To CINDY W for winning the drawing for Beverly Allen's BLOOM AND DOOM!

Lisa, Gina, Jen and Carla Gade. MISTLETOE MEMORIES at #10 on the ECPA bestsellers list for fiction!

To DebH for winning the copy of Suzie Johnson's book Sweet Mountain Music!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Antique Cookbooks Part 2 1900 - 1916

by Anita Mae Draper

If you saw my last post, Antique Cookbooks Part 1 1890 - 1906, about old cookbooks I bought at a museum auction, you'll find this is a continuation although the first cookbook overlaps by 5 years.

First up is a frail pamphlet made of newsprint that's missing its cover and copyright page, although page one states the title as Aunt Kate's Cakes and Candies Book, and at the very bottom of the last page Dundee and London: John Leng & Co., Ltd, is stated. 

Aunt Kate's Cakes and Candies Book,
Dundee and London: John Leng & Co., Ltd

With the title and publisher I was able to ignore the dozens of cookbooks attributed to three or more dozen aunts and unwrap the layers to reveal that Aunt Kate is the pseudonym for Helen Greig Souter, an author who wrote several books on household subjects, aided by her popularity as the writer of Aunt Kate's Page in The People's Journal

According to the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the cover of Aunt Kate's Cakes and Candies Book is "blue paper with image on front of woman at stove watched by 3 girls and a boy" (verbatim). The original cost was 1d (1 penny). I couldn't find an image of the exact cover, but here are 2 versions to give you an idea - on the left is a One Penny issue, and on the right another edition of my book, but years later as it shows the price as 2 pence. 

Aunt Kate's 48-page booklet had 3 pages which caught my eye including this one on candy recipes:

Aunt Kate's Cakes and Candies Book,
Dundee and London: John Leng & Co., Ltd
I won't show the other 2 pages that caught my attention here because they're really hard to read, but they were recipes and instructions for making ale, beer, and wine. As I read over them, the song with lyrics of strawberry wine floated through my thoughts, but my eyes latched onto the elderberry wine. Not that I've tasted elderberry wine, but my family values elderberry for its healthful properties in fighting throat and lung infections. Would elderberry wine have the same benefits? I guess it's a moot point though because we left our elderberry tree in the yard of a previous home. 

The next cook book I'd like to show is not only missing a cover, it's also missing the first and last couple pages. However, because it was put out by the Zam-buk people who sell the medicinal salve/balm for every mishap, there is a Zam-buk full page ad on every second page and the title, Cookery Recipes at the top of every page. So that's what I googled. 

The result was that I discovered the pamphlet, The Zam-Buk Book of Cookery Recipes, was printed in 191-. Nothing else on the internet gave a clue as to the actual year, but upon reading the fragile pages, I discovered an ad on pg 11 which gave a testimony dated 8th January 1912.

The Zam-Buk Book of Cookery Recipes

Considering all the ads, there are a surprising number of recipes which include the ingredients and instructions in a brief 4 or 5 lines in this little pamphlet. And I wasn't kidding when I said the pages were fragile, because as I unbent the folded corners prior to photocopying, small pieces of paper started falling off which stopped me right quick. I suppose 100 yr old newsprint deserves the dignity of being left alone. 

The Zam-Buk Book of Cookery Recipes

Bringing some color to this post is the Five Roses Cookbook Bread Pastry Etc, 1915, by Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, Canada. Note the oilcloth cover, but ignore the white tape holding the covers together. 

Five Roses Cookbook Bread Pastry Etc, 1915,
Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, Canada
Although this 136 page book is put out by the Five Roses Flour Company, I only counted 5 or so pages of advertising including the 2 pages below which show the available sizes of flour for sale. 

Five Roses Cookbook Bread Pastry Etc, 1915,
Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, Canada

There were several pages of color photos of bread products, but instead of showing those - which look the same as today's versions - I thought I'd show you some of the recipes instead.

This page is eye-catching because of the spelling of cooky in the header, but cookies in the recipe titles. Also note the recipe for Ammonia Cookies which would be a great alternative for today's cough syrups.

Five Roses Cookbook Bread Pastry Etc, 1915,
Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, Canada

A couple things on this next page caught my eye, namely the Yankee and Spanish Buns. The advert at the bottom is interesting because it states the use of Not-Bleached ~ Not-Blended flour, two things to show the purity of the grade. But I always thought non-bleached was modern and that everyone embraced bleached flour back then when it was introduced. Who knew it was a historic selling point?

Five Roses Cookbook Bread Pastry Etc, 1915,
Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited, Canada

The last cookbook for this post is The Best Way Book No. 3: 1200 Household Himts & Recipes, 1916, Amalgamated Press Printing Works, Southwark, London, U.K, with an original price of 6 pence. 

As you might guess from the title, there was a series of Best Way books in the early decades of the 20th century and while I can't guarantee there are 1200 household hints in this book, its 146 pages are chock-full of recipes and ideas for healthy living. 

This 5"x7" hardcover cookbook has been well used and several recipes have been written into blank spaces, a treasure for sure, but what stands out are the pages of Vegetarian Recipes because I hadn't realized the term was used back in 1916. 

The Best Way Book No. 3: 1200 Household Himts & Recipes, 1916

Other pages that drew me in were the ones on feeding children and infants and it was here that I found a full-page ad for store-bought canned baby formula. 
The Best Way Book No. 3: 1200 Household Himts & Recipes, 1916

The book includes pages on feeding invalids, laundry, housekeeping, and as shown below, money-saving tips and wartime economy. 

The Best Way Book No. 3: 1200 Household Himts & Recipes, 1916

This would have been a very valuable book of information at the time, and even today as it gives us a glimpse into early 20th century life.

Has anything surprised you in this post? 


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their 4 kids. She writes cowboy stories set in the Old West, and Edwardian stories set in the East.  Anita Mae's short story, Riding on a Christmas Wish is published in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, October 2013. She is honored that Guideposts Books have chosen a second short story, Here We Go A-wassailing,  for inclusion in the 2014 Christmas Cheer II book set.   Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Art of the Parody

by Jennifer AlLee

I love a good parody, and in my opinion, the king of the pop music parody is Weird Al Yankovic. Al got his start back when he was a teenager, recording song parodies on cassette tapes and sending them to the Doctor Demento radio show. By 1982, he'd graduated college and had a recording contract. He's been going strong ever since.

One of the things I admire about Al is his integrity. Even though it's perfectly legal to parody a song without the writer's or performer's permission, Al never does that. He always makes sure to get the original performer's blessing before releasing a new song parody.

He's just dropped another album (aside: it's funny to me how we still call them albums, even though most music today is either digital or on CD) titled Mandatory Fun, and from what I've heard so far, it's all that and more. My favorite song is Word Crimes, which makes total sense as an author.

Here's the video. Enjoy! And remember, I'll C U l8ter is SUCH a crime!

JENNIFER ALLEE was born in Hollywood, California, and spent her first ten years living above a mortuary one block away from the famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine. Now she lives in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, which just goes to prove she’s been blessed with a unique life. When she’s not busy spinning tales, she enjoys playing games with friends, attending live theater and movies, and singing at the top of her lungs to whatever happens to be playing on the car radio. Although she’s thrilled to be living out her lifelong dream of being a novelist, she considers raising her son to be her greatest creative accomplishment. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Her novels include The Pastor’s WifeThe Mother Road, A Wild Goose Chase Christmas and the upcoming Last Family Standing (9/15) from Abingdon Press; Diamond in the Rough, Vanishing Act, and Curtain Call from Whitaker House and co-written with Lisa Karon Richardson; and the novella Comfort and Joy in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories from Barbour.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

A year ago (almost this week) hubby and I saw WICKED on Broadway. We bought the cast recording and listened to it over and over again during the drive from New York to Oklahoma. On the first listen, our kids were "huh?" By the time we reached home, they were begging to see the musical. They did. In OKC a couple months later. In June we took them to see it again in Tulsa. We are WICKED fanatics.

I keep waiting for someone to ask, "But did you read the book?" Umm, no, but my oldest daughter has. "Have you read the original, the one that stated it all?" Umm, well, I read the first four chapters when I was writing my next Heartsong release, THE MARSHAL'S PURSUIT.

Last month I put other things aside and finally read L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (written in 1900). Don't think you know the story. Read it.

As she travels to Oz, Dorothy meets three others who are also desperate to find the "one thing" they think they need so very badly. 

"Did you speak?" asked the girl, in wonder.

"Certainly," answered the Scarecrow. "How do you do?"

"I'm pretty well, thank you," replied Dorothy politely. "How do you do?"

"I'm not feeling well," said the Scarecrow, with a smile, "for it is very tedious being perched up here night and day to scare away crows."

"Can't you get down?" asked Dorothy.

"No, for this pole is stuck up my back. If you will please take away the pole I shall be greatly obliged to you."

Dorothy reached up both arms and lifted the figure off the pole, for, being stuffed with straw, it was quite light.

After Dorothy attended to the Scarecrow's external bondage, she invited him on her journey to the person who had the answer to his internal need. She did the same with the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. Each had the choice to accept Dorothy's offer of a the possibility of a better life, or to reject it. 


A friend once said to me: "I think I'm just feeling out of sorts, out of control. Things are not peaceful in my heart or my soul right now. I think God wants to work something in me, and I need to allow Him to, but it has been difficult. When the Bible calls it refiner's FIRE, it isn't whistling dixie."

The refiner's fire is hot and unpleasant. Forget going home to Kansas if it means enduring poppy fields, wicked witches, winged monkeys, fighting trees, hammer-heads, or giant spiders. Put me back on that pole. Yes, it scratched, but I was used to it. I knew what to expect. Hide my oil can. Doesn't help my complexion anyway. Let me posture in denial of my fears. Being a scardy cat keeps me out of the ER. Because even though I survived this calamity, I know--I KNOW--something bad will happen again.

Get me off this yellow brick road, Lord. I am tired of running this race. I am tired of fighting the good fight.

In Strong Women, Soft Hearts, Paula Rinehart puts it this way: "People often complain of such things during the season of life--like someone drilled a hole through their souls. While everything looks the same on the outside, they feel hollow and restless, bored in ways that make no sense."

"But that isn't right. The King of Beasts shouldn't be a coward," said the Scarecrow.

I know it," returned the Lion, wiping a tear from his eye with the tip of his tail. "It is my great sorrow, and makes my life very unhappy. But whenever there is danger, my heart begins to beat fast."

"Perhaps you have heart disease," said the Tin Woodman.

"It may be," said the Lion.

"If you have," continued the Tin Woodman, "you ought to be glad, for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I cannot have heart disease."

"Perhaps," said the Lion thoughtfully, "if I had no heart I should not be a coward."

"Have you brains?" asked the Scarecrow.

"I suppose so. I've never looked to see," replied the Lion.

"I am going to the Great Oz to ask him to give me some," remarked the Scarecrow, "for my head is stuffed with straw."

"And I am going to ask him to give me a heart," said the Woodman.

"And I am going to ask him to send Toto and me back to Kansas," added Dorothy.

"Do you think Oz could give me courage?" asked the Cowardly Lion.

"Just as easily as he could give me brains," said the Scarecrow.

"Or give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman.

"Or send me back to Kansas," said Dorothy.

"Then, if you don't mind, I'll go with you," said the Lion, "for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage."

"You will be very welcome," answered Dorothy, "for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily."

"They really are," said the Lion, "but that doesn't make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy."

Some of us need to reclaim our bodies, others need to reclaim their minds, and many more need to reclaim their hearts so that they may really live. In their book Sacred Romance, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge share: 

"In the end, it doesn't matter how well we have performed or what we have accomplished--a life without heart is not worth living. For out of this wellspring of our soul flow all true caring and all meaningful work, all real worship and all sacrifice."

God does not desire any of us to live in any form of bondage.

Jesus said, "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give [you] a rich and satisfying life."

"Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good....Listen, that you may live." Isaiah 55:2, 3 (NAS)

I love how Rinehart writes, "What God asks of us is both simpler and more profound than adherence to a system of beliefs or following a set of rules. He asks us to walk in an honest pilgrimage where we let Him show us what real strength, and real love, are all about." That's one yellow brick road I want to travel. 

Dorothy stood up and found she was in her stocking-feet. For the Silver Shoes had fallen off in her flight through the air, and were lost forever in the desert.

Aunt Em had just come out of the house to water the cabbages when she looked up and saw Dorothy running toward her.

"My darling child!" she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. "Where in the world did you come from?"

Well, Aunt Em, I was on this awful, amazing, scary hard adventure to find a way back home. Along the way I met some friends who, like me, decided we were tired of the life we had and knew we wanted to really live, so we followed a golden path to Someone who showed us how to reclaim our minds, hearts, bodies, and find our way home. 

I don't know what holds you in bondage, but I want you to know that you are not alone. A trained professional can be reached here or here or here.

Serious Question of the Day: Is there any one area of your life where you feel God is stirring in your heart to move you out of the stands and onto the playing field?

Non-Serious Question of the Day: Which character in The Wizard of Oz do you most relate to.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

YumYum, Pitti Sing, Peep Bo and the Great PooBah

W.S. Gilbert

Does this man look funny to you? I don’t mean odd, but I can’t say he looks like a barrel of laughs either.

This is Sir William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and he is a librettist.  A what? Oh, I didn’t quite know the full meaning myself but it is a person who writes the text and stage directions for an opera.  Sort of a lyricist, but not a lyricist.  Sir William might be the best known librettist of all time, yet… without the inclusion of his partner, the composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), (Gilbert and Sullivan) few of us would know who he was.

In Murder at the Mikado,  Julianna Deering uses a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera as part of the background for Drew’s investigation.  At the time of her story, these amazing creatives were twenty years gone to their great reward, but just as today, their fourteen comic-operas lived on. The three most famous have been presented almost continuously somewhere on the planet, over the last one hundred and thirty years.
The Savoy Theatre, London 1881

Gilbert and Sullivan’s greatest fan was the producer Richard D’oyly Carte. So enamored with their gift for whimsy, Carte built a theater—the Savoy—just to present their works.  The comic-operas became known as Savoy Operas. It wasn’t always a smooth relationship among the three men. Creativity ebbs at times and when one opera lacked the wild success of another, an older opera was often revised while a new one was in the works.

The Mikado is considered by some to be the most performed opera of all time, including all the versions made by a male cast playing the female parts.  The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore round out this trio. Adored by the Victorians, they stayed wildly popular throughout the turn of the century, the Edwardian era and showed no signs of slowing down during the 30s and 40s. (Drew Farthering's era)

Mikado is the name of a mayor (of sorts) of a small Japanese town. A cast of characters with silly names chase after even sillier goals. During the various runs of the opera, it was shut down more than once when the British government feared it would offend a visiting Japanese dignitary. Not to worry, one such dignitary was actually disappointed he wasn’t able to see it and the show was started up again. And yes, he enjoyed it.

What do you know of  Gilbert and Sullivan, and their three most famous Savoy operas? Do you have a favorite?
I love how they have become a part of the public collective memory through other plays, books, movies and songs in multiple countries and languages.

(Plot Summary from IMBD)
In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together.