A special recipe from Messenger reader Ruthie Boykin

Published 6:38 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

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Ruthie Boykin was taught that knowledge is to be shared. So, she graciously agreed to share the Sour Milk Gingerbread recipe that her mother used with the Auburn Extension Service.

“My mother worked for Auburn University Extension Service and her job was to visit households to help them plan menus for families based on their socio-economic status,” Boykin said. “This was the first time that I realized you could make red beans taste like sausage by using sage in the menu. She enjoyed her job visiting the people and helping them realize all the possibilities for making, enjoying, and having a healthy alternative to meal preparation.”

Boykin’s interest in the Auburn cookbook that contained the “tried and true” recipes that her mother used.

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She called the Auburn Extension Office and discovered that the individuals she spoke to did not have any knowledge of the cookbook.

“They sent me to different departments and the results were the same,” Boykin said. “I also googled Amazon etc. and found that they have different copies of the cookbook and the prices. I did not see the one that my mother used, so I looked at the copy that I ran off when I visited her in the 1970s and found the notations for future reference. At the time, they were only charging .50 cents to cover the cost of handling. A bargain today, because I know that the cost is higher.”

What Boykin found was “The Auburn Cookbook” by Fariss Prickett: Specialist in Food and Nutrition. Published: September 1965.

“I am very confident that this information will be valuable to readers of The Messenger,” Boykin said. “This is the Sour Milk Gingerbread recipe my mother used with the Auburn Extension Service. She made some modification to enhance the flavor. She liked Grandmother’s Molasses Unsulphured Original.

Sour Milk


 3/4 c. shortening

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. molasses

 3 eggs, beaten

 3 c. sifted flour

 1 t. soda

 1 t. baking powder

 1/2 t. salt

 2 T. ginger

 1/2 t. cloves

 1 T. cinnamon

 1 c. sour milk

Cream shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.

Add molasses and beaten eggs. Mix. Sift dry ingredients alternately with milk to molasses mixture. Pour into well-greased pan lined with wax paper. Cook in a moderate oven (325 to 350 degrees) 35 minutes

Happy Baking!!!!!