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Mudpuppie

Old cookbooks

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One of the books that my MIL recently gifted me with was this: 

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It is from Southern Living Magazine and mine is the 3rd printing dated 1975.  So not terribly old.  But I was surprised to find this in the Wild Game section:

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On 11/1/2017 at 9:45 PM, Jacksoup said:

From my now deceased mothers collection.  The Buckskin Cookery is really interesting.  Their advice on mushrooms is to watch the squirrels and take what they take.  

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xD I hope none of the squirrels were suicidal! 

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7 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

One of the books that my MIL recently gifted me with was this: 

5a1c3a143eab7_SLcookbook.jpg.a1dd74cc0eac294130041bc05e4b4f7c.jpg

It is from Southern Living Magazine and mine is the 3rd printing dated 1975.  So not terribly old.  But I was surprised to find this in the Wild Game section:

20171124_115222.thumb.jpg.6d37d42702e9ff37d528db5ac66d1b63.jpg

 

 

I have eaten doggoned nearly every kind of game there is. I have eaten possum. It's nasty. Almost as nasty as coon. I will stick to venison and elk.

 

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On 11/27/2017 at 6:35 PM, kayb said:

 

I have eaten doggoned nearly every kind of game there is. I have eaten possum. It's nasty. Almost as nasty as coon. I will stick to venison and elk.

 

My understanding is that meat-eaters taste really strong - not pleasant.  I'm bettin' I'd taste awful.

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I love my old copy of the Fanny Farmer Baking Book, from the 50s I think. I still use it all the time.

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There is an interesting article here about "The Oldest Cookbooks From Libraries Around the World".

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A friend and I spent 2 wonderful days browsing through the large cookbook collection at Denver University. I understood at the time--and I'm trying to remember when it was, possibly late 80s-early 90s--that it was the second largest collection in the country, assembled by an obsessed collector. We wore gloves, even though some of the collection were the small recipe booklets put out by product companies or community fundraising cookbooks. However, a significant amount was quite old and sometimes a little fragile--definitely handled gently. That was when I learned that broccoli was known much earlier than I had thought. Books that taught the new bride how to take care of her house and family, cookbooks for beginning cooks, cookbooks that were thinly-disguised etiquette manuals--it was fascinating.

 

My friend was a food writer interested in the history of food, how food tastes and ingredients changed over time. We had only enough time to skim the collection, pick a book here and there to look through or try to follow a theme through different periods. There must have been thousands of books, large and small, in the collection. I wonder if it's still intact.

 

I have my grandmother's Boston School cookbook stuffed with handwritten recipes and newspaper clippings. She was a very good German cook--people used to sigh over her sweet and sour red cabbage, which I have failed to adequately reproduce. My mother, on the other hand, was a terrible cook. Sometimes these things skip a generation.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

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This is the oldest cookbook I have. It was my mom's.  It is dated 1945, the year after I was born. I don't remember her ever having any other cookbook but I remember this one being about twice as thick as it is now because it was stuffed full of recipes that she had cut out of other publications or had written down.  One of the handwritten recipes by her was one for Povitica bread.   We lived in an apartment on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City. It was a Croatian neighborhood and Povitica bread was a holiday bread that everyone made. Mom asked the neighbor downstairs for the recipe and she said it was in her head and she was welcome to sit in her kitchen when she made it and write down how she made it.  Wow the memories are flooding back.  Watkins is still in business but back then they sold herbs and spices door-to-door.  Mom always had a bottle of Watkins Vanilla Extract in the pantry. 

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I unearthed my mom's Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook the other day to find the cake recipe I posted about here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/156715-cake-memories/  It brought back happy memories of my introduction to structured recipes. It is dated 1956. She received it at my sister's baby shower from her co-workers in 1961. It has plenty of room in the binder to let you add your own recipe cards and notes. As you can see the index is very detailed. It has tabs starting with meal planning and then categories like appetizers, vegetables, and so forth. Also lots of narrative and "tips" along with conversion charts. I was the kid who knew the origin of Toll House cookies  cuz I devoured the book cover to cover repeatedly.  Also love the quotes on the inside of front & back cover:

"Home is where the heart is" and "Life's riches other rooms adorn, But in a kitchen home is born"

 

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I have

 

had that same cookbook from BC

 

my mother used it in the '50's

 

with notes etc

 

If I do still have it 

 

its in a box

 

somewhere

 

but BC started me in cooking

 

I remember that book to this day.

 

a fine book it was and still is.

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Posted (edited)

My mom's Watkins cookbook is too fragile to lend itself to browsing through it but I found that there are several copies available on eBay and I got one for $6.00.  I was looking through it and started at the back and was reading some recipes with a mixture of fascination and revulsion until I got to the chapter heading for those pages.  It was FOOD FOR INVALIDS.  The first one that caught my attention was Irish Moss Jelly. I thought Irish Moss was a brand name but it is made with actual moss blended with water, milk and sweetened to taste.  I discovered that it's a commercial product that can be purchased for eating or medicinal uses or planted and grown for ground cover. It is also known as Pearl Moss.

 

Another recipe was for Fermanlactol Milk in which a crushed fermanlactol tablet was added to 12 hour old milk and allowed to stand in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. I don't think the tablets are made anymore but that lead me to read up on lacto-fermentation which is a centuries old method of preserving fruit and vegetables. Kimchi and sauerkraut are (or are when homemade) made that way and whey can be used instead of salt for preserving fruit.  The chapter had a recipe for making whey.  There is a recipe for Sherry Eggnog Or Brandy Or Whiskey, for Gruel, Milk Lemonade, Beef Juice, Beef Tea and Albumen Water.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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11 minutes ago, Norm Matthews said:

I thought Irish Moss was a brand name but it is made with actual moss blended with water, milk and sweetened to taste.

 

I've had Irish Moss jelly. Not bad. Lacto-fermentation is a very common pickling method world-wide, including here in China. There is a good article, with recipes, here. I have one of the fermentation jars with the moat as shown.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

I've had Irish Moss jelly. Not bad. Lacto-fermentation is a very common pickling method world-wide, including here in China. There is a good article, with recipes, here. I have one of the fermentation jars with the moat as shown.

 

 

 

Thanks for the link. I had no idea that moss was a food.   I had known about lacto-fermentation for a while, I just didn't know what it was called until I tried to look up fermanlactol tablets.  I have made some of those Chinese fermentation jars on the potters wheel.  They have that reservoir at the top for water so the bowl used as a lid can allow gasses to escape while keeping air out.  I have also made some Japanese and Chinese pickles in the past but I have not had much success at making kimchi. 

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Posted (edited)

Here's my jar.

 

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This is my mother's baking book from when she married in the early 1950s. I now have it, but never use it. I'm not really much of a baker. But it's nice to have it. It is the oldest cookbook I possess, apart from reprints of ancient classics such as "Apicius" and The "Forme Of Cury".

 

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Be-Ro was, and still is, the main flour brand in the UK. It was founded in 1875 by Thomas Bell who invented self-raising flour. Amazingly, the cookbook is still in print - now in its 41st edition.

 

Quote

First published in 1923, and now in its 41st edition, the "Be-Ro" recipe cook is arguably one of the best-selling cookery books ever, with more than thirty eight million copies having been sold.

 

http://www.be-ro.co.uk/#

 

 


Edited by liuzhou typos (log)
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24 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

This is my mother's baking book from when she married in the early 1950s. 

OMG.  I know the cover of that book so well. I think it was in the kitchen of everyone of my many aunts and other relatives. I can picture in my minds eye The grease stains, smears of jam, floury pages.  Thank you so very much for sharing.

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Yes I have my mother's stains and smears!

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