Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advertisers Index from The Community Cook Book. South Orange, New Jersey

As I have written previously, many community cookbooks have advertisements scattered among the recipes.  This was a win-win situation for both the group who was publishing the cookbook and the business advertising. This is also great for genealogists and researchers since that provides information that includes people's names and occupations. So genealogists should do more than use community cookbooks to look for their female ancestor's names. They should also be seeking out these cookbooks to learn more about the community, especially if their ancestor was a business owner. Community cookbooks are a great source for social history when you are learning more about an ancestor's community and time period.

I received in the mail today one of my latest community cookbook acquisitions. The Community Cook Book. Compiled and Published by the Women's Auxiliary of the First Presbyterian Church. South Orange, New Jersey (1917) not only includes many advertisements but it also has an alphabetical index to the advertisers.  (Too bad there isn't an index to the recipe contributors as well).

This cookbook is without its original cover which may have included the owner's name on the inside.  But I do like how the owner inscribed the top of the title page with the names of two women and the words "recipes-good".

The First Presbyterian Church in South Orange, New Jersey who compiled and published this cookbook is still in existence. You can see their website here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cookbook Advertising Directed at Women 1912

One of the great aspects of community cookbooks is that they often include advertisements from community businesses. These advertisements helped pay for the printing of the cookbook. In the example below, the bank decided to target women in their advertisement, which was smart since they were the ones who used the cookbooks.  The bank was probably also seeing the potential in new customers.

From the Hathi Trust Digital Library, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t86h4hv6v

I wonder how many banks today have a furnished rest room?

Of genealogical value in this ad are the names of the bank's officers at the bottom.

This advertisement and others are from the Christopher House Guild Cook Book, Compiled by the Christopher House Guild of the First Presbyterian Church, Evanston, Illinois (1912).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Jersey Community Cookbooks

Have a female ancestor from New Jersey?  There is a list of New Jersey community cookbooks on the Rutgers University Libraries website.  These cookbooks were written by women  from churches to membership organizations from 1900 to the present day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food Friday: Jellied Veal Loaf

I like gelatin but I must admit that the combination of meat with gelatin doesn't thrill me.  I grew up with lots of Jello for dessert but mostly it was combined with fruit or a whipped topping. I remember the first time I saw a tomato aspic mold, I was about 20 years old, I couldn't understand why in the world someone thought that combining Jello and tomatoes was a good idea. (Now, if you like tomato aspic, please forgive me for the above comment, we all have our food preferences).

So for this Food Friday, a gelatin recipe you are probably glad no one made yesterday for Thanksgiving. This is one of many in this genre.

I highlighted this cookbook and recipe before.  You can read that posting here.

From Spirit Lake Cook Book (1937).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

From: http://hubpages.com/hub/Thanksgiving-vintage-postcards

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1913 Student Recipe Book from Brigham Young College

From Brigham Young College Recipes (1913) available from University of Utah.
While this cookbook is not a community cookbook,  it is a cookbook written by a Brigham Young College student and her instructor that includes contributions from other women. Recipes appear to be from instructors at the college and family members. The description for this cookbook, found through the Mountain West Digital Library, says, "Brigham Young College Cooking Recipes cook book, handwritten and compiled by Mary Carl [Carlisle] and instructor Phoebe Nebeker. Included in the cookbook are recipes for first and second year domestic arts students at Brigham Young College...."

This Brigham Young College Cooking Recipes cookbook is a handwritten  book with some damage.  The archive description indicates a date of about 1913 for this cookbook. However, one recipe found on page 53 shows a date of May 27 '12 . Though the recipes are from the early 1900s, there are many that we would be familiar with today including fondant, cheese fondue (page 21) and beef stew (page 31). Some recipes are probably more reflective of their historical era like the recipe for Rock Buns (page 38) which is some sort of biscuit with currants.

Looking for an idea for those Thanksgiving leftovers?  What about Potato Candy? Chocolate does make everything taste better...

From Brigham Young College Recipes (1913) available from University of Utah.

This is a great piece of food history that indicates just some of the recipes being used by domestic arts students at Brigham Young College in the early 1900s.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Food Friday: Tomato Appetizer

I had been thinking of doing something fun on Fridays featuring community cookbook recipes.  The title Funky Food Friday seemed appropriate but I decided that I didn't want people to feel insulted in case they enjoy the recipes I feature. But let me just say that each Food Friday installment will feature more unusual recipes.

This first installment of Food Friday is from a community cookbook that was part of my maternal great-grandmother's collection. Schooners Recipes was written by the Schooner Club of The First Presbyterian Church in Monrovia, California.  It has a publish date of November, 1964. Although the recipes do feature the contributor's names, this particular one does not.

Our first recipe is for a tomato drink that includes whip cream and horseradish. 

So basically this is hot tomato juice with a frothy topping of whip cream and horseradish.  I like all of those ingredients but not sure I want them put all together.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Community Cookbook Contributors Aren't Always in the Same Community

Typically, when we see a community cookbook, the contributors are those who are somehow a part of the local community.  They all attend the same church, their kids go to the same elementary school or they share a favorite charitable cause.

However, one's community may be more broad than that.  In genealogy there is the concept of cluster research. Cluster research looks beyond the individual and looks at those who had contact with the individual ancestor, like local business people, neighbors, and midwives.  Our ancestor's did not live in a vacuum and because of this those cluster members may have documented your ancestors and their dealings with them.

The same is true for community cookbooks. Although the majority of the contributors have a local common bond, they may include others who share in that bond but are not part of the local group.  A good example is that recently a genealogy society asked me to contribute a recipe to their community cookbook.  While I have never been to that society, they asked because of our common bond as genealogists.  This group is at least 2 hours from where I live and my guess is no one would think to look in this cookbook for my name.

Not all community cookbooks include recipes from those who live elsewhere and in many cases, it may only include a few from the mother or sister of one of the contributors. But  there are other cookbooks that include many recipes from those living elsewhere. Such is the case for a list I was looking at for a Baptist Cook Book, Mount Vernon, Missouri (1895). The list of those contributing recipes was reprinted in the Ozar'Kin Vol. XIX, No. 4 (Winter 1997), available through the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). 

The list of contributors is quite large but below are contributors not living in the state of Missouri.

Miss Hannah Burson- Salineville, Ohio
Miss Lucy A Boucher- Seattle, Kentucky
Miss Fannie Burson- Alliance, Ohio
Mrs. Ruth G. Clark- Charlotte, Michigan
Mrs. L. J. Cunningham- Oakland City, Indiana
Mrs. V. J. Covell- Box 152, Rock Island, Illinois
Mrs. J. W. Daniels- Van Buren, Arkansas
Mrs. James Gillingham- Charlotte, Michigan
Mrs. Mattie L. Hardy- Waterville, Kansas
Miss Emilie W. Henrich- Humboldt, Kansas
Mrs. Rose Hetherington- Salinesville, Ohio
Jennie L. Hall, Nobleboro- Maine
Miss Lizzie Long, Atwater- New York
Mrs. Pantha Marbut, Lockport- Illinois
Mrs. R. E. Mason, Rockford- Kansas
Fanny Oliver- Alicel, Oregon
Mrs. Anna E. Richardson- Palatine, West Virginia
Mrs. W. P. Roberts- Loveland, Colorado
Mrs. May Roe- Alicel, Oregon
E. M. R.- Nobelboro, Maine
Mrs. Jennie Starr- Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Emma Sewell- Coleman, Texas
Mrs. M. Vomberg- Charlotte, Michigan
Mrs. Naomi Young- 816 19th St, San Francisco, California
Mrs. Lizzie Young - Atwater, New York

While it currently may be near impossible to figure out if your ancestress is in a community cookbook for a different location, it is important to be mindful of her associations.  Those associations can yield clues to her life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Using Cookbooks as Family History Books

Yesterday one of my Facebook friends posted a link to a news story about a family who took their family history and recipes and created a cookbook. (Read more about the story entitled, Family Records 160 years of History in Cookbook.)

One of my cousins did something similar to this. She wrote a cookbook where she included a brief story with each recipe. Stories included the author of  the recipe, memories of that person and when they cooked the dish (for example it it was a holiday or a family favorite). As I looked through her cookbook I noticed the names of ancestors as well as family friends. This cookbook is a non-traditional family history narrative.

A family cookbook could include quite a bit of family history including photographs of ancestors, images of their homes, kitchens, recipe cards or even signatures. And of course stories behind each recipes should be included. Not only is this a great genealogical gift  for those family members who are not into genealogy but it's a great way to document and pass along your family's history.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Menu from Camp Funston, 1917

 On this Veterans Day I want to thank all those who are serving and who have served in the military. Your service is appreciated.

So thinking about Veterans Day and its precursor Armistice Day, I started wondering what people were eating during the World War I years. I came across a menu available through a digitized menu collection at the Los Angeles Public Library, for Camp Funston, Kansas.

Camp Funston holds an important place in the history of World War I. Funston saw nearly 50,000 recruits trained there. Also, it was the camp that had the first reported incidence of the Spanish Flu, the flu that was responsible for the 1918 Flu Epidemic. (To learn more about Camp Funston, see Wikipedia)

On December 25, 1917 a special meal was prepared for the 353rd Infantry at Camp Funston.

From the Los Angeles Public Library Menu Collection, http://www.lapl.org/resources/en/menu_collection.html

Many of the menu items reflect what we are use to seeing as a traditional Holiday dinner; turkey and stuffing with yams and cranberry sauce, vegetables and desserts. Probably the only thing that looks out of place on a menu are the cigars and cigarettes. This menu reflects its time and what was available in Kansas. I'm assuming the mention of California fruits may have been a special treat.

Checking out a menu collection allows you to see what your family may have ate when they went out. It's a great way to gain some social history perspective on your ancestors.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Houston Presbyterian Church Cookbook circa 1883

Information about Church Cookbooks seem to be almost everywhere. Case in point is the inclusion of a page from a Presbyterian Church Cookbook in the book, Houston 1860-1900 by Ann Dunphy Becker (published by Arcadia and part of their Images of America series). On page 31 she has an image of a page from this cookbook, no other publication information is listed.  It also appears that the recipes from this cookbook may not have the names of submitters attached to them but it's hard to tell looking at only one page.

The page the author used in her book  is part of the Miscellaneous Receipts section of the cookbook.  What's interesting is that one of the recipes is for cough syrup and presumably one of the owners used a pencil to cross out the recipe and wrote next to it "Mistake.  Do not use. Poison." This might be a good warning in general that cures from the "olden" days may not be the best ones to use now.

That's one way to cure a cough.