Monday, May 18, 2009

Cookbooks from the past 80 years!

I just spent seven (yep, 7!) hours at my mothers house going through her entire cookbook collection. She is not able to cook as much as she used to, so she decided she wanted to only save a very select few and pass the rest on to me... then if there are ones I don't want, I am to pass them on to someone else. I came home with at least two-thirds of her collection! There are a few I don't think I will be using much, as they are from the 20's and 40's, but they are fun to look at.

The oldest one is from the Price Baking Powder Factory (Royal Baking Powder Company); copyright 1929. They spell 'cookie' as 'cooky' and 'coconut' as 'cocoanut'! Another fun note: the bottom of every page reads: All measurements are level. Four level teaspoons of baking powder about equal one heaping teaspoon as heretofore used. There is a section titled Suggestions For Invalids, too! Here is their advice to the feeding of the sick: Always prepare food for the sick in the most careful and attractive manner. In sickness the senses are unusually acute and far more susceptible to carelessness and mistakes in the preparation and serving of food than in health. Now, as for the recipes in this section... sick or not, I won't be eating them! LOL

Here is a photo of the book:

There were four cookbooks from the 1940's that mom parted with.
Spry was like Crisco. Here is their promo cookbook from 1942:

Here is a page out of the book- All about sending cookies to our service men. I guess some things never change:

There are these two:The right one is one (if not the first) Pillsbury cookbooks. It is actually sub-titled "Ann Pillsbury's Amazing Discovery". It is dated 1945.
The cookbook on the left was, I am guessing, is one that came with a very early electric stove, or was a promotional book given by the Niagara Hudson Power Corporation. The Introduction starts with: Electricity is so radiantly clean and wholesome that it is the ideal fuel to be associated with food. There is no date in the book, but I did find a receipt for a random purchase dated 12/31/1948 tucked in the pages... so I am guessing the book is from around that time, too. (I could be wrong.) Here is a photo of that receipt:

This Searchlight Recipe Book is dated 1949. It was compiled from 1000 questionnaires that were sent to readers of "Household". The recipes were submitted by the readers, then tested by The Household Searchlight, which from 1925 to 1942 was maintained for the study of home products under actual home conditions. The war necessitated closing The Searchlight in April, 1942. After that, all recipes appearing in "Household" carried the approval of the Household's Kitchen. I wonder if that was the beginning of the "Good Housekeeping" and their seal of approval?

These next two are both from 1953:

The one on the left is a church cookbook from Albuquerque, New Mexico. It gives a real look into the comfort foods of the time. The other one is another power company promo cookbook. This one is from the Los Angeles City-Owned Department of Water and Power. Times sure have changed! The introduction to this particular cookbook would NEVER get printed today. Here it is:

Once upon a time- and not so long ago- it was fashionable for all lovely ladies not to know how to cook or at least pretend not to know.

My! How times have changed!

Today a woman can look like a cream confection, but she's got to know how to make one too. Popularity in our modern times, is reserved for those who are good cooks as well as those with good looks!

It's easier than you think to claim your share of that special envy reserved for good cooks. With the way we've worked things out for you on the following pages, you'll be an expert cook in little more time than it takes to roll up your pin curls! If you read our instructions carefully and follow them as faithfully as your best beau follows you, what treasures will be yours to set before your King!

How is THAT for sexism? LOL!
I also brought home many more cookbooks from the 60's to the present. I am going to be spending many evenings looking through all of these! This is going to be FUN!


OHN said...

I have my mom's and grandmothers books and they are wonderful to look through. I have adapted a few recipes (I can't believe how many call for lard and things that are rarely used now;) and my son makes the cookies from my grandmothers cookbook and loves them.

I also have a book on medicine from the 1920' is AMAZING what they thought back then!

Pepe Lepew said...

LADWP? I covered them for 4 years when I was a newspaper reporter in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. They built this engineering wonder that brought water from the Mono Lake Basin all the way down to L.A. ... something like 400 miles. Of course, it completely destroyed the local ecosystem, but they didn't care about that stuff in the 40s.