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Old Cookbooks


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Initial post: May 13, 2012 4:06:51 PM PDT
Just Peachy says:
I inherited a love for cookbooks from my mother. I have a few older cookbooks. This weekend my mother gave me some recipes that my Granny had saved. Granny loved to cook and was a great southern cook. She was born in 1909 and passed away in 2001. I don't remember her using a recipe so this collection of recipes is a bit odd to me.

I have her Better Homes and Gardens 3-ring binder cookbook from 1946. There are also pages from other years she had put in the cookbook and some pages that she glued recipes she had cut out of magazines.

Some are very interesting and some are just gross sounding.

Olive Wreath Mold: crushed pineapple (not ours!), lime jello, american chesse, pimientos, celelry, walnuts, heavy cream and stuff olives.

Casserole with lima beans, cream of mushroom soup and hotdogs. Ewww

I just came across a 1956 version of "Chicken-a-la-king Casserole". Spanish Rice with Tongue?
1951 Quick Chow Mein - canned lunch meat, canned bean sprouts, and some seasoning. Serve over crisp Chow Mein noodles.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 5:01:22 PM PDT
peggy says:
I can go you one better........I have a cookbook that was handed down to me from my Mother that belonged to her Great-GrandMother. There are ingredients in this one that I have never heard of and can't find on the internet!

Posted on May 13, 2012 6:53:58 PM PDT
Both sweet and savory gelatin molds were very popular in the 40's and 50's. Especially savory ones with chicken meat and olives and nuts and of course, Miracle Whip (Ugh!). I have an old Better Homes & Garden 3-ring binder cookbook from the 1950's that has an entire chapter of them. I'm not into the gelatin thing at all but this book has the best piecrust recipe ever which I turn to for almost every pie I make. The lemon merengue pie recipe is a family tradition as well. No holiday goes by without at least one of them on the table. Also, the best pickle recipes are in this cookbook. Recently, our oldest niece gathered all of my deceased mother-in-law's hand written recipes and scanned them into her computer so she could print off copies for everyone in the family. Several of them are hard to read due to faded ink or pencil of the original recipe. But one in particular has everyone stumped simply because it appeared to be written down in haste and we cannot make out some of the words to make any sense. The best we can make out is something called "Bevagoo". It is now a running joke of sorts when the family gets together, someone will casually ask if they've attempted the "Bevagoo" recipe yet.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 7:38:20 PM PDT
peggy says:
Without some of the ingredients it would be a real hard "guess" as to the original dish that your "Bevagoo" is suppose to be, BUT maybe the name is a shortened version of the authors name in front of the original name of the dish. Maybe her name was Beverly and the recipe was a goolash type dish and so she just called it the "Bevagoo" because she customized it to become her own creation.

Posted on May 13, 2012 8:45:24 PM PDT
Well, your guess is as good as anyone's at this point. Here is some of what is in the recipe: It's titled, "Kentucky Bevegoo" ingredients: 1# beef stew meat, 1# pork meat (1" pieces), onion salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, carrots (sliced), chopped onions, 4 chicken thighs (skinned), small red potatoes (cubed), chopped green bell pepper, 1 can stewed tomatoes, 1 can chicken broth, 1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can baby lima beans (drained). Layer veggies, add meat, etc. into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours or until tender. Serve with cornbread.
Anyone have any ideas what this dish is?

Posted on May 13, 2012 9:33:10 PM PDT
sir possum says:
it's "Burgoo", Kentucky Burgoo, search for that. A very old-fashioned stew featuring chicken & veggies, including lima beans.

Posted on May 13, 2012 9:38:33 PM PDT
Thanks sir possum, this info is very helpful.

Posted on May 14, 2012 1:36:11 AM PDT
A. Lyons says:
I have about 400 cookbooks and read them like others read novels. The Farm Journal cookbooks are great. At age 70 I still prepare the recipes my mother and grandmothers made and remember helping them in the kitchen when I was a little girl. I love to cook and bake in the old pans they used. I'm now writing the history of our large family and I'm including all recipes, the good and the bad such as my mothers pink noodles. One can Campbells Tomato Soup dumped into a pan with a little milk and a handful of chedder cheese added to it and lots of black pepper poured over cooked macaroni noodles. Yuck! The week mother died unexpectedly daddy called me at the law firm and asked me to come over and make his lunch and to please make the pink noodles and of course I went. He ate the little bowl of noodles enjoying them with relish and said they tasted just like mom made them. I was glad I went. If there's any recipe or family history you want to know, don't wait to ask because you might not get the chance. Mother died so suddenly the 8 of us adult children felt like orphans. I still smile when someone asks about the darned pink noodles.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 6:16:51 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
I also have The People's Home Library from my other grandmother. It has a published date of 1915. My grandparents married in 1918. That book has a section on farming, a section on medicine and a section on cooking/housekeeping.
The People's Home Library, a Library of Three Practical Books

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 6:17:44 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
That sounds a lot like what we call Brunswick Stew in Georgia, which traditionally had rabbit in it.

Posted on May 14, 2012 7:34:53 AM PDT
A. Lyons,
My mother had a similar dish that we ate as small children but weren't too fond of. But it just contained the macaroni noodles and the cream of tomato soup. That was our version of spaghetti.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 8:49:14 AM PDT
A. Lyons says:
Yes! When I married in 1959 my young husband took me to Rehobath Delaware to meet his family who owned a lot of property around there. Aunt Effie sat huge pot of fresh Lima beans, corn and tomatoes on the table with a large pan of cornbread. That was dinner. My grandmother Lyons's made the same dish with chicken in it and her family came from Virginia and she told me rabbit could be substituted for the chicken. I haven't made this in years and when I did I put ham chunks in it to give it a boost as well as the browned chicken and my family loved it. Great old memories. This is such a great site!

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 8:59:04 AM PDT
A. Lyons says:
We ate a great deal of Jell-o growing up in the 40's and 50's and it was considered very modern. The 8 of us children were always frightened when we opened the fridge and saw the huge cow tongue in there. None of us ever ate it but mother loved it cooked in a broth and then cooled and sliced it thin and served it on bread and butter. Ewwww. If you want a wonderful cake from days long gone try a cream cake from an old cook book. I made one from an old Rumsford Baking Powder cook book, divine.
Grandmother Lyons would make a nasty mess called Tomato Aspic that we buried in her yard so we could have dessert and our father always said he wished he could do the same so he didn't have to eat it every time. Mother loved it.
Grandfather Lyons owned a large butcher shop in Washington DC and I thought it so odd at looking at a picture of the interior of the shop that meat was hanging all around the room but celery was in a locked case in very front of the store! It seems that it was a delicasy and there were even celery vases made of crystal to serve it in. Mother always served it with her relish platter.

Posted on May 14, 2012 9:14:13 AM PDT
widowTink says:
I have my great-grandmother's white house cookbook. It's all faded, dog-eared and full of penciled notes and stuff. It was covered with flour-sack material, and the cover has nearly separated from the spine. The recipes aren't really geared to our diet sensibility today, so it's squirreled away in a safe place. It's a piece of the past and beloved.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:57:47 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
Effie is a family name in my mother's family. Everybody has an Aunt Effie or two LOL
We are from Georgia.

Someone I know on facebook recently swore that lima beans did not belong in Brunswick stew. My family always had lima beans in it. We eat it with shredded pork bbq sandwich.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 11:00:22 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
I'm scratching my head over the comments of "good" penciled next to some of these recipes that I cannot imagine Granny every cooking. Granny was a southern cook. She was always cooking but I never saw her use a recipe. Maybe the recipe was to the side and I just didn't see it. I mainly remember her cooking the southern standards: fried chicken, biscuits, peas, beans, cornbread, pound cake and pecan pie.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 3:40:46 PM PDT
widowTink says:
I'll bet by the time you were old enough to watch Granny cook she already had a couple of decades of cooking experience! I never saw my Grandma use recipes, either.

I like to look through cookbooks from the 60's....that's when I was a kid, and those recipes can conjure up memories of childhood kitchens....

Posted on May 14, 2012 4:18:09 PM PDT
peggy says:
I am the old Grandma and I am so enjoying reading all the things you gals are writing about "when you were young". Reading cookbooks is a real thrill for me, too......my collection is so large that my oldest daughter tells me "that's enough, MOM". Keep the chatter coming, I am loving reading all about the "old days". Thanks for remembering the past and your ancestors, they made today possible for all of us.

Posted on May 14, 2012 6:56:29 PM PDT
My grandmother on my father's side was from Poland and never learned to speak english. My mother learned a few recipes from her by simply watching her do them. My mother only showed me a couple of them but 1 in particular I still make today. They are just referred to as "Granny Noodles". All it is, is eggs, flour and a dash of salt. The number of eggs used depends on the number of people you are serving. It's just a basic dough with beaten eggs and the flour and salt mixed in until stiff. Then with the edge of a teaspoon, drop small doughballs into boiling water and simmer until tender. They balloon in size to about triple so it's best to start them off small. I put them in soups and stews but the best way, and the only way we ate them as children was on a plate with a little butter and salt. True comfort food.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 12:15:46 PM PDT
widowTink says:
I remember in 1960, I was five. I was staying with my gommy and papa, I think it was when my sister was being born. They drove out to a chicken ranch and bought a live chicken. I thought I was going to get to play with it, but we got back to the house and I couldn't go outside. Papa killed the chicken, and I remember nearly every part of that chicken was on the dinner table, most of it fried to absolute perfection...and even the feet were swimming in a bowl of vinegar, salt and pepper. That is one of my earliest memories of anything. Even now when I have fried chicken I compare it to my Gommy's.

Posted on May 15, 2012 12:39:23 PM PDT
B. Kaufman says:
Been looking for a copy of the Argyle Hotel Cook Book, about 1941, San Antonio area. Anyone seen one of these?

Copies all seem to run $100 or so. Can swap an autographed copy of Mary Faulk Koock's (of the Green Pastures Restaurant, Austin fame, and head cook for many of LBJ's catered ranch affairs) THE TEXAS COOKBOOK if you are interested.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 3:20:42 PM PDT
A. Lyons says:
My parents moved their five little girls out of DC during the Korean War and into a small town 30 minutes away and into a large green farmhouse they had rented. We had always played on the tiny postage stamp front yard but now we had 3/4 of an acre and how we enjoyed it. Daddy planted rows and rows of vegetables and fruit trees and bushes and created a chicken house. He next made us a baseball diamond, a badmitten area, tiny swimming pool under the Golden Delicious apple tree and a tiny golf course with the holes made from old Wilkins coffee cans. It was one hot summer day when he came into the large kitchen and told mother he was killing a few chickens for our party that night and for her to get ready to clean them. I was the small asthmatic child who couldn't run and so I stayed close to mother helping her with her chores, but this one sounded scary. We heated a large pot of boiling water that she dunked the dead birds into by their feet filling the kitchen with a most disgusting smell and then we sat knee to knee with the bird on our laps pulling out the wet foul smelling feathers. I used a small pair of plyers to pull out the pin feathers. Now mother cut the bird open and an entirely new disgusting smell came forward as she placed her hand deep into the cavity of the warm bird and pulled out the guts. She showed me the cluster of yellow egg yolks that looked like grapes, the opened gizzard with it's tiny stones in it to help the bird digest it's food and the deep green gall sack that must not be burst as it would spoil the meat. We worked all afternoon together for I couldn't leave her alone with this mess and we finished the nasty birds and mother began the cooking. That night as all the people ate the fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy mother and I looked over at one another and on our plates were the potatos with gravy and the vegetables and she smiled at me with complete understanding. When the war ended we moved to Bethesda Maryland and mother said never ever to mention that terrible time again, but to this day I still use so many of the things I learned during that short period of time such as quilting, breadmaking, canning, farming, dressmaking, candy making when I was little during the Korean War. Great memories...

Posted on May 16, 2012 8:09:42 AM PDT
steph says:
I enjoy reading old bookcooks as well. From the 1960s fundraiser cookbooks (seriously, how much cream of mushroom soup can one woman use?) to my early twentieth century cookbooks without actual measurements, it's pleasure to imagine what people ate. As well as finding new ways to cook parsnips! The challenge, sometimes, is finding those recipes you actually want to make... I love a good index.

Posted on May 16, 2012 12:39:57 PM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
One of my favorite "old" cookbooks was made for Americans dealing with rationing during WWII. Even the paper it's printed on is, in its yellowed cheapness, emblematic of that invigorating time.
Then came the great glut.
Now look at us.

Man's reach should exceed his grasp.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 6:56:04 PM PDT
Miriam says:
White House? Which presidents?
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Discussion in:  Cooking forum
Participants:  72
Total posts:  407
Initial post:  May 13, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 3, 2013

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