Saturday, January 27, 2007

The American Woman's Cookbook

The first cookbook on my shelf is The American Woman's Cook Book (1948). It seemed a good place to start my cookbook project. This was one of the few cookbooks my mother had around the house when I was young. I remember looking for Christmas cookie and candy recipes here.
This definitely vintage cookery here. If you want to what the post-depression, post-WWII American housewife was cooking, it's in this book. Mainly meat and potatoes recipes here with lots of cream sauces -- good for stretching the meat ration. The full color pictures are kind of nauseating, whether it's their strange pastel shades of green and pink or that the subject matter. The picture of ring of noodle aspic with chicken ala king in the middle is a true food nightmare. Thank god Mom only subjected us the the decidedly non-Chinese Chop Suey detailed on pg 334.
I choose an easy, safe dish to prepare for Hannah, Ham Baked in Milk. Pretty tasty, just rum a combo of brown sugar and mustard over a ham slice, plunk it in a casserole and cover it with milk. An hour later you get a yummy ham dinner. I didn't tell Hannah that I cooked the ham differently, but she tasted it and loved it.

So the first dish in the project went well, I'll keep the book. Who knows, someday I may have a taste for noodles in aspic.
If you want you own copy of this treasure, try Ebay and snag one for $9.99, Amazon has this listed for $24.00 and up --- go figure.

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At 4:32 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

My mother owns an extremely worn copy of this valuable tome. I have yet to try a recipe out of this book that didn't turn out well. On top of that, it has an extremely wide variety of recipes, though they may not always be exactly what one is looking for.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Alexandra said...

Can someone supply me with the recipe for a wartime HONEY COOKIE that I remember toward the back of the book?

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Victory Edition, American Woman's Cook Book

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup shortening, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sift floor, salt and baking powder together. Mix honey and shortening, add egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add sifted dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Chill dough at least 40 minutes. Roll 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) about 15 minutes. Makes 30.
CHOCOLATE -- Add 4 tablespoons cocoa to flour.
DROP -- Drop unchilled dough on greased baking sheet.

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this cookbook. My mom had a copy and I got one in the 1970's. The recipe for oppossom is especially a sign of the times. French cooking, setting up a buffet, what else could one ask for. Looked up the stuffing recipe for my turkey in it today.


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