Whenever I visit my daughter and son-in-law’s home, Sarah and Josh, I see a small bookcase filled with old cookbooks in the kitchen. These cookbooks belong to Josh’s mom and many were given as gifts from Josh. There is an old Betty Crocker cookbook with a faded cover and countless church and communities cookbooks. These are those cookbooks filled with real food ingredients which seem to be impossible to find today in our processed food world. These recipes may not win any attention on the cooking shows of today, but they filled the hungry stomach of a working class of people. They are also the recipes that fill the potluck tables at many churches, family reunions, and neighborhood get-togethers.
The other day I was over to their home and finished laying new flooring in the nursery. After I had finished, I was sitting in the kitchen and looked over at the bookcase. I walked over and picked up one of the cookbooks. The title of the pick up: Stories and Recipies of the Great Depression of the 1930’s by Rita Van Amber. The copyright of the publication was in the mid-80’s. It is a cookbook about an inch thick with a wire binding. I paged thru the book and there were countless recipes intermixed with recountings of life stories in the 1930’s. The name’s of the people and town names footnoted most of the recipes and stories in the book. I spotted a recipe for the perfect Ice Cream, as noted in the recipe, “Absolutely excellent and does not need a topping!” I’ll have to fire up the ice cream maker and give this recipe a try.
As I continued to look over the recipes and read the stories of the past I found the perfect gem of a recipe. “How to Preserve a Husband” These were someone’s words of wisdom give to the young ladies on picking the perfect husband and preserving him for a long and happy life together. I read through the recipe and was amused with their words of wisdom. I then read the recipe aloud to Josh pausing for the amusement between each sentence. We laughed together as I finished the recipe.
In today’s world, this recipe sounds a little too old fashioned with too many raw, unprocessed ingredients of life. I know this is advice given to the young ladies on how to be a great wife. I am sure there was good fatherly advice given to sons in the barns and fields on how to be a good husband. I’ll have to look for an old shop manual at an auction on this subject. Maybe the manual will be filled with many How-Tos on keeping the homestead in good repair and maybe there will be such a gem on How To Keep Your Wife and Family in Good Repair.