Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Wisdom of Cookbooks

I have a lot of cookbooks.  Most of them were part of my grandmother's and my mom's collections.  Some I have no idea where they came from.  Like this one:

This cookbook is from 1971 and was put together by the women of the Calvary Baptist Church in Denver.

It has some interesting things inside.  Like recipes from Mrs. Richard M. Nixon and Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower.

There is also this nice ditty from the section on casseroles:

I also like this kitchen prayer.


Lord of all pots and pan and things since I've not time to be
A saint by doing lovely tings or watching late with Thee
Or dreaming in the dawn light or storming Heavn's gates
Make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates.
Although I mist have Martha's hands, I have a Mary mind
And when I black the boot and shoes, Thy sandals, Lord I find.
I think of how they trod the earth, what time I scrub the floor
Accept this meditation Lord, I haven't time for more.
Warm all the kitchen with They love, and light it with Thy peace
Forgive all my worrying and make my grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food in room or by the sea
Accept this service that I do, I do it unto Thee.

Cookbooks are such a snapshot in time.  I'm pretty sure you wouldn't find a section for men only in a cookbook published today.

Or a poem on how to preserve a husband . . .


First, use care and get one.  Not too young; but tender and a healthy growth.  Make your selection carefully and let it be final.  Otherwise they will not keep.  Like wine they improve with age.  Do not pickle or put in hot water.  This makes them sour.  Prepare as follows: Sweeten with smiles according to variety.  The sour, bitter kind are improved by a pinch of salt of common sense.  Spice with patience.  Wrap well in a mantle of charity.  Preserve over a good fire of steady devotion.  Serve with peaches and cream.  The poorest varieties make be improved by this process and kept for years in any climate.
. . . or recommendations as to what men love.

What cookbooks do you love to read?


  1. Kate, I love this post. I can't wait to make Mrs. Eisenhower's fudge.

  2. Please share what was in the men's only section. That one takes me by surprise; I would have thought that men would never look at a cookbook at that time!

    1. There are only a few things in the Men's section (BBQ beef, rolls, pie)and they are things that men are supposed to like. I get the feeling it's a "how to please your man" section not really a section for men to cook from.

  3. Always interesting what was in the past.

  4. The Cookbook in the picture was one of Aunt Verie's. I was thinking that the Norman Auntie's were Lutheran, but I think Verie attended the Calvary Baptist church with her husband. She was in charge of the nursery for decades and was well loved. Look and see if there are any recipes from Elvira Brown. I'm so glad that you have that cookbook and I'm sure she is happy about it too. love, Mom

    1. Thanks, Mom. I'm glad to know where it came from. I didn't s any recipes from Aunt Verie. :(

  5. I have a great cookbook that was compiled by the slavic women's guild, it has a lovely note in the front from one of the contributors to her son. I am sure he never used it. Kenneth bought it at a used book store for a dollar.

    1. That sounds like an interesting cook book. Have you found any good recipes in it?



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