Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cookbook, Aprons and Progress Report

In one of my previous posts, I was talking about making meatballs for a meeting at the church. I thought it was time to tell you about the meeting. It was a very interesting one, if you are into history and cookbooks. Our speaker gave us the history of a cookbook that was first published in 1931. Actually they did not call it a cookbook. It was called a Recipe Book. The book profiled was the Household Searchlight Recipe Book. I remember both my mother and grandmother each had one and used it a lot. When it was announced what the program was going to be for this meeting, I looked high and low for one of those cookbooks, but I could not find it. I know that one went to one of my sisters and one to me, but we neither one could find it. I guess that means we don't use it. Since I could not find my copy of the old one, I went looking for one. Found out the last publication was in 2000 and does not look anything like the old ones. Actually the last couple of reprints were made only because of many requests. However, it is a totally different publisher and they say that they will not do any more reprints. As of a couple of weeks ago, there were limited copies left.

This recipe book was first published in 1931 and and was reprinted a total of 33 times. The book had over 1200 recipes and was over 300 pages. It was developed by the publishers of a magazine named Household. The magazine started publication in about 1908 and at one time had a circulation of 2.5 million. It ceased publication in 1958. The Household Searchlight maintained a test facility for all kinds household products, including recipes from 1925 -1942, when it was shut down because of WWII. The test kitchen was continued for the recipes that were in the Recipe Book. All recipes were tested for accuracy, dependability, palatability and obtainable, economical ingredients. The person giving the presentation was the retired Rare Collections Librarian at the local public library. He had even been able to interview the last manager of the test facility many years ago. One of the most interesting part of this is the test facility was located about one block from the church when it was in existence. Later the house was razed and a grocery store built. One of the members of our church (she was at the meeting) was the last owner of the grocery store before it went out of business.

The first thing tested at the test house was Old Dutch Cleanser. Many manufacturers sent new products to be tested there. Two products that I remember from the list were Rice Krispies and Shredded Wheat. The recipes in the book were from both manufacturers and readers of the Household Magazine.

I am sure that you are wondering what this has to do with my meatballs. Well, my ladies group, is one of 3 in our church that go to this meeting and we were hostesses for the meeting. We decided to make things as refreshments from the Recipe Book. Our thought was to give everyone a taste of the recipes in the book. Some of the things that we had were: Coconut Strawberries(a fruit salad), open face cucumber sandwiches, Cottage Cheese Cookies, Prune Cookies and Pineapple Cookies, along with 2or 3 more kinds of cookies. Oh, I almost forgot and the meatballs. We had run our own test kitchen for our previous monthly meeting and weeded out some that were not very appealing. One of those was sardines on a type of deviled eggs. Not many were into sardines.

Following are a couple of pictures from the meeting. The first one is one of ladies doing our devotions. She used the theme of aprons, since the program was about a recipe book. One of her first comments was "do you think that aprons were around in biblical times?" Well, in the King James Version there is reference in Genesis that after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they used leaves, etc. to weave themselves aprons. She mentioned that aprons had been a big part of our lives and used for many things, but that now days were not used by very many people. On the table she had displayed one of her grandmother's aprons. It was a very interesting way to tie things together. I remember that my grandmother always wore an apron when she was at home. It was used for many things. Wipe away tears, carry tomatoes in from the garden, use as a substitute pot holder and I have seen her wrap it around her arms when we were sitting outside and it started to get cool.

Below is our refreshment table. The man in the back ground was the speaker. The open face cucumber sandwiches are in foreground. The lovely meatballs are in the crockpot.

Now that you are all bored by my stories about the recipe book, I will give you a stitching update. Here is my progress on Now I Lay Me Down Baby Sampler.

In my last post, I was looking for my little flag pattern. I found it and stitched this mini flag today. It was a little kit that I got back during the 1991 Iraq war. This is the 7th (I think) one of these I have stitched over the years. I have one more to stitch. Obviously they are a quick stitch. I pay more for the little frame, etc. than the fabric and floss.
Also show is the 4-in "Glory" scissors from Gingher. The LNS owner gave them to me last night as an early birthday present. She had ordered some for the shop and knew I had been coveting ever since I first saw them. She was afraid that I would buy them when I found out they were in the shop. I just love them. I love anything that is Red, White and Blue and Patriotic. For some reason this photo is not very good. Might be the photographer.

When I was at the LNS--The Sunflower Seed today, I picked up a new design to stitch for her, so my progress reports might show much progress on my own stitching. I am not at liberty to show of the new designs until they are published. I am not very artistically inclined so being about to stitch the design models, is my contribution to creativity.
Again, I have become long winded. I hope this all makes sense, because I have been IMing with someone while I have been writing this.
Happy stitching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Julie said...

Your flag and scissors look great. I've been eyeing those same scissors at SN web site, I wasn't aware that Anita had them.

Marie-P said...

Enjoyed the information on cookbooks, sounds like your meeting was a success!
I love your flag and can only imagine how pleased you were to receive the those scissors!
Great that you stitch models for your LNS! Wish I had a "Local" NS. Mine is about a hours drive one way :-{