Recipes in The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

Recipes in The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook

The following recipes were brought down from Canada by Author Tom Bernardin’s great-grandparents. Tom’s New York Irish and German mother wasted no time in learning to make them.


pumpkin stuffing


Grand’Mere’s Stuffing for Pumpkin or Turkey

3 lbs. hamburger (or 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef)
1 small onion, chopped fine 


  1. Cover with water. 
  2. Add salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook twenty minutes. 
  4. Add 6 potatoes, peeled and diced and dried on a towel. 
  5. Cook again until potatoes are soft. 
  6. With hand masher, mash the potatoes with the meat. 
  7. Add three cups of dried bread, or crumbs or unsalted saltines. 
  8. Mash again with a hand masher. 
  9. Add: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. mace, 1/2 tsp. cloves, ground 

This makes enough stuffing for a 15 lb. turkey. 


Another serving suggestion: 

  1. Place stuffing in a hollowed-out pumpkin.
  2. Put top back on and bake in a 350° oven for 2-3 hours. 
  3. It is done when skin becomes soft. 
  4. Take from oven, remove top and spoon meat and pumpkin onto plate.
  5. Serve with baked or mashed potatoes. 


Creton large


3 lbs. fresh pork, ground, not too lean

4 medium or two large onions, chopped fine

salt and pepper

bay leaf


  1. Cover meat and onions with water and cook very slowly in an iron skillet for 3-4 hours.

  2. For the last hour of cooking add: 

    ½ tsp ground cloves

    ½ tsp. cinnamon

  3. Stir often to prevent burning.

  4. Spoon into jelly jars, do not remove fat. 

This was served as a spread on crackers as a side dish for Boston Baked Beans, but in Tom’s opinion, great on homemade toast and jelly for breakfast.



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