Deliciously Dirty Pages — Nebraska’s side dishes which are also stars of the show

This is the latest installment of the feature on to showcase old, tried and true, family favorite recipes handed down through the generations. And where are they found? On the dirtiest, most stained pages of beloved old cookbooks.

These aren’t The White Pages. They aren’t the Yellow Pages. They are the Deliciously Dirty Pages, where good cooking and memories of great cooks are forever preserved.

This writer has a collection of old cookbooks, ranging in age from 40 to 70 years old, which were used by her mother. She kept the cookbooks and has beautiful memories of making those favored recipes, as well as spilling ingredients on the pages. Also part of the collection, thanks to readers and friends, are many recipes from York County, in treasured local cookbooks.

The theory is the dirtier the page, the better the recipe.

Each Wednesday, JustMelanieW is featuring these culinary wonders, sure to still please because they have been made many times with great success – again, identified by being on the dirtiest pages of these archival hard copy treasures.

We would also love to share your family favorite recipes from your own Deliciously Dirty Pages. Just send them to And if you want to share pictures of the end product, or your family making it, or a picture of the dirty cookbook pages where the recipes were found – please send those my way as well!

Some of our greatest memories come from the kitchen . . . and those Deliciously Dirty Pages.


Nebraska’s side dishes which are also stars of the show

Thanks to readers, I have been receiving wonderful recipes from all over Nebraska which are just simply incredible – not just because the end results are wonderful, but because they are part of our Midwest culture and based on family/community traditions.

Thank you! Please keep sending them to me! Please, send these to me at and include the name of the person who has always made the recipe, where they are from and if you can, a photo of the recipe page it can be found on as well as photos of the end product! Oh and a picture of the person would be even better! That makes it even more fun!

Please, send me your recipes, those passed down in your family and those famous to where you come from!

I’m also on the hunt for old church/school cookbooks in the York County area! I’ve gone to the library where there was once a collection but it no longer is there. I’ve been to some second-hand book stores, but those treasured cookbooks don’t exist there either. If you have some old (or current or recently new) local cookbooks you want to part with or know of how I can purchase some, please let me know!

And thank you all, so much, for continuing to read this feature and make the famous recipes provided!

This week, I’m going to showcase the recipes sent to me from all around Nebraska – whether it be emails or cookbooks sent to me. These are awesome!

I’m calling this installment side dishes that are also the stars of the show in Nebraska.


Fremont Eggplant Fritters

1 medium eggplant

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk


Soda crackers

Salt and pepper

Bacon grease


Olive oil

Peel and thinly slice eggplant. Salt each slice and stack on plate. Stack second plate on top of eggplant. Place salt shaker or something with a bit of weight on top of second plate to allow juice to drain from eggplant. Set for one hour. Discard juice, as it is bitter.

Beat egg, adding in milk. Crush soda crackers into crumbs. Cover drained eggplant slices in flour, dredge in beaten egg and dip in cracker crumbs. Fry on stove in hot mixture of bacon grease, a little butter and olive oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, tender and hot in the middle.


Crunchy Peas and Slaw from Unadilla

The writer of the recipe says it was developed by church ladies for funeral luncheons.

2 16-ounce bags coleslaw mix

1 16-ounce bag of frozen peas

1 1/44 cups dry roasted, lightly salted peanuts

1 cup poppy seed dressing

Combine everything but peanuts with dressing. Right before serving, stir in the peanuts.


Kraut ‘N Noodles from Doniphan

1 bag kluski egg noodles

2 sticks butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large can chicken broth

2 cans Bavarian style sweet kraut

Cook and drain noodles. Put noodles in crockpot with kraut, sugar, butter and chicken both. Cook on low for two hours.


Three-bean Casserole by Jackie Bartek, sent from the rural Clearwater/Ewing area

1 pound ground beef

1 pound bacon

1 can pork and beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can green lima beans

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Brown ground beef, fry bacon and cut into 1-inch strips. Blend all ingredients and bake in a casserole at 350 degrees for one hour.


Twice Baked Potatoes “made famous by Betty Mannlein” (of rural Holt/Antelope Counties)

10 to 12 potatoes

1 8-ounce cream cheese

1 8-ounce sour cream

1 teaspoon onion flakes

Salt, to taste


¼ cup butter

Peel, boil and then salt. Whip the cream cheese, sour cream and onion flakes and mix with the potatoes. Put in a 9×13-inch buttered dish. Melt the ¼ cup butter. Pour over top and sprinkle with the paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, covered, and 20 minutes uncovered.


Baked Carrot Casserole (a tradition from Helena Kaczor, a great-aunt of this writer)

3 cups cooked mashed carrots

3 tablespoons chopped onions

16 crackers, crushed

1 cup milk

1 small jar Cheez Whiz or cream cheese

Mix together and bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.



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