|Nana's Specialty Cookbooks|
In addition to Nana's cookbooks, I have other old-fashioned ones, mostly from New England.
Two Vintage Fund-Raising Cookbooks
Historical Society of Hollis, NHMy two favorites are the ones on the right that were created as fund-raisers. In the foreground is "A Cookbook, A Guide To Hollis Hospitality 1975", from the Historical Society of Hollis, NH, home of my paternal grandmother, Beth Brainard LeRoy. Grandmother was a great lady in many ways, but was considered to be a so-so cook, despite the extensive practice she had raising eight children. She contributed her recipe for Cherokee Indian Pie with the comment, "Delightful surprise-first tried as an experiment." Looking at the ingredients, the Cherokee association is difficult to understand, but here's the recipe:
Grandmother LeRoy's Cherokee Indian Pie
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup quick cooking oatmeat
2/3 cup shredded coconut
pinch of salt
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, well beaten
Combine all ingredients except the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs and mix again. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Natural Spiritualist Teachers Club
The green cookbook behind it is from the National Spiritualist Teachers Club, and it was a gift from my second cousin, Genevieve LeRoy King Woelfl. I met her only twice when she was in her late 70's, and found her charming and delightful, if a little bewildering. Genevieve was a minister in the National Spiritualist Church, an organization I knew nothing about, except that it was everything to her. I remember that she conducted a seance for me so that I could communicate with my late parents, and claimed that they indeed were in the room, although I had to take her word for it. What I like about the NST cookbook isn't the recipes, it's the quotations in between, sayings from Ghandi to Emerson to Cousin Genevieve herself (the majority), a mind-numbing juxtaposition!
Here are some samples:
Here are some samples:
- In between the recipe for "Tuna Cones" and "Goulash" is a quote from Emerson, "The good soul nourishes me, and unlocks new magazines of power and enjoyment to me every day."
- After "Hot Baked Dish" is a saying from Cousin Genevieve, "Let everyone to whom I speak be blessed by that word." - Reverend Genevieve Woelfl, N.S.T.
- After the recipe for "Mock Raviola", is another quote from her, "Through silence we attain Meditation, through Meditation we reach God."
|Fannie Farmer Cookbook|
My Trusty, Battered CookbooksI don't have many cookbooks of my own because most of what I make is intuitive, which explains why I'm a lousy baker. However, when I was a young bride, I bought this Fannie Farmer Cookbook, which I have to this day, and love all the more because it's been everywhere with me and is so well-thumbed the spine is gone and is generally the worse for wear.
|Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery|
I love these quirky vintage cookbooks because they connect me with both sides of my family, and with my early years when I was first learning to cook and needed all the help and inspiration I could get. Today all these recipes would be kept on a computer. Finding the one you want is much quicker and more efficient than looking through a cookbook, but the human element and these charming links to the past are missing.