I was searching through my cookbooks for a pie recipe to make something special for a friend this coming weekend. I have a lot of cookbooks, but nothing I came across was really what I wanted for this occasion. Then I remembered an old cookbook that belonged to my Great Grandmother (Nan) I had stashed for safekeeping in the china cabinet. It's an old pioneer cookbook from the late 1800's and chock full of all kinds of treats.
As I paged through the book, which has seen better days, I got bogged down in the many newspaper clippings and other recipes that were placed among the pages over many years of usage. Some of these were from the early 20's, many from the 40's and 50's. All of them are fascinating to me, for the reipies themselves but also for the story they tell about Nan and what she was making for her family years ago.
I hope you find these as interesting as I do, and I hope some of you will try some of them out on your own families. Nan was a good cook, and judging by the recipe contents, she had good taste in clippings as well.
This book was published in 1891 in Canada. There is no telling from where Nan got the book or how early she used it, but she was born in 1894 so it was clearly a second hand book when she got it. This is a first edition printing.
Here is the first recipe I came across, for Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Cake. Looks legit to me, an old fashioned approach and one that surely tasked as good as it looks here. I will be trying this one out sooner than later.
This one for raspberry tarts is another good one. I almost decided to make these instead of the one from the book itself, but I will stick with the book recipe because nostalgia. Here is the book recipe I will use for my friend.
Notice the language here. There is an assumption that the user knows their way around the kitchen. Also note there are no temps. These were recipes intended for wood or coal ovens.
Then there is this one, for Lent. Since Lent is happening now and there may be a reader who observes this tradition, you might consider the egg…
Then I came across some hand written recipes. The handwriting is so familiar, but these were surely written before I was born.
And then there is this crumb cake. Another keeper. Are you getting hungry yet?
No, not hungry yet? Well, what about these?
There are many more. I could write a diary a day from this book and the cut out recipes among the pages. I had forgotten I had this until recently and I'm glad it resurfaced and I can now share these with my family as Nan did with hers.
I'll leave you with another clipping, because anyone who has wooden furniture eventually encounters at least the first problem presents, hopefully not the second.
Have a great evening. See you on there flip side when I return.
Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.
9:58 PM PT: People! I finally got home and looked at the recipe clipping. The mystery ingredient can now be revealed in comments.
But you have to hunt for it amongst an unrelated thread. Because I can't resist drawing it out a little longer. Yes, I'ma be like that.