Monday, June 30, 2008

Gone With the Wind Recipes

Gond With the Wind

How many times have you read the book Gone With the Wind? How many times have you watched the Gone With the Wind movie? If the answer to these questions is more than once, twice or three times, join me in celebrating a few recipes from the Gone With the Wind Cookbook.

Margaret Mitchell

It wouldn't be "proper" to reveal the recipes in the Gone With the Wind Cookbook without an introduction to author, Margaret Mitchell. Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother was a suffragist and father a prominent lawyer and president of the Atlanta Historical Society.

As a child Margaret Mitchell was saturated with stories of the Civil War told to her by family members who had lived through it. They indoctrinated her so effectively that Mitchell was ten years old before she learned that the South had lost the war. Her venturesomeness as a young woman, which included a year at Smith College and a subsequent career in Atlanta journalism, reflected the influence of her mother, Maybelle, an ardent supporter of woman suffrage. After her mother's death of influenza during the epidemic of 1918 Mitchell returned to Atlanta. Four years later she married Berrien Kinnard Upshaw, an attractive, romantic, but violent and unstable man who is often regarded as the prototype of Gone With the Wind's Rhett Butler. Their marriage lasted only three months, although they were not divorced until 1924. The following year Mitchell wedded John Marsh, a union that would last her lifetime. source
Margaret Mitchell is reported to have begun writing Gone With the Wind while bedridden with a broken ankle. Her husband, John Marsh, brought home historical books from the public library to amuse her while she recuperated. After she supposedly read all the historical books in the library, he told her, "Peggy, if you want another book, why don't you write your own?" She drew upon her encyclopedic knowledge of the Civil War and dramatic moments from her own life, and typed her epic novel on an old Remington typewriter. She originally called the heroine "Pansy O'Hara", and Tara was "Fontenoy Hall". She considered naming the novel Tote The Weary Load or Tomorrow Is Another Day. wikipedia

Margaret Mitchell spent three years working on Gone With the Wind. Her only published novel was presented on June 30, 1936, it sold more copies than any other American novel in history. Margaret "Peggy" Mitchell won both of the United States's two highest honors for fiction - the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The house where she lived while writing her manuscript is known today as "The Margaret Mitchell House." It is Located in Midtown Atlanta.

Margaret Mitchell was the author of Gone With the Wind, one of the most popular books of all time. The novel was published in 1936 and sold more than a million copies in the first six months, a phenomenal feat considering it was the Great Depression era. More than 30 million copies of this Civil War–era masterpiece have been sold worldwide in thirty-eight countries. It has been translated into twenty-seven languages. Approximately 250,000 copies are still sold each year. Shortly after the book's publication the movie rights were sold to David O. Selznick for $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a manuscript up to that time. In 1937 Margaret Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. source
Possibly one of the reasons that Mitchell never wrote another novel was that she spent so much time working with her brother and her husband to protect the copyright of her book abroad. Up until the publication of Gone With the Wind, international copyright laws were ambiguous and varied from country to country. Correspondence also took much of her time. During the years following publication, she personally answered every letter she received about her book. With the outbreak of World War II in 1941, she worked tirelessly for the American Red Cross, even outfitting a hospital ship. She also set up scholarships for black medical students.

The Gone With the Wind Cookbook

Originally published by Pebeco Tooth Paste in 1939, the Gone With The Wind Cookbook; Famous Southern Cooking Recipes was issued as just another advertising campaign to capture the public's attention. Pebeco Tooth Paste had been around for as early as 1908. (perhaps earlier) There was actually much controversy over the brand including the ingredients which were proven to be deadly! I was so surprised by the accusations I encountered while researching this post, that I was almost going to skip the Margaret Mitchell introduction and enlighten you on what I discovered. To be quite honest, the post would not have seemed as appetizing as I would have liked. I have provided a few resources below if you are curious. On to the recipes!

I like to do a quick search before I post a recipe. The way I figure it, the internet is the cookbook library of the world so, there is no absolute need to repost recipes that have already been entered. Once again, I was ecstatic not to find this recipe for Coffeecake Wheels anywhere. Well, that's not totally true. I did find the named recipe at google books but it was included as a recipe in Cleora's Kitchens: The Memoir of a Cook and Eight Decades of Great American Food by Cleora Butler. There's no doubt in my mind that recipes from Cleora Kitchens will be shared on this blog at some point in time. The recipes in both books are almost exact with the exception of the amount of raisins and walnuts. In the Gone With the Wind Cookbook, the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of each where Cleroa's Kitchen calls for 1/4 of each. This is a GREAT recipe for Coffee Cake Day in April!

Coffee Cake Wheels
1 C. butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tea. salt
2 tbs. grated lemon rind
2 eggs, well beaten
1 compressed yeast cake
1 C. sour cream
4-1/2 C. flour, sifted
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. seedless raisins
3/4 C. chopped walnut meats
6 tbs. granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cream butter gradually; add granulated sugar, and cream thoroughly. Add salt, lemon rind, eggs, and yeast cake, which has been dissolved in the sour cream. Blend well. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let rise for 1-1/2 hours. Then roll dough on a lightly floured board to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cover bottom of 9" x 12" pan with melted butter and brown sugar. Spread the surface of the dough with the remaining ingredients, which have been mixed together. Cut crosswise into slices 3/4 inch thick. Arrange slices on top of butter and brown sugar mixture. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm place (75 to 85 degrees F.) about 1/2 hour, or until light. Bake in moderately hot oven (375 degrees F) 35 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 20 coffeecake wheels.

I suppose I should have discussed the introduction to the book before posting the above recipe but I got all caught up in the Pebeco revelation.

"Perhaps, too, you may have seen, in your mind's eye, that polished mahogany dining table at Tara, reflecting a juicy baked ham at one end, a veritable mountain of fried chicken at the other, and crowding in between corn muffins, hot biscuits, and waffles oozing with butter; heaping dishes of fried squash, stewed okra, and collards swimming in rich liquor; pecan pie , rich, steaming plum pudding, pound cake topped with sweetened whipped cream, and fluffy, white Syllabub fragrant of the wine cellar."

Actually, there are just a few southern recipes included in the book. The recipes posted here are from a facsimile edition "inspired by the picture" copyright 1991 Turner Entertainment Co. and published by Abbeyville Press. Since we will soon be entering July which happens to be National Peach Month, as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, I thought I would scan (click to enlarge) a page which includes Georgia Peach Trifle, Kentucky Strawberry Shortcake, and Lemon Souffle. Just in case you're interested, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan also proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. Enjoy!

"With the spirit of her people who would not know defeat, even when it stared them in the face, she raised her chin. She could get Rhett back. She knew she could. There had never been a man she couldn't get, once she set her mind upon him.
I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day."
Gone with the Wind pg. 1037, August 1936 edition, editor's copy


  • 1. Margaret Mitchell @ Gone With the Wind Org.
  • 2. Margaret Mitchell @ New Georgia Encyclopedia (very informative)
  • 3. Margaret Mitchell @ Georgia Women of Achievement
  • 4. A personal Website (a bit difficult to read) dedicated to Margaret Mitchell (in depth)
  • 5. Journal of Dental Science PDF
  • 6. Teeth (1940 publication)


  1. I'm so familiar with the movie - it would be interesting to read the book to see how it compares. That Georgia Peach Trifle sounds pretty peachy!

  2. I discovered Gone with the Wind on the school library bookshelf in the eleventh grade. All these years later, I can still perfectly visualize pulling it off the shelf that first time. When I think about the loaded-up dining table at Tara, half my mind is thinking about what a mess of work preparing a meal like that must have been back then. And then there were those pesky dirty dishes to deal with.

  3. Hi T.W.

    I just finished reading The Gangs of New York, which also happened to be on TV the other night. I wish I would have seen the movie first because the book was difficult to get through. Someday, I would like to try the same with Gone With the Wind. The lingo in both I found to be a bit distracting. The dialog in the movies flow so much more fluid than my reading. As a Shakespearian fan, my guess is, you would get through both books like a breeze.

  4. Thanks for dropping in Kathy.

    Ah, the moments that spark our memories. Books have a way of doing such things.

    I almost included the dining room scene from the book in the post but, quite frankly, it was just too long to include. Where would I start and end? I wasn't up to doing the dishes either:)

  5. I adore Margaret Mitchell - she wrote the best letters ever, too, she had an outstanding sense of humor.

  6. I have seen the movie countless times, but never really notice food. Never read the book. But is should be full of rich Southern food. All I recall food wise is her pulling up the carrot and vowing never to be hungry again.

  7. Hi Louise, I just emailed you about Saturday.
    As for the book and movie of "Gone with the Wind" I have lost count of how many times I have seen and read each one. It is a story that is always enticing. Wonderful post as usual!

  8. Hi glamour,
    Thanks for visiting. I must admit, the book is sometimes so intense the food kinda whizzes by except, when you're hungry:)

    Hi Manuela,
    Thank you for the kind words.
    I'm so ready for Saturday and our Sylvester Graham post. It should prove interesting:)

    I'm not one who likes watching TV shows or movies more than once but..that movie, well it is priceless!

  9. Hi Louise,
    I just found your terrific website. I have been lost on it for way too long this morning.
    I am like Kathy, I too can visualize pulling Gone With The Wind from the bookshelf for the first time. I was of such an impressionable young age that it has become a part of my life. I can't remember how many times I have read it or how many times I have seen the movie. But I had never seen the cookbook. Thank you so much for researching it for us and posting about it. I think that I shall go back to it today and reread the dining room and food scene. I am going to look up the cookbook today also and try to buy it.
    So, thank you again for your wonderful blog and especially for the GWTW post.


  10. Hi Lidian,
    I wasn't aware of Margaret Mitchell's letter writing skills although, they say she answered every letter she received. Page after page did mention her sense of humor which unfortunately or fortunately is not reflected in the book.

    Hi Sissy,
    Thank you so much for dropping in and for the generous words. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. Stay as long as you like and visit often:)

    It's amazing how some books have a lasting affect on one's life. I'm so surprised you had never heard of the cookbook. I took a quick wiz over to your website and was astonished at the amount of Gone With the Wind collectibles available. You sure are a GWTW fan!

  11. Great post. I enjoyed reading it.

  12. I'm a little late on this but here's a cocktail that was inspired by this movie. After stumbling across this quote that I had forgotten ages ago, it was the perfect inspiration on how i like my drinks.


    Uber-fans of GWTW, please let me know what you think!

  13. I have this book. I would disagree with your claim that "there are just a few Southern recipes" in it. Which ones, in your opinion, qualify as "not Southern?" From Lady Baltimore Cake and Brunswick Stew to jambalaya, scrapple, syllabub, and pecan pie, one would be hard pressed to find more iconic Southern cuisine. I'll admit that a few recipes, like the Scalloped Noodles with Chicken, Meatloaf, and Seven Minute Icing, seem very twentieth-century Midwestern, but since the book is loaded with goodies like Crab and Okra Gumbo, Sweet Potato Pie, and Corn Fritters, I'm not convinced that there are "just a few" Southern dishes.

    1. Hi Caitlin and welcome,

      As a cookbook collector for many years, I have many cookbooks which include Southern dishes. Perhaps, my choice of words should have been "there are just a few Southern recipes" as compared to say Southern Food by John Egerton. Thank you so much for visiting...


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise