my mouth full of shortnin' bread
    Six months for the skillet, six months for the lid
    Six months in the jail eatin' shortnin' bread

    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
    Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread

    http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/paul_chaplain/shortnin_bread.html
     
  8. jpro

    jpro Corporal

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    Original lyrics:
    Behine de hen-house, on my knees,
    Thought I hearn a chickin sneeze
    Sneezed so hard wi' de whoopin' cough
    I thought he'd sneeze his blame' head off.

    (chorus)
    Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
    Rake de coals out hot an' red
    Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
    Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

    O I' got got a house in Baltimo'
    Street-kyars run right by my do'
    Street-kyars run right by my gate,
    Hit's git up soon an' set up late.

    (chorus)
    Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
    Rake de coals out hot an' red
    Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
    Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

    De raincrow hide in some ole tree
    An' holler out, all hoarse, at me
    Sayes, "When I sing, de rain hit po'
    So's you ain't 'bleeged to plow no mo'!

    (chorus)
    Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
    Rake de coals out hot an' red
    Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
    Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

    And my favorite rendition Rock a Billy style...enjoy

     
  9. chellers

    chellers Brigadier General Moderator Trivia Game Winner

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    I was trying to find the original lyrics. Thanks for posting.

    The video is fantastic!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
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  10. Seduzal

    Seduzal 2nd Lieutenant

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    It's been a long time since, but I remember that song and group. As a kid growing up in school we would all sing short'nin'bread on our way to lunch. It was a very poplar tune among the kids way back when we grew up!:dance:
     
  11. Lazy Bayou

    Lazy Bayou 1st Lieutenant

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    We did the same thing. Ahhh, the good ol' days.
     
  12. Seduzal

    Seduzal 2nd Lieutenant

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    Yes the good old days but not to long ago! :smile coffee:
     
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  13. chellers

    chellers Brigadier General Moderator Trivia Game Winner

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    "The days are long, but the years are short."
    ---unknown
     
  14. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    I always had music class in elementary school and high school. Don't know if they have that now. Loved to sing the songs. I have several old music books with all the songs that were popular in my day.
     
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  15. FarawayFriend

    FarawayFriend Captain Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    I love shortbread but did never know that it can serve medical purposes! Now I will enjoy it twice as much!
     
  16. John Davison

    John Davison Retired User

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    Geeze, glad to see the entire lyrics -- I could only remember just a few lines! "Return with us now to those days of yesteryear."
     
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  17. John Davison

    John Davison Retired User

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    Ha! True Chellers, but only when you've spent a "certain" number of years on the planet. When we were kids of Santa Claus age, it was the other way around! Strange isn't it?
     
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  18. John Davison

    John Davison Retired User

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    BTW, Faraway Friend, let me be the "Last" to offer cudos on your recognition as member of the month. I must've been in a time warp when your beatification was formally announced!
     
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  19. GELongstreet

    GELongstreet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Don't know the song, but love the (british) shortbread.
     
  20. John Davison

    John Davison Retired User

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    And some of those recipes passed down from generation to generation. My wife mastered all the old "family recipes" from my Mom and Grandmom. Oyster dressing with Giblet gravy, pickled cucumbers, homemade mincemeat, and Spiced "put up" peaches being among my my favorites. Oh! And persimmon pudding as well.
     
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  21. John Davison

    John Davison Retired User

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    Especially good with fresh strawberries and cream! Yum!
     
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