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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sour Cream Cookies, Selma Mary Torhol Pedie

Mother named me after my father's mother Selma.  Selma was from a Norwegian family and Mother from a Germans from Russia family by the last name of Volker.  Selma worked on the cook car when men came to thrash wheat.  She was 29 when she married a forty-year-old gentleman whose family was Scottish.  
His name was John William Pedie.  They farmed in the Turtle Mountains where my father and his two brothers were born and raised.  The brothers were schooled in that area and except for the eldest, John, who spent time overseas serving our country in the Korean War, all the brothers have spent their adult lives in the Turtle Mountain area.

You might be wondering what a cook car is...

and what threshing machines looked like before WWII...

A Case tractor advert from 1918...

Can you imagine the work involved in clearing land for farming - there were a lot of rocks, too.

Now you understand why my Grandma Pedie made so many Sour Cream cookies!
These men ate a LOT every day so they would have enough calories and energy to work hard.
Ladies who cooked for the men and worked in the cook cars baked fresh bread, pies and cookies every day, not to mention roasts of venison or pork, loads of potatoes (all of which were peeled).  
They worked very hard confined to a small, stifling hot space in the cook car.

Sour Cream Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 egg 
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
 2 cups flour

Very Good


  1. What a lot of hard working people, our former relatives had to do to get this land we live on, better for us. Thanks for sharing the pictures and information about your area of ND. On the cookies, what do you think the degrees would be for the oven and how many minutes. 375 or 400? 8-10 minutes? I think I have eaten a sour cream cookie once before and they were soft and yummy! I don't know how people could work in such a small space, (the cook car). I would imagine that they work has hard as the men, long hours, bending and such.

  2. This is a complete guess on my part (Mother's at the library right now), but I'm thinking the hotter the oven, the crisper the cookie...I would try 350F for 10-12 min. first and then try the second sheet of cookies at 375F and see which way you prefer them. If you try this, can you let us know how it worked for you, please? I'm going to be posting my version of the Bit o' Chocolate Chiffon Cake in a moment...

  3. Mother said she uses a 350 degree oven for the Sour Cream Cookies from Selma.