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So had a trip to the wife's family last week. Her grandmother is downsizing and knew that I like to cook, so she had me go through her cookbooks.

The history buff in me immediately reached for the oldest, Helen Cramp's The Institute Cookbook from 1913. Turns out it was her mother's (my wife's great grandmother) only cookbook. The thing is really cool. Old illustrations about the perfect kitchen, recipes for oddities like Terrapin soup, and lots of family hand-written recipes.

I was really touched that she let (actually made) me keep it. Got me thinking...

What's your oldest cookbook and how did you come to acquire it? Any special stories? What are the good recipes?

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do believe it is the one I am perusing right now, snagged from Grandmas last week

The Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking...1947

White sauce anyone? I mean it does go with everything...well maybe not the muskrat but I do know how to clean one now

I will be heating up the kitchen with the old school baked goods very soon the breads and cakes etc are the only things so far that wouldnt need major tweeking.

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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garden state motorcyle association

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I have a book called, The People's Home Book, 1916, which has in it, not only recipes and tips (how to make rancid butter sweet again), but home remedies and good health tips. (be sure to take a bath once or twice a week and never during mensus.)

Gah.

Stop Family Violence

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I don't have anything that old in my collection. The best I can do is a 1936 edition of the Household Searchlight Recipe Book. Inside is written "Ressupe book: Alain McSwain and Mae Bell McSwain" followed by several names that I assume are grandchildren because half have the McSwain name and half have another name. There was also a clipping from an old Tractor Farming magazine with a couple recipes (stuffed green peppers and Mrs. Gilmore's Lemon Custard Pudding) and an add introducing the soon-to-come International Harvester Farmall Cub which "will replace 2 or 3 horses or mules". There's no date on the clipping but that tractor was introduced in 1947 (I was curious so I looked it up). I don't have a cool story to tell about the book though.

gallery_53467_5170_17120.jpg

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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