Why Cookbooks?

I love to collect older cookbooks. My favorite are from churches. You know...the ones where everyone submits their favorite recipe; all the recipes are sent into a publisher and come back in a cute little book. Some have stories in them, some are elaborate, and most are just plain with good home cooking in them.

This week I happened upon several. Some from my favorite thrift store and the others from our monthly library sale.
Country Cookbook (a church book from a local church) 1977
Treasure found within...A chart at the back that gives food quantities for one week for both men and women. I have listed just the quantities for women.

Citrus fruits, tomatoes 2 1/2 lbs
Dark green vegetables 3/4 lbs
Dry beans, peas, nuts 2 oz
Eggs 6
Fats, oils 1/2 lb
Grain Products 2 1/2 lbs
Milk 3 1/2 qts
Vegetables and fruits 4 - 6 lbs
Potatoes 1 1/2 lbs
Sweets 1/2 lbs

This book has a lovely chart for Quantity Cooking ...up to 100 servings. It also contains an extensive herb chart.
The most valuable recipe in this book?

A Happy Home Recipe
4 cups love
2 cups loyalty
3 cups of forgiveness
1 cup of friendship
5 spoons of hope
2 spoons of tenderness
2 quarts of faith
1 barrel of laughter
Take love and loyalty, mix it thoroughly with faith. Blend it with tenderness, forgiveness, kindness and understanding. Add friendship and hope, sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake it with sunshine. Serve daily with generous helpings.

Favorite Recipe found in this book: One of many!
Lemon Cookies
1 pkg lemon cake mix
1 egg
2 cups cool whip
Powdered sugar
Mix cake mix, egg and cool whip together. Drop by teaspoon in powdered sugar and roll in balls. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly brown, on a greased cookie sheet.

Another treat about the church cookbooks are the names of each person. Where else will your find such lovely names like: Ethel, Vertley, Versie, Edith, Gladys, Marion, Paxima, Sylvia, Mabel, Dot, Onita, Dixie, Viola, Millie, Wanda and Mae? Old fashions names.

Speaking of church cookbooks that brings me to Homemakers Cookbook and Guide to Nutrition This lovely book is a Seventh Day Adventist home ec sort of book that was published in 1946. A delightful educational read on nutrition from pregnancy through old age. Wise words on budgeting both the pocketbook and the waistline. How to set a proper table, can and preserve, and so much more. The unique flavor of this book? There are no meat recipes. Most Seventh Day Adventist do not eat meat. This book is chalk full of soy recipes (long before it became a popular health food item). Tofu (soy cheese), nuts, legumes, cheese and eggs are the main proteins in this book. These folks do not drink coffee either. Here is a recipe for: (the ingredients are all very good for you)
Homemade Cereal Coffee
2/3 cup corn meal
2 cups bran
½ cup boiling water
1/3 cup molasses
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the hot water to the molasses and mix well. Pour the liquid on the grain, rub between the hands, and mix thoroughly. Put into a baking pan and bake in a good oven until well burned (no clue what a good oven is!), stirring often so that the color may be uniform and almost black. Use one slightly rounded tablespoon cereal coffee to each cup. Let simmer for 20 minutes (no quick brew here) Strain, serve with cream and sugar.
This book has interesting vocabulary like: Protose (meat substitute), Proteena (high protein wheat gluten used as meat substitute), and Nuttolene.
Most unusual named recipe? Dictum Ditty. A tomato, corn and green pepper dish.

Cook Books often serve as history books. My newest acquired culinary history book is Virginia Hospitality. Each chapter is headed with a page or two of history on the food. Within each chapter is a page or two about the history of a specific recipe. The most famous in this book of course is the Sally Lund recipe brought from England by the early settlers.

And finally Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I have 2 from different years and yes they are different. I like these tried and true recipes. I like the way the book is in binder format with tabs for quickly locating a recipe. This book is full of how to’s and helpful tips. Great for the beginner as well as the experienced cook. The newer book has a Nutrition Analysis for each section of the book. This is very valuable.

So there you have it…cookbooks are educational, comical and very useful.


  1. Looks like you got your post to work! Love the Happy Home recipe.

  2. I love old cookbooks too. I admit, I had to give a few away the last several moves. I am down to just the bare bones of cookbooks. The banana cake came from a depression era recipe. Yes, it tastes just like banana bread, but not as moist. I think one could just ice some banana bread and it would be just as good. The cake turned out so lovely. I will post a picture this coming week's wrap up. So glad you got your posting problems worked out.

  3. Old cookbooks are so cool to look at. Since our extreme diet change they are not so much fun for me right now. However, with time, I am sure the joy of it will return.


Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalms 143:8