Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Peek Into History in an Old Cookbook

I love old cookbooks. Like this one below. It's just beautiful with it's embossed cover. You don't find books like that today. But it's more than just a pretty cover, it's what's inside. And I'm not talking about old recipes.

I'm not sure where I came across this book. Maybe an old bookstore, but the embossed cover had me. It was published in 1932, the heart of the Great Depression. 

It's filled with frugal recipes that stretch a little meat a loooong way, like this recipe for Chicken Corn-Meal Soup: 6 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of diced chicken, some onion and diced potato and 1/4 cup of corn meal. Hmm. I guess the corn meal thickens the soup and makes it feel more substantial. 

There are more recipes that sometimes leave me scratching my head. Grape Nut Omelet!

Different. Maybe GrapeNuts add an extra crunch. Or fiber?!? 

While I could browse these old recipes for hours, it's the other little treasures archived inside old cookbooks that I like to discover. 

In this cookbook there were a bunch of treasures. Old handwritten recipes written in the back of the book: Mrs. Schnader's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake looks worth trying.

Pieces of memorabilia like this 1969 dog sled scene from the Los Angeles Times Travel section. It makes me wonder why it was saved. Was the the lady of house dreaming of travel or was it just something that caught her eye?

The most interesting piece of treasure was a letter  folded inside the book that gives a little insight into the original owner and proof that things never change. Even in 1933, divorce, movie ambitions and family dysfunction prevailed.

I hope there's no dysfunction in your life and all it beautiful on this lovely day. 

Till later, 



  1. Nice post! Great find too. Don't you love seeing old handwriting?

  2. I love to buy used never know what you will find tucked inside.

  3. What a treasure you found! Full of recipes, both in print and hand written, documents...amazing.

    Thanks so much for joining in this week.


  4. Old cookbooks and old recipes are so interesting. I am now following your blog from MHC :-)

  5. Interesting post...I too would have bought it with a cover like that and for the history as well! :)

  6. Now that I'm on the hunt for more old cookbooks, I can't find any. But I'll keep look. I do plan on trying some of the recipes, but I don't think Grape Nuts Omelet will be one of them.

    Thanks to stopping by.

  7. I love old cookbooks too - collect them. My favorites are from the Depression era. I even have one from the late 1800s which is the most treasured one I own. Cheers!

  8. That is a treasure!! I love old cookbooks too, the ones with stains and the hand written recipes are the best! You know that they were loved and used!