Recipe a month – Mrs. Melhorn’s Raised Doughnuts

About this series: We hope to host a recipe a month and a story/pictures to go along with it. If you have a recipe and hopefully a few words to tell us why it’s special to you to give us it’s context in the history of Emigsville please email me at

From a newspaper article written the early 1970’s in the York Daily Record by Gloria J. Vukmanic, who is now Gloria Fogal, an editor and author of a book blog called Book Buzz

032208erecipel.jpg Raised Doughnuts

1 1/2 cups of Crisco
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 medium mashed potatoes
6 eggs beaten
2 cups scalded milk (cooled)
4 yeast cakes dissolved in 2 cups “warm” potato water

“I’d rather cook for 150 people than for two,” says Mrs. Sada Melhorn of York RD 5 and she means it…

Everything was cooked on a cook stove the temperature of which was determined by “opening the door and feeling the heat” Mrs Melhorne remembers her first culinary achievement – blueberry pies and green tomato pies

Mrs Melhorne, who was in her 70’s in the early 1970’s, cooked for Bears, Bon Ton and Weists department stores and Golden Glow Restaurant. She served for 16 years at the Roundtown School as head cook, the first school in York County to serve hot lunches.

“We cooked on stoves in the school basement”, recounts Mrs. Melhorn, “and carried the food upstairs.” At that time the pupils ate at their desks with a bowl and spoon and the dishes were washed in a tub by hand.

The school planted a victory garden vgarden.jpgin the back lot of the school and parents would come and work in it in the evenings. (Victory gardens were planted during WWII to help reduce pressure on the food supply and empower communities to support the war effort.)
Mrs Melhorn warns that if the potato water is too hot, it will scald the yeast and the dough will not rise. Stir all the above ingredients into eight cups of flour. Work the dough adding small amounts of flour, if necessary. until it’s not sticky. Place in a pan, grease the top of the dough and allow to rise in a warm room for 1 1/2 hours. Mrs Melhorn says the doughnuts are best made in a warm “like a baby” house to assure proper raising.

Roll out the dough to one inch thickness and then shrink. To shrink the rolled dough, simply lift it up all round with your hands to allow air between the dough and table. Cut out doughnuts and let raise one more hour.

Fry the doughnuts in 350 degree deep hot fat. A kitchen thermometer may be used to assure temperature. “Always be careful when cooking with hot fat”, Mrs Melhorn warns. She suggest using a stick or wooden spoon handle to turn the doughnuts as a fork will leave holes.

The recipe makes 10 dozen dounuts. After cooling, the doughnuts may be rolled in granulated sugar or powdered sugar or sliced in half and spread with jelly.

2 Responses to Recipe a month – Mrs. Melhorn’s Raised Doughnuts

  1. Avatar Mae Duncan
    Mae Duncan says:

    This is great! Love the website. You do a terrific job!

  2. Avatar Steve Smith
    Steve Smith says:

    Sada was my next door neighbor growing up in good old Roundtown PA. I still remember her green tomato pies that she would bake for us. She was like a third Grandmother to me and my siblings. Thanks for the memories….she was truly a wonderful lady