CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Pam K., winner of Julianna Deering's new release, Murder on the Moor!

Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Congratulations to Deanna Stevens, Annie of Just Commonly and Trixi O...new owners of The American Heiress Brides Collection!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Antique Cookbooks Part 1 1890 - 1906


by Anita Mae Draper


A few weeks ago I attended the Wolseley Museum Auction and then posted photos of some of the items I was happy to bring home with me. Today I'd like to tell you about the box of cookbooks I bought for C $14.50 and which included books from 1890 up until the 1930's. In order to show perspective, I've taken this group shot of all the books together and will take several posts to check them out.

Group shot of all the cookbooks I bought for $14.50 at museum auction

The earliest cookbook in the box is a First Edition copy of The Pattern Cook-Book, copyright 1890, printed in New York by The Butterick Publishing Company [Limited].

The Pattern Cook-Book, 1890, The Butterick Publishing Company, New York, USA 

The Pattern Cook-Book, 1890, The Butterick Publishing Company, New York, USA

Did that surprise you as much as me? I've used many Butterick dressmaking patterns, but I've never used their recipes. Like most recipes of the day, though, no oven temperatures are given. Instead, most recipes that need the oven end with a direction like, bake rather slowly for three-quarters of an hour. Or, bake for forty minutes in a moderate oven. As I looked for something special in this book, I found the following lists of household items - a great resource for anyone writing in this period.

The Pattern Cook-Book, 1890, The Butterick Publishing Company, New York, USA

Forgive the quality of the above image, but at 624 pages, The Pattern Cook-Book is difficult to photocopy without breaking the spine.

Next, we have Good Things, the smallest book in the box at about 4" x 5 1/2" x 1/4" high. I was able to photocopy this book in the open position because although it looks like a hardcover and is classified as a hardcover on the bookseller sites, it's quite soft and flexible.


Good Things, Made, Said, and Done, For Every Home and Household, 
1892,  Goodall, Backhouse & Co., Leeds, England

I should note that although this book is dated 1892 it's actually the 29th edition and was originally printed in 1880. I've seen different editions with different colored covers.

Good Things, Made, Said, and Done, For Every Home and Household, 1892, Goodall, Backhouse & Co., Leeds, England

I really like this little book which is written in a conversational tone. For example, take pg 51 and the recipe for Baked Tomatoes... Are not tomatoes expensive? English-grown tomatoes are, generally speaking, dear, as much as 8d. per pound being often asked for them. The cheapest are those which are sent to us from America in tins.

And speaking of things in cans and other store-bought items, check out the left page below. More good things to know for someone who writes or reads in this period. And on the right is an explanation of the types and cost of the recipes found in this l00+ page book.

Good Things, Made, Said, and Done, For Every Home and Household,
1892,  Goodall, Backhouse & Co., Leeds, England


Heading into the 20th century, we have The Wheat City Cook - Book, 1901, Smith & Burton, Brandon, Manitoba.

The Wheat City Cook - Book, 1901, Smith & Burton, Brandon, Manitoba  

Compiled by The Ladies of the Methodist Church in Brandon, this book is unique from any of the others starting with its terribly cut soft cover which reminds me of those brown, industrial paper towels. Except the lines you see really give it a waffle texture sort of like tree bark, but so soft it easily rolls back and is quite comfortable to the touch. The approx 100 pages are held together with heavy brown string. I say approx 100 pages because unlike the other cookbooks, you must turn many pages of advertising before you come upon the title page. Advertising like these pages on what should be pages 4&5 if they were numbered:

The Wheat City Cook - Book, 1901, Smith & Burton, Brandon, Manitoba

After 10 pages of advertising, we find these:

The Wheat City Cook - Book, 1901, Smith & Burton, Brandon, Manitoba

Like many fund-raising cookbooks created today, The Wheat city Cook - Book shows the name of the person contributing the recipe. The page I wanted to bring to your attention isn't the paragraph-style recipes, but a list of measurements in use at the time. I have to be honest... although this is a Canadian cookbook, I'm not familiar with the term, gill.

The Wheat City Cook - Book, 1901, Smith & Burton, Brandon, Manitoba


And now for the biggest, heaviest cookbook of the lot... White House Cook Book, 1906, by Hugo Ziemann, Steward of the White House, and Mrs. F. L. Gillette, The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio, USA.

White House Cook Book, 1906, by Hugo Ziemann and Mrs. F. L. Gillette,
The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio, USA


White House Cook Book, 1906, by Hugo Ziemann and Mrs. F. L. Gillette,
The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio, USA

So it appears this book was co-written by a former White House steward which explains the title and all the references and photographs of state dinners and First Ladies.

White House Cook Book, 1906, by Hugo Ziemann and Mrs. F. L. Gillette,
The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio, USA

With the sub-title being, A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information to the Home, this cookbook also lists french cooking terms, health remedies, laundry instructions, toilet recipes, and measurements ... 2 wine-glasses equals 1 gill or half a cup...2 gills equals 1 coffeecupful, or 16 tablespoonfuls.

These recipes are equally sophisticated as well as ordinary, and as a kitchen of the day, shows recipes for Head Cheese and Bologna Sausage just a few pages away from sauces such as Tartare, Oyster, and Hollandaise.

 *Update due reader request in comments section for Venison Roast. While looking for this recipe(s) I noticed that the author credits where he found some of the recipes and when it came to venison, his go-to person seems to be the Windsor Hotel in Montreal. Here then are the 2 of the pages devoted to cooking venison:

White House Cook Book, pg 100


White House Cook Book, pg 101

For the writers in the crowd... note the use of the phrase, pretty close, on page 101, Line 6.


So here we are at the end of the post and I've only covered the years from 1890-1906 with 4 cookbooks. I would have loved to show you more pages, but thought instead of me picking them, I'd ask what you want to see.

Is there a recipe, recipe page,  topic or information you'd like to see from any of these books? Let me know in the comments and I'll scan it and add it to the post by the end of the day.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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   http://www.anitamaedraper.com/



14 comments:

  1. what a treasure trove of information for you Anita! I can't think of any specific recipe... oh, wait - how about a venison roast or something like that?

    i think the White House cookbook would be super interesting with the anecdotes about the First Ladies and what was served for State dinners.

    i always learn so much from your posts. you are an awesome researcher - a true gift you use well. i love learning about all the wonderous things you discover and share.

    hope all is going well on the writing front.
    *hugs!*

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    1. Hugs right back at ya, DebH. :)

      I added 2 pages to the post on Venison recipes from the White House Cook Book. Simple recipes, but they show appropriate jelly and sauces that would be used.

      I also saw use of the phrase 'pretty close' which I would have thought a modern expression except that I found it used in the 1911 Courtship letters on my Author Memories blog.

      Also... the 3rd last line of the first recipe on pg 100 seems to have a printing typo, which is strange for something like this. Usually, you'd find the whole line upside down or certain letters backwards, but in this case, the o is completely missing which means a spacer would have been used in its place. And then the line beneath it has what looks like an o in place of an e in the word when. Very strange indeed. Or were the errors caught by a proofreader, but never changed later?

      Getting back to the venison recipes, The Pattern Cook Book has very good information on venison and how to recognize the age of the animal, personal preferences, etc, but since you mentioned the White House Cook Book, I showed you those ones.

      Anyway, there ya go, DebH. Let me know if there's anything else else you'd like. And thanks for dropping by. :)

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  2. What a treasure you've found! I love old recipes. In fact, if you can find one for buttermilk pie, that's one I've been looking for this week. :)

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    Replies
    1. Well, Niki, I didn't find a buttermilk pie recipe in any of the 4 cookbooks on my post, but I did find one in the next cookbook I was going to post about. Since this recipe is very short, and I don't want to talk about the book too much yet, I'll post the recipe here since you need it this week:

      From the Five Roses Cook Book, Bread & Pastry, 1915, Lake of the Woods Milling Company, Montreal, Canada:

      BUTTERMILK PIE
      (makes 2 pies)
      2 cups buttermilk
      2 tablespoons Five Roses flour
      2 tablespoons butter
      2 eggs
      1 cup sugar.
      Bake with an undercrust.

      And then the next recipe starts. However, upon reading their general information on pie making we see:
      "All pastry requires a quick oven at the start, the smaller the shapes, the quicker the oven. Once the puffing is over the heat may be reduced, especially for custard or egg fillings. Fruit pies should be allowed to cook slowly to avoid running over."

      I'll add that although the cookbooks in the post don't mention Buttermilk Pie, they do show a variety of cream, custard, and fruit pies and tarts.

      Enjoy. :)

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    2. Awesome! I will be trying this over the weekend!

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  3. Oh, Anita, what a coup! Wow. I think I might have to make a trip up north to do a little research. These are some really fabulous resources. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Suzie. Let me know if you need anything for your series set during this time frame. :)

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    2. I will, Anita. Thank you for that!

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  4. what treasurers!! One of my favorites of my mom's cookbooks was the "Fanny Farmer Cookbook." Her edition didn't fit into the time frame you've listed -- it was newer! But it had basic instructions on how to do almost everything - freezing and canning fruits and vegetables, how to cook the basics, etc.
    As to your question, I don't really need a recipe right now! I tend to google recipes more than I look in cookbooks. Those old books are really amazing!

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  5. Hey Elaine, I've heard a lot about the Fanny Farmer Cookbook and it was all good! :)

    You know, with all my cookbooks, when I'm in a hurry and can't remember which cookbook a recipe is in, then I'll google it too.

    What I need is an app to enter favorite recipes and their source. So far, all the apps come with cookbooks and the data entry is limited. I'll keep searching, though.

    Thanks for stopping by. How's the flooding your way?

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  6. These are true treasures. You can learn so much about what life was like by learning what they ate, how they procured it and how they prepared it. Thanks for your willingness to share with us!

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    1. You're very welcome, Susie. I enjoy sharing old things. And you see the value as I do. I think that's why I like showing the practical pages like the ads, measures, household articles, etc. because they're so important to injecting historical detail in our stories.

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  7. I always enjoy your posts, Anita. So much information and interesting pictures. :D

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  8. Thank you, DeAnna. I appreciate you saying it.

    You know, I was thinking about you on Canada Day... I was posting Canadian Pride pics on my Pinterest page... (ooh, I love the alliteration!) and I saw one that said ...

    Canadians are Peace Keepers ...

    ...Except when it comes to HOCKEY!

    LOL.

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