Friday, 6 April 2012

Storm the Kettle

Cookery books or compilations of food patterns. Loves them. Not the pretentious kind...but the old ones. I read them. Its an addiction. Cover to cover. I have some favorites.
The best ones have stories, anecdotes and little tidbits from ladies from the past.
Usually the best ones have recipes that are mysteries. Butter the size of a small egg. How big were eggs in 1820? Some have ingredients but no instructions. Because really...any dumbarse should know how to make a pudding sauce over a wood stove. Right?
Also fun is to see how nutrition was viewed. How much of what type of food should be consumed and why. Its awesome. Can't wait to see what future generations will think of all those diet cookbooks out there.
But back to my favorites..
Five Roses Cook Book was published in 1913. Did you know a barrel of flour was 196 lbs...which would cost over $1000 today. But they sold it in half barrels and four sizes in bags. And this cookbook sold almost 1 million copies by the last printing in 1915...and the population was less than 9 million.
fish & brewis toutons & tales from 1980. This is where I got my first spruce beer recipe and has an awesome collection of old recipes. Blood pudding or peas and melts? Fill yer boots.
For Maids Who Brew & Bake from 2003 Nuff said? Not really. 17th century Newfoundland recipes in the original and decoded for the modern maid. Umble Pye and syllabub. Read it.
And what I consider to be the Bible of Newfoundland dishes. The Treasury. The blue cookbook. The Cream of the West cookbook. All one in the same. Holy crap I will never forget the day I picked up the book at the Craft Council Christmas Craft Fair...opened it and realized what I was holding. I didn't recognize a cover that wasn't 50 years old. But lard tunderin dyin I recognized the symbols in the corners of the pages. Gavin Will of Boulder Publishing must have thought I was nuts. But my own copy. My own! If you don't have one get one.

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