Last week I pulled my grandmother's old and tattered cookbook off the shelf, carefully turning the pages and reading her handwritten notes and recipes tucked in throughout this cherished book.
This tattered cookbook is The Home Queen Cookbook, was published in 1901, and is in lovingly used condition - meaning, torn, stained, and falling apart from years of use!
It is very different from modern day cookbooks, with their glossy and beautifully styled photos and almost scientifically written recipes. The Home Queen Cookbook has few illustrations and offers recipes familiar still, as well as recipes not so familiar, such as Fricaseed Tripe, Calf's Head Cheese, Boiled Fowl with Oysters, Sweet Tomato Pickles, and Dosoris Pudding. And, who knew there could be so many recipes that call for boiled meat?
I wonder how many of these recipes my grandmother used? I know she made a LOT of pickles as is evident with all the handwritten pickle recipes tucked into the book. I have heard that she made wonderful pickles!
In this old 112 year old cookbook, recipes are written in a very different style than our current recipes and were submitted by women from all over the U.S. Here is a typical example:
Twelve eggs, weight of 10 eggs in sugar, weight of six eggs in flour; juice of 2 lemons, rind of 1.
That's it. Those are the ingredients and quantities. The whole recipe. No more. No instructions. No pre-heat the oven temperature (for the wood burning cook stove) or baking times. Love it!
Towards the back of the book, along with household tips for each room of the house, are menu ideas for the holidays. The one below is for New Year's Day.
This is not the menu I will be using for New Year's Day! Sorry kids, no Mock Turtle Soup for you! (Although, who knows, it may be quite delicious!)
What's on your table for the New Year?
Happy New Year!