horehound recipe

I remember horehound candy (and loved it!).
“Put the horehound, either fresh or dried, in a pot with three cups of water, and boil for twenty or thirty minutes. Let the pot set until cool, then strain the leaves out. Add enough water to what is left of the horehound liquid to make three cups. Place in a pan with seven cups of brown sugar. Stir. Boil until a hard, but pliable, ball forms when one half teaspoonful of it is dropped in every cold, but not ice, water. (Modern cooks will remove the syrup from the heat when a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees to 266 degrees.) Pour into a buttered cookie sheet with a rim. Cut into one-by-two-inch squares when partially cooled. Roll in granulated sugar. If you want horehound syrup instead of candy, simply reduce the boiling time.”
Little Heathens Hard times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish




  1. When I was a kid, I tramped through enough horehound getting to where I wanted to be, usually the river, to know it by sight, but I had no idea it could be made into candy. My father’s aunts were always wishing they had a good mess of poke salad, but that was the only “wild” food they mentioned. And after my mother explained how it had to be cooked, I wouldn’t have touched it. I mean, how could they KNOW all the poison had been boiled out of it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this memory, Kathy.

    I was a City Girl and I suppose I thought that horehound candy was born Full Grown and wasn’t child to a plant. We always used it to ease sore throats and I loved the taste.

    Thanks for your comment.


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