Monday, September 6, 2010

The American Woman's Cookbook

I rescued this gem from my Grandfather's house in Oakland when he passed away a few years ago at the age of 90.

It's clearly in terrible shape and every time I open it I'm nervous that the pages are going to start slipping out. It was obviously well used by my Grandmother, who loved to entertain.

It looks like one of Grandma's four children might have nursed a grudge against the "Shrimp Wiggle".

The book is full of amazingly antiquated recipes and tips on cooking and entertaining. My favorite chapter- "Entertaining Without a Maid". The author warns "there are distinct limits to what should be attempted for pleasant and dignified results". How have I survived this long without paid help? My Grandma was the only person I knew who had a maid who came around just for parties, put on an awful  black and white dress, and passed appetizers. How strange.  
I'm trying to find the right recipe to try out, but frankly a lot of the main dishes sound terrible (Liver Loaf with Pan Gravy?), are chock full of butter and lard, or are just plain dull. The desserts however, seem intriguing. Anyone ever attempted a Baked Alaska? I'll let you know how it goes. 

1 comment:

  1. awesome book, Emily. So much fun to look through and imagine how different life was back then. I have a few oldies and I've never cooked anything from them but I love to browse through them every so often. Baked Alaska, f..ya! I've done it and it is delicious and totally worth the effort. Try it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...