fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Cookbook includes Medford family's ribbon-winning recipe

Medford resident Dana Tuley is not surprised that her family's pioneer sour cream pear pie won a blue ribbon at the Jackson County Fair.

"It's absolutely delicious — the best pie ever," she said.

That top ribbon was awarded in the 1900 county fair — 109 years ago — but Turley figures the recipe would still be a winner at the Jackson County Fairgrounds and Exposition Park, where the fair is being held this week.

That's why she included the recipe in "The Smith Family Heritage Cook Book," a 176-page collection of recipes and family lore, which she spent much of the past year revising and updating. The recipe was handed down from her great-great grandmother, Ella Poole Saltmarsh, who came to Jacksonville in 1881 and opened a boardinghouse.

A portion of the proceeds from the spiral-bound book, which sells for $12, will go to the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

The original cookbook, published in 1980, was compiled by Tuley's grandmother, Bessie Smith Johnston, with help from Thomasine "Tommie" Swoape Smith, Tuley's mother.

Tommie Smith died in April.

"My goal was to get it done for her," Tuley said. "She did get to proof all the stories with me. Most of the information came from her genealogy records. She had found 1,491 ancestors, going back to the 1600s."

The first edition included recipes from family and friends, but the new one sticks with family members from the Applegate Valley and Jacksonville area.

Tuley's father, Stan Smith, 85, of Medford, is a retired chef, high school teacher and coach. Among the restaurants he and Tommie operated and owned were Mon Desir in Central Point and Bel Di's in Shady Cove.

Published this year to commemorate the state's sesquicentennial birthday, which was Feb. 14, the book reflects the Southern Oregon pioneer custom of cooking locally grown food to make hearty meals.

Stuffed with handed-down recipes and bite-size anecdotes of local history, the book's culinary and cultural roots tap deep into the state's history.

"It's more than a cookbook, it's about our family's life and local history," Tuley said.

Her daughter, Teresa Nichols, is the seventh generation in the family to create the prize-winning pioneer sour cream pear pie, she added.

In Medford, the book can be purchased at Mr. Smiths Sports Bar and Grill, Quality Market and White's Produce. In Jacksonville, it is available at the Jacksonville Museum, the U.S. Hotel, the Cotton Broker, Farmhouse Treasures, Gary West Meats and Hanley Farm.

It also can be purchased at the Shady Cove Market and the Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point.

A book-signing will be held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 1 at Mr. Smiths Sports Bar and Grill and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 8 at Quality Market.

For more information on the cookbook, e-mail questions to familycookbook1@hotmail.com or call Tuley at 779-1007.