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Monday, 14 January 2013


Ian Mosby, a food historian wrote for the Globe & Mail about finding “well-loved, tattered cookbooks” for sale at thrift stores.  In his favourite, a woman wrote about getting the cookbook when she was 18 and some details about her long, happy life with her husband.  This old book, “smelling vaguely of mildew and flour, with its spine broken and held together with clear tape” inspired him to acquire his own grandmother’s heavily annotated cookbook.

Do you write in your cookbooks?  I like to put in the date when I make something, who was there, and whatever comments were made about it, as well as my own verdict.  “Never again!” can be very helpful years later, whereas I am disappointed when I see a recipe that has a date but no comment.  



From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
1 cup hot water

1.      Preheat oven to 375.
2.     Grease a 6 cup jumbo muffin tin and a 6 cup regular muffin tin.
3.     Cream together butter and sugar.
4.     Boil water in a kettle.
5.     Beat in egg and molasses.
6.     Mix together the dry ingredients.
7.     Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture.
8.     Gradually beat in the hot water.
9.     Fill the muffin tins.
10.                          Bake the small muffins for 20 minutes.  The larger muffins may need 3 more minutes.


The covers have fallen off this old cookbook which was given to me by a friend as a wedding shower gift.  I still use it though, and the notes in it tell me that the first time I made Ginger muffins was in 1982.   In the 1990s, my daughters had a sleepover and their friends, Susan and Alison, “ate these” . . .  noteworthy because little people are often fussy about what they eat.

Nicole says that "old cookbooks are the best--they put jell-o in EVERYTHING!!"