One of my favorite haunts in Centerboro was Dixon’s Diner, famous as far west as Syracuse and as far east as Albany for its splendid home cooking. When Mr. Dixon decided to sell the place and retire, he asked me to handle the sale for him. I agreed on one condition—that he give me the recipes for his famous special plates. Four of the very best are presented here for your enjoyment. Bon apetit and feel free to pass them around!

Dixon’s Savory Sauerkraut ‘n’ Pork

4 pig’s feet
3 lbs. neck bones or 3 spare ribs
1 large onion
1 bud garlic
4 whole allspice
1 bay leaf
4 whole peppers
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 qt. sauerkraut
1/2 tsp. caraway seed
1/2 minced apple
3 tbsp. barley
salt and pepper to taste

Split and chop meat. Brown in lard and add the onion quartered, garlic, allspice, bay leaf, whole peppers and celery seed. Season to taste. Cover meat with boiling water and cook until meat is half done. Remove a cup of the liquid for gravy. Add sauerkraut, caraway seed, apple, and barley and cook until the meat is tender. Good with the gravy over mashed potatoes (see recipe below). I’ll have seconds and so will your dinner guests!

Dixon’s Whipped Potatoes in Three Colors

2 qts. boiled potatoes, hot
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup sweet cream

Mash potatoes thoroughly. Add butter and cream and beat until they are white and fluffy. Divide the recipe into four parts. To one, add cooked spinach; to another, add tomato paste. Cover the third with buttered bread crumbs and leave the fourth natural. Serve in round shallow dish, arranging potatoes in the shape of a star. In the center, place bouquet of parsley and border with croutons. Yummy and nice to look at!

Dixon’s Dandy Jellied Pig’s Feet

4 pig’s feet, cut in halves
2 port shanks
1 onion, well browned
1 stalk celery
1 sprig parsley, cut fine
salt to taste
1 clove garlic
5 whole peppers
5 whole allspice
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp. vinegar

Wash feet and shanks. Put into large kettle and cover with water. Bring to boiling point and skim. Add onion, celery, parsley, garlic and spices and simmer covered, very slowly about 4 hours or until meat comes off bones easily. Cool, strain, remove the bones and spices. Return meat to liquid, add salt and vinegar and pour into loaf pan. Set in refrigerator until firm. Scrape fat from top. Garnish with cooked carrot slices, lemon slices, and hard-cooked eggs. Mmmm-mmmm!

Dixon’s Delectable Chocolate Creme

1 cup milk
Vanilla bean or extract
2 ozs. baking chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 tbsp. gelatin
2 tbsp. water

Melt chocolate in milk. Beat sugar with egg yolks until smooth and creamy. Add little by little to the hot milk, stirring constantly until it comes to the boiling point. Do not allow to boil. Add vanilla and gelatin dissolved in water. Cool, stirring vigorously at first and then from time to time to prevent crust from forming on top.

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