OSU Home Demostration Clubs

While ‘de-cluttering’ a couple of weeks ago – I ran across this cookbook.  The pages are splattered and filled with notes/comments.  And, even though I only actually use it a couple of times a year – it’s a ‘keeper’.   Below are some facts about the OSU Home Demostration Clubs and a few recipes.

Home demonstration club members held monthly meetings in homes, schools, and churches, where a county agent or a district representative would give demonstrations on home economics. Eventually some organizations purchased and furnished a small building to serve as a club house. For example, by 1941 ten of the fourteen Harmon County organizations had club houses. Some home demonstration clubs met bi-monthly, with one meeting for business purposes and the second meeting for an all-day sewing and quilting get-together. Their quilts and sewing projects helped the needy in their respective communities. Pride in accomplishment culminated when the women entered their canned goods and sewing projects into competition at the state and county fairs.

In 1910 the “Better Wheat” train, with speakers from Oklahoma A&M, Texas A&M, the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, came to Oklahoma City. Women observed demonstrations on bread making using different types of flour. During the Great Depression agents taught women to remake clothes and to make mattresses. The mattress-making program extended into seventy-five Oklahoma counties. In the early 1930s McCurtain County farm women used surplus cotton to make two thousand mattresses. Community canning centers opened in Krebs and other small rural towns; the demonstration club furnished canning equipment, and the city furnished gas, water, and a kitchen. During World War I and World War II club members worked with the Red Cross, helped with the war bond and saving stamp drives, conserved home resources, and performed other vital tasks on the home front. For instance, extension agents actively worked with county clubs to save cooking grease to be used to make explosives during World War II.

After the war the home demonstration movement remained vigorous. In 1952 the Oklahoma Agricultural Extension Service annual report indicated that in 1951, 119,126 Oklahomans had made home improvements, with 27,267 residents being reached for the first time as a result of home demonstration work. Major emphasis continued in food conservation and sewing. In 1952 alone, agents assisted almost 200,000 families in food production and preservation and 83,000 Oklahomans in conserving clothing and home furnishings. By 1954 Oklahoma’s seventy-seven counties had 1,935 home demonstration clubs with 36,916 members.

As technology and women’s needs changed, the kinds of information distributed by agents changed. During the 1950s, freezers replaced the need to can foods, and ready-made clothing made sewing a hobby. In the 1960s as more women worked outside the home, the thrust of home demonstration projects shifted toward building stronger families and managing family resources. In 1968 the name changed to Extension Homemakers Groups. By the 1980s women working full time benefitted from quarterly mailings that kept them informed of the latest in food preparation and nutrition.

Those Home Demostration Clubs provided a much needed service to the rural women of Oklahoma.  They created a ‘community’ of wives/mothers/daughters – a place to learn and share.  One of the most coveted cookbooks when I was a young wife in southern Oklahoma  was The Garvin County Home Extention Club Cookbook.  Filled with with tried & true recipes  — casseroles that stretched a budget, sides dishes that were made with summer’s bounty,  and desserts that became the centerpiece of many church potluck dinners.  Those recipes weren’t fancy, they were just good country cooking – shared by Oklahoma homemakers.  

Broccoli & Rice Casserole

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup rice (cooked)
  • 1 pkg frozen broccoli (cook & drain)
  • ½ ccup onion (chopped)
  • ½ cup celery (chopped)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
  • ½ sml jar Cheese Whiz

Saute onion & celery in butter, add to rice, broccoli, soup, milk and cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bake 30  minutes at 350° uncovered. 

Dorito Casserole

  • 1 pkg Taco Doritos
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can water
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes

Bring to a boil, soup, water & tomatoes.  Cook onion with hamburger in skillet.  Put a layer of Doritos (slightly crushed) into bottom of greased casserole dish.  Top with layer of hamburger/onion, then soup then Doritos, etc. . until all ingredients are used.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 ° for 30 minutes.

Bon-Bons

  • 1 qt pecan meats, chopped
  • 2 stick oleo (margarine)
  • 1 cup Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 boxes of powdered sugar
  • 1 block canning wax
  • 1 pkg Nestle’s chocolate morsels

Mix well the pecans, oleo, milk, powdered sugar, form into walnut size balls.  Put on wax paper and leave in refrigerator overnite.  Next day, melt the canning wax and chocolate morsels in a double-boiler.  Dip balls in chocolate mixture and let set on wax-paper. 

Dump Cake

  • 1 (#2) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 stick of margarine

Spread pineapple with juice in 12×9 inch pan, spoon cherry filling to top. Sprinkle with dry cake mix and pecans.  Dot with margarine.  Do not stir.  Bake at 350 ° for 1 hr.

Want to know more ?  Check out this website:   http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/H/HO020.html

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About lifeinbitspieces

Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mom, MoMo, and Friend Sewing, Knitting, Baking, and Gardening. Preserving and sharing all the 'bits & pieces
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