Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Every Day Cook Book

Another one of my inherited treasures from Gram, The Every Day Cook Book. I'm not sure when it was published since the first handful of pages are missing, but an inscription on the inside front cover reads, "Bella Richards September 24th 1892". This poor old volume is falling apart, stained, and appears to have been used at some point in the early part of the 20th century as a workbook for "Sue's" penmanship and drawings. The entries are a bit humorous. And, unfortunately for modern cooks, the recipes are pretty vague. It dispenses with such frivolous information as specific measurements and oven temperatures. Here's a recipe for an adventurous someone:

Soft Gingerbread

Six cupfuls of flour, three of molasses, one of cream, one of lard or butter, two eggs, one teaspoonful of saleratus, and two of ginger. This is excellent. (I'm glad they added that last note!)

7 comments:

Lady Farmer said...

I do not remember that cook book? I do not remember Gram ever using a cook book! And I don't think she ever made that gingerbread but I DO remember her making that Spice Cake anytime she had "sour" milk! (How we ever had sour milk with two big lugs and me I will never know!)I am wondering if the cookbook could have come from Grandpa's mother? Gram helped her with a hotel restaurant in Tenino. Wish she were here to tell us.

ivoryspring said...

What a treasure, Michele... I would love to see what other recipes are included in that cookbook!

Michele said...

I will be including many more recipes and tips from this book in the future. It's a lot of fun to look through. And Lady Farmer, you remember this book...think sun-bathing in the southwest window...=)

Lady Farmer said...

Oh for Pete's sake! I thot that (sun bathing) was in the old Dr. book! What fun! Can't wait to see some more. :~}

Miss Riya said...

Such a coincidence! I see another book with hand writing in the cover. Not from the past....but in your near future. ;-)

Poetikat said...

Ha ha! Typical, isn't it that early cooks just went on instinct rather than precision. I'm sure someone out there could manage it. I need my measuring spoons and cups to do it, although I am known to play around with ingredients.
What a fantastic book! You should hunt down the BBC programs(shown on PBS), "The 1800 House, The 1940s House and The Manor House" -- all are excellent depictions of life in those earlier times and lots of cooking is done. Modern-day folk relive the times in period costumes and with strict observance to detail. Brilliant!

Kat

Michele said...

Ooh, Miss Riya, such suspense! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

And Kat, I will definitely check those out! I love not only visiting the past, but trying to reclaim a little of the best parts, like the home arts.