Kinsey is an unincorporated community just outside of Miles City in eastern Montana. It’s population is approximately 135 people. Harrold and Ruby moved to Kinsey in 1942 because of Roosevelt’s WPA (Works Progress Administration). My Papa (Larry) was pretty young at the time, only about 5. I asked him if he remembered anything about moving, since he was so young. He responded that he remembered loading up everyone in the 1934 Ford four-door sedan and a grain wagon to take to Kinsey. After another moment, he also said that when they got to Miles City, they opened the door and their three-legged dog jumped out of the car and ran, they never found him. I gotta say, not a great start! The Scanlans were given 80 acres in Kinsey, and for 2 years lived on this government farm land. When the Scanlans got to this farm however, their house was not quite finished. So the family stayed in the hog houses for the summer of 1942 until their house was finished!
In 1944 the Scanlan family moved to what the rest of us consider the family farm, a three bedroom house on 5000 acres. My papa moved from Kinsey to Las Vegas, then to Colorado for 6 or 7 years (where my dad was born), then finally back to Kinsey in 1967. Fun fact: The Miles City school system had a Scanlan kid in the schools consecutively from 1942 to 1983, starting with Clayton and ending with Larry’s son Greg! I can only imagine how many gray hairs those poor teachers had!
The Scanlan farm was later sold. This was when Larry moved to Fort Peck, and how I eventually ended up there! The rest of the family has scattered all over, but even those of us who have never set foot on the family farm feel a strong connection to the entire area.
NOW- I know you guys have all been waiting for another of my great-grandmas famous recipes! This week is a super fun one, and I remember making my own memories with Aunt Marilyn because of this recipe! It’s…. potato doughnuts!! I remember when Aunt Marilyn said we were going to make these, my first summer staying with her and Uncle John. I am not a super huge fan of potatoes, so I was really worried these were going be super gross. BUT- these so quickly became one of my favorites of Ruby’s recipes! To me it’s exactly how I envision Ruby and her cooking. It’s using what you have in the best way you can and making it amazing. Plus, when asking Papa about his favorite foods he told me about Ruby’s garden and how it was FULL of potatoes because the kids loved potatoes! With this recipe, it makes potatoes edible for literally every meal. I mean, whatever floats your boat!
This recipe is super fun because it is really customize-able because of the doughnut topping options. The potato taste doesn’t really come through in the doughnuts, so you can top it with whatever you want without having to worry about it tasting weird.
I hope you all enjoyed this edition of the #LegacyCookingProject! Do you have your own family recipes you want to share? Did you make this one? Let us know in the comments!!