Friday, October 12, 2012

Food Friday: Out of Vermont Kitchens

One of the great benefits of traveling is picking up community cookbooks to add to my collection. On a trip to Illinois I picked up the very large Out of Vermont Kitchens. Compiled by Trinity Mission of Trinity Church, Rutland, Vermont and the Women's Service League of St. Paul's Church Burlington, Vermont. 1939.

This cookbook is 400 pages and bound with a metal coil. While most cookbooks are compiled by one entity this one is the work of two different churches. One of the first pages explains this collaboration

"The Rr. Rev. John Henry Hopkins, D.D. who also served as rector of Trinity Church, Rutland, and St. Paul's Church, Burlington. Thus these two great parishes have had a special bond of union and friendship."

Sometimes people assume that community cookbooks all look the same. Nothing could be further from the truth with this example. Each recipe is penned in the author's hand. So instead of a typed book, this book features each individual woman's handwriting. I haven't seen other examples of this but I'm sure there must be.

I will say it reminded me of the arguments that today's children won't be able to read cursive because it's not taught in schools anymore. They would have a tough time reading this cookbook. Let' s just say not everyone's handwriting is legible.

I love it when a cookbook's owner makes notes about recipes. And this cookbook's previous owner doesn't disappoint  Notice in the recipe below she wrote "this we will skip." She also wrote that about a wild duck recipe. My guess is she wasn't a fan of the game meats. She wrote next to a dense full page Russian Bortsch recipe "too much effort."

Below is a recipe for War Cake, making use of what women would have had due to rationing. Note that this is  a recipe from World War I not World War II.

The end of the recipe provides its origin. It says "During the war this recipe was not given away- but sold for ten cents- benefit Red Cross." I found a posting by a blogger who made  this recipe and she writes about it here.