Among certain small and miscellaneous items which gravitated to me from my family is a crumbling church cookbook, a simple publication professionally printed, folded and stapled through the spine. It was put out by Trinity Church in Pasadena, California; the church that my grandmother attended faithfully for about half a century, where my parents were married, my brothers and sister and I were baptized, and which my sister and her family still attend. Evidence within the cookbook indicates a date of around 1915 or 1916. The cookbook is sprinkled throughout with advertisements; for name-brand foods, local dairies, specialty shops, a department store, some restaurants, several laundries – one of which features a picture of their automobile delivery vans, lined up in front of the laundry. I don’t think any of the businesses with advertisements in the cookbook are in business locally any more, save possibly Robinson’s. It is interesting, though – many of the businesses already maintained business telephone numbers.
Herewith, some of the recipes. A number of them use canned items – such as this first one:
1 Can salmon drained, soda crackers rolled fine, 2 eggs (1 egg will do) well beaten, 1/4 teasp Ben Hur pepper, 3/4 teasp salt, sage or other flavoring as preferred, 1 small cup of milk. Beat well, put in mould and steam 1 hour. This is delicious, served cold – Mrs. Phil D. Herbert
3/4 cup macaroni broken in 1-inch pieces. Cook in boiling salted water until soft; drain in colander and pour over cold water. Wash and pick over 1 pint of oysters. Put 1/2 of the macaroni in a buttered baking dish, cover with one half the oysters, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and dot over with 2 Tbsp butter; repeat until all are used. Cover with 3/4 cup of buttered cracker crumbs, and bake in a hot oven about 20 minutes.
New England Pressed Meat
Buy 25 cents worth of pork shoulder (hock end), the same amount of veal flank, and beef shank. Boil all together 3 hours slowly. Take out the meat and run through the meat grinder with 4 soda crackers. Add salt and Ben Hur pepper to taste. Dip the fat off the liquid, strain about a cup of that liquid and mix with your meat.Put in an agate vessel, put a heavy weight on the top, and leave over night. It slices nicely, and is delicious – Mrs. N.B. Franklin
Select large, ripe, firm tomatoes. Plunge them into boiling water for a moment to remove skins. Cut out hard stem ends, making a hollow sufficiently large to hold a broken egg. Into each hollow drop a fresh egg without breaking yoke. Season with butter, pepper and salt, bake in a moderate oven until tomatoes are tender and eggs set. Serve on rounds of buttered toast either plain or with cream sauce.
Chop or slice one medium sized cabbage fine. Put in a stew pan with boiling water to well cover it and boil for 15 minutes. Drain off all water and add a dressing made of 1/2 cup vinegar, 2/3 as much sugar, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 teaspoons butter. When this is boiling hot add 1/2 cup (scant) cream and 1 egg stirred together. Mix thuroughly with the cabbage, cook a moment and serve immediately. – Mrs. D.J. Clark
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Parboil about a pound of sweet potatoes, then peel and slice. Butter a baking dish and put in a layer of potatoes, then season with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar to each layer, putting in lastly bits of butter. Pour over water to almost cover potatoes, springle a little flour between layers, cover and set in the oven to bake.
One cup scalded milk, one cup bread crumbs, 1/4 pound grated cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, yolks of three eggs beaten separately. Mix crumbs, cheese, milk butter and salt together and add egg yolks. Beat whites and fold into mixture. Bake in moderate oven 20 minutes – Mrs. W. E. Walker