Buce & Breshears Family Recipes

The Family Recipe Box

So many of our memories are connected with food. Food is how we share our culture, and is the one activity that unites us as a family on a daily basis. Food is directly tied with our daily lives, and the bits and pieces of family stories that revolve around the kitchen and the dining table give us a glimpse into what life was actually like for our ancestors. I hope you enjoy the recipes on this page. If you have something that is a family recipe you would like to make available to others, please pass it along.


Recipes from the Breshears Family

Dean Flechs is a descendant of the BRESHEARS family through his mother, Johnnie Breshears Flechs. He has a wealth of genealogy information. Dean was a newpaper reporter so he knows how to track things down. His mother, Johnnie Breshears Flechs, died when he was fairly young. Here are some of Dean Flech's recipes. He always told a story to go along with them.


During the early 1990's, my late wife was bedfast and on kidney dialysis (every 4 hours) and we also had our three grandkids so I fed everyone. (They ate everything I fixed, but hated Prune Pie!) John, our youngest grandson was in kindergarten. He expected a batch of pudding every Saturday. I was making it on an icy December morning when the nurse came in to bathe Betty. When she came in she asked what I was cooking - it smelled so good. I'm just making John some pudding, I said. " 'Johnsome Pudding?' I never heard of that!" she said. When I had filled the containers, John gave her one and she praised it highly. Ever since we've called it John-some Pudding and they all still like it.
Hot Water
1-cup sugar
½ cup flour
½ stick Margarine (melted)
½ cup cocoa
2-¾ cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa and flour in small bowl. Add just enough hot water to make a thick paste. Warm milk in a skillet. Pour cocoa mixture into milk. Stir until smooth. Add margarine and vanilla. Cook over medium heat - stirring constantly. This is good over biscuits, as pie filling, or as sauce over ice cream or cake. --recipe provided by Judy Breshears (given to her by Dean Flechs)



When my mother (Johnnie Breshears Flechs) died, 2 Jan. 1933, I was sent to live with my Grandpa Flechs at Bartlett (Dighton). He came from Germany in the 1870's and had built a bakery in Milan, Tenn. Later he built one in Tuscumbia, Alabama. He also built his own ovens. This coconut pie was apparently very popular and a best seller. My sister learned to use margarine instead of butter. Normally most people had all the ingredients except coconut on hand. But it was a favorite at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Grandpa Flech's Coconut Pie (1890's)
3 eggs, well beaten
¾ cup sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 stick margarine (melted)
1-cup coconut
2 Tablespoons vinegar
3 Tablespoons sweet milk
Mix the above ingredients well, pour in unbaked pie shell. Bake in 350-degree oven until golden brown (45 Min). If using a frozen crust, allow it to thaw, then prick well with fork. I place it in the heated oven 5 - 10 minutes before filling it.
--recipe provided by Judy Breshears (given to her by Dean Flechs)



2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
4 heaping Tablespoons cocoa
½ cup butter or margarine
1-teaspoon vanilla
Mix in saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until small amount forms a firm ball when dropped in cold water. Pour over your favorite 2-layer cake. If you did it right, it will firm up like fudge as you pour, causing it to resemble - what else? A cow pattie.
--recipe provided by Judy Breshears (given to her by Dean Flechs)




KENUTCHY - Special Cherokee recipe.
Judy Breshears reports: "At our reunion in July, Dean brought me a Kenutchy ball. He had ground hickory nuts and put it on ice. I had to keep it on ice until I got home. I made it when I got back to Dallas and it is very good. I'm not sure I could find enough hickory nuts or have the time to make this special dish, but it is well worth it if you do.
Hickory nuts (so-hi)
Boiling Water
Sweeten to taste
Beat up so-hi (hickory nuts) very fine until it can be formed into balls. Balls are big, like softballs. This is meat and shell both. Cook about a quart of rice (will absorb most liquid). Meanwhile boil some water (teakettle is handy so you can pour it). Cut your Kenutchy (ball) into ½'s or ¼'s and put a piece into a small sieve. Pour boiling water over the piece of nutball, leaving the pieces of shell in the sieve, otherwise you might chip a tooth. Usually ½ ball is enough for 3 or 4 people. I usually take mine with enough liquid so I can sip as well as use a spoon. Each person can sweeten to their taste after pouring into cup or whatever. Some prefer it hot, some warm, some cool. It is told that the "Old Settler Cherokees" brought this with them in the early 1830's (before the Trail of Tears) - so it stands to reason that it's much older than we think.. Some folks continue to "pound" the nuts in order to sell Kenutchy balls around Thanksgiving and Christmas. What once sold for cents now costs $6.00 a ball and it is quite time consuming to make. This is "pen money" for many who can't work, and there are customers as long as the supply lasts.
--recipe provided by Judy Breshears (given to her by Dean Flechs)


Recipes from the Buce Family

I remember sitting at the heavily laden dinner table at my grandmother's house as we gathered together for holiday dinners. Being one of the younger members of the family, I often got stuck sitting at a card table at the tail end. The benefit of being off on one end included being able to eat as many olives on the tips of my fingers as I wanted without my mother admonishing me. My grandmother, Ethel Breining Buce, was of German descent and I recall her making gravy and adding the "gootzel" from the meat droppings to it. She also used to sip wine at night, and say something about having a glass of "alpenkroider." I have subsequently learned that is a term used near the Alps for a herbal tonic that was high in alcohol content! She used to do canning quite a lot, and I remember the year the pressure cooker blew up. She had stuff all over the kitchen walls and the ceiling.

Here are some family recipes from my side of the family:


In the great Pacific Northwest where I grew up, it is traditional to go out the second or third weekend of August and drive up the mountain to the huckleberry fields. Near where I live, Mt. Adams in Washington or Mt. Hood in Oregon both have some great spots to pick wild huckleberries. With a makeshift bucket consisting of a coffee can with a cloth strap attached - long enough to hang it around your neck - off we would go in search of berries. As a child I didn't particularly relish these outings - it was hard work. You can pick an entire day and only end up with a gallon of berries; provided you aren't eating two for every one you put in the bucket. Because the season is so short, you can't always wait for good weather to pick in. One year we were picking in the rain, and my father slipped on a fallen log. As he stumbled, a protruding branch gashed his leg. It was the only year I ever remember my dad bundling us up after only a half an hour to head back home. He got stitches and I got to eat the few meager berries we'd managed to pick.

You have to be aware of where you pick, as there are many huckleberry fields on Mt. Adams that are across the road from reservation land, and you must be Native American to legally pick on that land. The huckleberry is deeply revered in the Native American culture of the Pacific Northwest. Native Americans along the Columbia River Gorge used huckleberries for many purposes - to dye fabric and fibers for weaving, to make dried pemmican, and for medicinal purposes. They respect this tiny purple jewel. Huckleberries look similar to blueberries, except they aren't blue - they are a deep purple, generally smaller, and have a much more pungent flavor. You can buy huckleberries from some local markets if you know where to shop. They run about $25 per gallon, or $5.00 per pint.

Huckleberry sauce
1 Quart Huckleberries
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
Put huckleberries in large deep cooking pan on stove. Add water and sugar and bring to a boil. Follow recipe for dumplings on Bisquick box. Spoon dumpling goo into boiling huckleberries, and turn burner down low. Simmer for 12 minutes. If dumplings are not fully immersed in the juice, turn dumplings over after about 10 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Share only with good friends you really REALLY like. Lick bowl once dumplings are gone. Any cretin who doesn't completely finish their dumpling and moan with joy should be taken off your list of really GOOD friends. --recipe provided by Susan Buce

Note: If you don't have Bisquick handy, you can make a Bisquick substitute called "Basic Mix." That recipe is: 4 cups flour, 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1-1/2 tsps. salt, 1/2 cup shortning. Sift together, cut in shortning. Store in cool area.- recipe provided by Susan Buce




There is one dessert recipe my kids have always loved, and that is the following brownie recipe. I've made this recipe for potlucks, always to rave reviews. Once I made a triple-batch of it, and the folks I was visiting pleaded with me to never do that again as they ate so many they made themselves absolutely sick. I like my brownies a bit gooey in the middle, so I have shortened the cooking time down. In my opinion a moist brownie like this really brings out the flavor.
Betty Crocker Best-Ever Brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
Turn on oven to 350° . Melt butter in saucepan, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Mix in sugar, then cocoa while still hot. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add flour. Plop into a 9 inch square greased baking dish. Save a little from the sides of the saucepan to lick with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes for gooey brownies, 30 minutes for dry ones. You can find the original recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. --recipe provided by Susan Buce



After my father was diagnosed with cancer my parents decided to sell their house, a house that my grandfather had built and that both my mother and I had grown up in, and move into an apartment in town. My mother decided at that point that she was done cooking and done baking, and was going to retire herself. So when they held a moving sale, mom put all her baking dishes up for sale as well. My daughter, who had been already lamenting the loss of Grandma and Grandpa's house, couldn't take any more. She burst into tears as she realized that Grandma no longer intended to bake her famous cinnamon rolls anymore. However, Grandma's resolve to retire didn't stick, and periodically my children will successfully beg her to produce one of her specialties. And as a last resort, my daughter has learned to bake cinnamon rolls herself.

Grandma's Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll dough

2 cups buttermilk (powdered SACO cultured buttermilk is OK to use)
3 Tablespoons shortening (melted)
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 packages yeast
1/4 cup warm water
4-1/2 cups flour (or more)

Lots of cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter to sprinkle inside.

Combine buttermilk, melted shortning, suger, salt & soda. Soften yeast in water, stir in with buttermilk mixture. Add flour. Knead slightly and let it rise 10 minutes in warm environment. (If your kitchen is cold and the yeast doesn't want to rise, you might try putting your oven on "warm." Once the oven warms up, turn it off, then place the bowl of dough inside with moist towel over the top of the dough so it doesn't dry out.) After dough is done rising, then roll out flat to 1/2 inch thickness. Coat the dough liberally with melted butter, applying with a pastry brush. Then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar (lots of each), coating heavily. Roll up into a log. Slice into rolls. Put in greased baking dish. Let rise the 2nd time for approx. 1 hour, or until double in bulk. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Icing
After baked cinnamon rolls have cooled completely, coat with the following icing:
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. Mapleine (maple flavoring)
Hot milk

Add just enough hot milk to make the mixture spreadable. Spread immediatley as it sets up and hardens quickly. - recipe provided by Susan Buce




Spiced Walnuts
While he didn't cook much at home, my father, Jack "Mick" Buce, was the considered the camp cook when he was out hunting with his friends. His nickname among his hunting buddies was "Old Sody." When he did venture into the kitchen at home, Mick prepared a few recipes that he considered his specialty. One of these was Spiced Walnuts, which he traditionally made at the holiday season as a treat for family and guests.

1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2-1/2 cup walnuts

Bring to boil and cook to a firm soft ball & pour over nuts.
- recipe provided by Susan Buce



My sister-in-law has long been an advocate of tasteful, wholesome fresh foods. While the following recipe isn't low in fats or calories, it is highly flavorful and a delectable treat for parties. My brother and I discovered that it also is scrumptious when used as a dip for cooked artichokes.

Gloria's Marinated Feta Cheese.

1/2 lb. Feta cheese (sheep feta is best)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced (or more to taste)
1 tsp minced fresh Rosemary
1 tsp minced fresh Thyme
(you can substitue 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed, dried herbs if you cannot find fresh.)

Slice cheese in thick slabs and lay in shallow dish. Combine oil, garlic and herbs, and pour over the cheese. For best results, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with sliced French bread or pita bread. - recipe provided by Susan Buce




Easy French Dressing
My mom always had french dressing on the table with salad. Her recipe is quick and easy to make, and has a good flavor.

1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup sugar (brown sugar or honey are good, too)
1 cup salad oil
1 cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon salt
Onion or garlic to taste.
Shake ingredients together. Pour into a dressing bottle that you can shake before each use, as the oil and vineagar tend to separate. - recipe provided by Susan Buce



Mexican Fondue
I first made this recipe in high school, in Home-Ec class. Ever since it has become a favorite among my friends. Whenever there is a potluck that allows me to bring a crockpot, I make this recipe. I always double it, or quadruple it for a big party.
2 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic
1 small chopped onion
1/2 green peper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup drained & chopped tomatos
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese

Melt butter and saute garlic, onion and pepper in the fat until limp. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Stir. Add tomatos and diced cheese. Stir over low heat until blended. Put in fondue pot or crock pot and set to low heat. Serve with tosdados, taco chips, sliced french bread, cherry tomatos, celery stalks, carrot sticks, and/or cauliflower flowerettes. Clean up tip: Soak pan and crock pot in cold water prior to cleaning. Don't use hot, or you'll have a gooey mess. - recipe provided by Susan Buce



When my kids were small I used to make butterdips on Saturday or Sunday mornings. They always enjoyed these tasty treats. These little breadsticks are even good cold!

1/4 cup of butter
1-1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk.

Turn on oven to 450 degrees. Put 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 cube) into a cold 9" square pan, and set in oven during warming period. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and knead dough. Roll out into a square shape about 6 inches square (about 3/4 inch thick). Cut once in the center, then cut each half into strips approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide. Take out pan from oven. Butter should be melted, but not brown. Dip each bread strip into melted butter, turn it over, and set into pan. Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

- recipe provided by Susan Buce, original recipe in Betty Crocker cookbook.



Homemade Play-Dough (Salt Dough Mix)
When I was a child, our next door neighbor used to come up with all sorts of creative craft ideas for us kids. We spent hours and hours playing with this salt dough mixture, making all sorts of fanciful animals, people, and things.

2 cups of flour
2 cups salt
2 cups water
Food coloring

Mix flour, salt and water. Knead together. Separate into individual balls. Add several drops of food coloring of your choice to each ball, remembering to leave one ball white. Knead the color in. Use for modeling clay. You can store excess dough for several days if you store it tightly in plastic to keep the air from drying it out. Let the finished sculptures dry thoroughly, and they will last for a long time provided you don't expose them to moisture.

- recipe provided by Susan Buce



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