Tuscarora – Correspondence – December 2015



The Tuscarora Ladies Club

Tuscarora Ladies Club 1Making apple and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas is the Tuscarora Ladies Club biggest fundraiser. A couple of Saturdays before Thanksgiving, club members convened at Society Hall, our community center, to peel and chop eighty pounds of Granny Smith apples, roll out pie dough and prep pies for the freezer.  The club takes orders from folks in the valley and also delivers to Elko, even in a snowstorm.

There’s an old-fashioned scrapbook in Society Hall filled with newspaper clippings from the Elko Daily Free Press about the club’s origin:  “On October 12, 1943 the ladies of Tuscarora and Independence Valley met at the home of Mrs. Stanley Ellison at the Spanish Ranch to form a Community Club.”   World War II influenced their initial activities:  “For Christmas of 1944 the club  packed eight boxes … of candies, cookies, an afghan crocheted by the members, slippers, magazines and books … and sent to eight soldier boys in the Bushnell Hospital at Brigham City, Utah.”

The Tuscarora Homemakers were good old-fashioned ranch cooks and produced two cookbooks,  in 1965 and 1983.  For anyone with hunters in the family, here’s a classic recipe for mincemeat from the 1983 cookbook:


(Made when she lived at the Dinner Station, about 1905)

Della PhillipsTuscarora Ladies Club pie 2

10 c cooked, chopped meat

12 c apple cider

6 c chopped suet

2 T ground allspice

10 c. peeled and chopped apples

2 T cinnamon

4 c finely chopped citron

2 T cloves

6 c raisins

2 T salt

4 c currants

2 c brandy

10 c brown sugar

juice of 4 lemons

Cook meat until tender; let stand in juice all night. Take off all fat and any gristle. Grind with large knife of grinder (or food processor chopping blade). Skin suet well; grind with small knife. Peel and core apples; grind with large knife.  Warm lemons to get all juice.  Mix all together, using hands.  Be sure to mix very well.  Put in 5 gallon crock and cover with thin cloth; keep in a very cool place. This recipe can be halved successfully.  It is better after it sets for a week or so.  It will keep for months in a cool place.

Renamed and revived in June of 2013, the Tuscarora Ladies Club carries on the tradition of community service and socializing.  

Nancy Harris McLelland



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