My grandmother, Mona, Marj's mom, was a wonderful experience for us boys. She passed away when the Wombie and I were about 12. Uncle Ed's father, Roy was our first experience with people dying and Mona was our second. It was about 10 days after our birthdays Marj was hosting a party with some of her lady friends. The phone rang and we had orders to get it so she wouldn't have to leave her hosting duties. We were watching TV in the den and I ran to get the phone. The guy on the other end told me that her mother had died and wondered if she could come to the phone. I went into the living room to tell her she had a call and then returned to the den with all that stirring up in my head. Mona had died and my mother was about to get a life altering jolt. Way posts in a life, these things happen.
When the dust had settled I ended up with one of her cookbooks. It's one of those church things that congregants contribute to. A good way of sharing recipes with friends, and make money.
She grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church. The book was published in 1906 when Mona would have been 14 years old and reprinted five years later. What is rather amazing is that the church is still around.
The book is fraying a bit, it is 106 years old after all. Lots of blank pages in the back for note taking. There are none. There were two things inside. One a recipe for chocolate cake and the other a newspaper clipping of ice cream. Guess where I got my love of ice cream?
I doubt if I ever do it but wouldn't it be fun to cook up a cake using this over-a-century old recipe that my grandmother no doubt used at least once. I'm no expert on baking products but I'd wager $20 it would take $20 to bake this baby.
Of some interest is the section regarding Invalid Cooking.
Bet that mange and gruel are to die for.
I went through the entire book to see if my grandmother's mother had contributed a recipe. I didn't see her name anywhere, but there were some interesting aspects such as this wedding cake.
This recipe was over a hundred years old back then so, according to my rudimentary math skills would now be over 200 years old. We've all been to museums. You know what a couple centuries looks like and maybe even what it feels like. But now you can taste it, too.
And finally a last page of miscellaneous things. Note the first entry on controlling a "hiccough".
I'm no sociologist but I think people cook less from recipe books than they used to. This is strictly anecdotal but with grocery stores now packed with frozen stuff and ready to cook items, I think we have opted for the easy rather than the "Choice and Tried."
Easy has its place, but maybe not always in the kitchen. Except for that mange and gruel crap.