Friday, December 24, 2010

Food Friday: Fruit Cake

I have a confession to make. I like fruit cake. I realize this is like confessing to a criminal act, but I don't care.  I like fruit cake. Maybe because no one ever forced me to eat it.  Maybe because no one has ever given me one. But I do like it.

Here are three recipes from ladies who probably liked it as well. Notice that all their spices are from Folger's. Quite possibly they were a sponsor of this community cookbook. All but one recipe calls for some liquor. To see a better copy of these recipes, see the cookbook .

These recipes are from the California (San Francisco) M.E. Church Cook Book by the Ladies' Aid Society (n.d.), page 41.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

List of Contributors to the Gulf City Cook Book, 1878

While typically you have to read through a community cookbook to find the names of all the women who contributed, there are times when an index or list  is provided. Sometimes this index provides the page numbers and other times it's simply a list of names.

Such is the case for the Gulf City Cookbook found on Internet Archive.

Have family from Mobile, Alabama who attended the Methodist Episcopal Church, South?  You may want to check this list of recipe contributors found on page 9 of the cookbook. Of course, women who are married are listed by their husband's name.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Food Friday: Scottish Woodcock

This recipe from The Community Cook Book by the First Presbyterian Church, South Orange, New Jersey (1917)  is featured in the Lucheon Dishes section of the cookbook. I've noticed that these luncheon dishes feature lots of cheese. Something that I highly approve of but my doctor doesn't.

I should point out that no woodcocks are harmed in the making of this recipe. Although there is no woodcock in this recipe, it is a bird that is hunted and ate by some. Not sure what a woodcock is?  There is a Wikipedia article that tells about this bird.

Woodcock was a bird that Shakespeare referred to in Hamlet. According to a paper written by blogger Madaleine Laird, woodcocks were "prized by those who hunt them" because of their taste and their intelligence. They were caught in at least two ways during the Bard's time. One was to create a snare to catch them and the other involved "limeing" which required smearing a sticky solution on nearby tree limbs and leaving behind some corn to tempt the woodcock.  The woodcock lands on the limb and is stuck to it.

So below is the Scottish Woodcock recipe sans the woodcock.

If you would like some recipes featuring  woodcock, click here.

My thanks to Madaleine Laird for quoting her paper Springes and Lime: Images of Trapped Birds in Hamlet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Genealogy Community Cookbook

I was excited to receive in the mail yesterday the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society cookbook, A Dash of Thyme. This cookbook is beautiful with vintage photos and recipes from Conejo Valley Genealogy Society members as well as "celebrity" genealogists. The celebrity genealogists include those local to Southern California like Barbara Renick, Jean Wilcox Hibben and Colleen Fitzpatrick and those outside of California like Lisa Alzo, Dear Myrtle, Maureen Taylor, Paula Stuart-Warren and Megan Smolenyak (just to name a few).

You can find the recipe for my great-grandmother's fudge on page 128.

To order this 144 page cookbook contact the society at

Friday, December 10, 2010

Food Friday: Mock Turtle Soup

This community cookbook, My Mother's Cook Book, from the Ladies of St. Louis, compiled for the Women's Christian Home has a few recipes for Mock Turtle Soup (see page 17 for two versions).

For the squimish cook, I would recommend the mock soup versus the Turtle Soup found on page 19 that requires the decapitation and bloodletting of a live turtle. (That's something you won't find on Food Network.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Funeral Home Advertisement for Newark, New Jersey

Here, the second advertisement on the page, is a possible lead on a funeral home that existed in 1917 in Newark, New Jersey. Notice that the advertisement provide the name of the mortician's father. This might indicate his father was the previous mortician. Which may also show that the funeral home was in existence for a longer period of time.

This advertisement is found in The Community Cook Book. Compiled and Published by the Women's Auxiliary of the First Presbyterian Church. South Orange, New Jersey. 1917.