Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Young Ladies Cooking Club of Monroe, Michigan Cookbook

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

Cookbook: Young Ladies Cooking Club of Monroe, Michigan

This delightful cookbook was published by the Young Ladies of the Cooking Club of Monroe, Michigan in 1884.

I’ve found that small cookbooks published by organizations or clubs are often very useful precisely because they are not written by professionals. It’s more like having a chat and receiving a recipe from a friend or a friend’s mother or grandmother. This book is exactly like that…but this chat is across more than a hundred years.

What made these young women decide to have a cooking club and then to publish a cookbook

“In launching our little book on the turbulent waters of public opinion, we think some explanation of our audacious undertaking is perhaps necessary, therefore, kind friends, we are going to let you into the secret of its inception with the hope that our frankness may pave the way to a warm reception.”

“It is only fair to say that we started out as a very unassuming little Cooking Club, of only 10 members about two year ago, imbued more with the desire of having a good time together as is the well-known custom of Monroe maidens, than to burden our minds with culinary facts.”

As their membership increased (indeed, they “rose to the dignity of a Constitution”) they began to think about publishing a cookbook and dreaming of what they might do with the proceeds--a trip to Europe being everyone’s favorite idea. (I really like these girls!)

What they do at the Club

“Pray, what do they do at the club?”

T’is ever the question they ask;

But to answer it fully, I fear,

Were rather a serious task;

And yet, if you’ll listen to me,

And pardon my rhyming with “grub”,

I’ll venture a bit of a song

To tell what they do at the club.

The book’s recipes are combined together as menus for entertainments :“Lunch Party” , “High Tea”, “Refreshments for New Year’s Day” includes 3 different menus, “Supper”, “Breakfast”, “Coffee”, “Supper”(2 more menus), “Tea”, “Supper” (6 more times but I really like the first menu in 3 courses: First course-Strawberry Shortcake!. As my son is fond of saying, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”), “Hallow e’en Party”, “Coffee”, and another “Supper”. The last group of recipes are classed under “Miscellaneous” which includes everything from roast goose to Boston Baked Beans to Lemon Drop Cookies… these just didn’t seem to fit into the categories-you’ll notice there was no “Dinner”. On page 36 there is an index.

Some reflections on the recipes: lots of gelatin in use here (they have a recipe for Coffee Jelly!), lots of canned seafood (well, they are rather far from the ocean!), lots of mayonnaise type salads, and cakes.

Here are a few of the recipes-exactly how they appear in the book.

“VEAL CROQUETTES --Take one veal cutlet, cook and chop very fine, four potatoes boiled and mashed hot, one onion chopped, salt, pepper, butter and a little parsley; mix with the veal adding the juice of one half lemon. Roll in the shape desired, dip in egg and crackers and fry in hot lard.—Miss K. Chapman”

(I never would have thought of adding the lemon juice. And yes, just about everything is fried in lard. I think there was 1 recipe that called for frying in butter.)

“FROZEN PEACHES—One quart of fresh peaches crushed fine and added to one quart of sweet cream all made very sweet; or you can freeze the cream partially and then add the fruit.—Miss Mollie Morton”

(Mmm! And you don’t even have to bother putting this into an ice cream machine.)

You can see in this little cookbook how recipe styles are changing: some of the recipes are given in the “old” way that are common in 19th century cookbooks and some are given in the “modern” way that is more familiar to us though they’re still not quite there. Take a look at these two muffin recipes and you’ll see what I mean. (The italics are mine.)

MUFFINS No. 1—Mix one teaspoon of baking powder and a little salt, into one pint of flour; add to the beaten yolks of two eggs, one tea-cup of sweet milk or cream, a piece of butter (melted) half the size of an egg, the flour with baking powder and salt, and the well beaten whites of two eggs. Beat well, bake immediately in gem pans in a hot oven. -- Miss Hattie Harvey.

MUFFINS No. 2—Half cup of sugar, half a cup of milk, half a cup of water, two and half cups of flour, two heaping teaspoons baking powder, two heaping teaspoons butter. Mix and bake about fifteen minutes. -- Miss Sadie Noble.

You can read this lovely little time-travel cookbook free on-line here. If you would like to look at other vintage cookbooks free on-line, check out this page …there are over 185 cookbooks to look at…have fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Celebrating Thanksgiving is a bit different here...Thursday is football but dinner isn't until Saturday when all our guests are off work. You could say we take "Thanksgiving week-end" literally. :)

I ordered the turkey last week and picked it up today. Oh my! It has to be the pin featheryest bird I have ever seen!
But a pair of needle nosed pliers came to the rescue.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and May All Your Turkeys be Featherless!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Chestermarke Instinct by J. S. Fletcher

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Chestermarke Instinct by J.S. Fletcher

John Horbury, bank manager at Chestermarke’s bank in the small English town of Scarnham, walks out of his house one Saturday evening and disappears. His ward and senior clerk at the same bank, Wallington Neale, cannot imagine where he has gone to and worries that he has had an accident. When Gabriel and Joseph Chestermarke, uncle and nephew and owners of the bank. declare that securities are missing, Neale refuses to believe that Mr. Horbury took them and fled. When Lord Ellersdeane arrives at the bank and asks the owners to please give him his wife’s jewels that he had left with Mr. Horbury, they insist that not only are there no jewels but that they know nothing about any jewels being deposited for safekeeping with the bank and since Lord Ellersdeane is not a regular customer of the bank, the bank is not responsible. When he gave the jewels to Mr. Horbury, it was a personal transaction with Mr. Horbury, friend and not with Mr. Horbury, Bank Manager.

Neale and even Lord Ellersdeane do not believe that Mr. Horbury took the jewels as well as the securites and fled. Only the bankers do.

When lovely, independent Miss Fosdyke, Mr. Horbury’s niece arrives as she and her uncle were to begin their vacation trip together and discovers her uncle is missing, she has no patience with her uncle’s employers. If they don’t want to call in the police “just yet” as they are more worried about a possible run on the bank when word gets around that the Bank Manager is missing, well she does. She too does not believe any rubbish about stolen securities and is simply worried about her uncle.

This is a rousing good mystery with lots of questions, a few clues, a tinker, a moor to roam around in, a Scotland Yard detective and a bit of romance. And best of all, it was kind of fun to read a book in which the bankers are clearly somehow off. I’m not going to give anything away but believe me when I say that every character in the book is sympathetic except the bankers!

Charmingly read by MaryAnn (at one point, you can hear her children in the background :), you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf, ePub or Kindle format here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: A Gothic Romance: The Thing From the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram

“The Thing from the Lake”-does the title make you think of a 1950’s Roger Corman film? It did me but in truth this delightful 1921 story is more romance than horror.

Roger Locke, a New York composer of popular music and Broadway shows, decides he needs a country house as it is too hot in New York to work during the summer.

“There, Mr. Locke, is a bargain,” the agent called back to me, where I sat in my car.

I nodded, surveying the house with an eagerness of interest that surprised myself. A box-like fairly large structure of commonplace New England ugliness, it coaxed my liking as had no other place I had ever seen; it wooed me like a determined woman.”

He of course buys the house…indeed, he decides that he wants to sleep in it that very night -a bit of “camping out” in the partially furnished house. He gets a bit of a surprise. He’s suddenly awakened during the night. A woman is in his room-she tells him a tale of magic, witches, death and evil-and slips away as mysteriously as she entered.

Locke leaves the next day for New York, after contacting various workmen to set the house to rights.

His cousin, Phillida, has been called home from college by her parents-to be berated for not doing well in her exams and he has agreed to meet her at her train and travel home with her. When her train is late, he calls her parents and telling a small fib says that her train will arrive too late for the connection and that he will take her out to dinner and home later. When he meets Phillida and sees how downcast she is, he offers to let her choose the restaurant. She surprises him by stating she wants to go to a nightclub with an ice dancing show.

There she really surprises him: she introduces him to her secret husband, Ethan Vere, one of the ice dancers. Roger is shocked but he realizes that Phillida has not fallen for some fly-by-night and that Vere is a serious young man who grew up on a farm in Maine and took to ice dancing as the only way he could make a living after returning from the War and that he loves Phillida deeply. Roger offers them the management of the farm and house in Connecticut so they can finally begin their married life together. What he doesn’t realize is that he has won a valuable friend in Vere.

Soon it is summer and Roger Locke is up at the Connecticut house with Phillida and Ethan. ..and the mysterious woman! Who is she and why does she whisper to him to leave the house.

Bright and sunny by day, mysterious doings and chills by night, this Gothic Romance is very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the last chapter-a chapter with an alternate explanation for all that has happened throughout the book! Eleanor M. Ingram wrote several novels-I’m definitely going to read another and I'll report back.

Wonderfully read by Roger Melin, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf., e-Pub, or Kindle format here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Survivors by Tom Godwin

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Survivors by Tom Godwin

A little over 4,000 people, men, women and children, are left on an unknown planet after their ship has been boarded by earth’s enemy, the Gern –and left to die. The first night, about a quarter of them do die-killed by a terribly swift lethal disease and by the wild animals that inhabit the planet. But by the second night, they have defenses in place.

Life is not easy on Ragnarok (a perfect name-it is a bit of a rag of a rock). There is a brutally hot summer and a brutally cold winter but over the years, the “colonists” learn to cope better and better. And they vow to someday get back at the Gern and defeat them.

This tale, while technically science fiction, is actually the story of pioneers who rise to meet the challenges before them and to conquer them. The story covers generations-something I really liked-and while its true that we don’t really get to know many of the characters very deeply, we get the overall flow of families establishing themselves in a former wilderness.

Wonderfully read by Mark Nelson, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf, Kindle, or ePub format here.

Published in 1958 (the photo above is of the dustcover to the hardback edition), this book got a title change to “Space Prison” when the paperback was published in 1960. I thought you’d enjoy seeing the 1960 and 1962 paperback covers.

LOL! Isn't the first paperback cover hilarious! A perfect example of Pulp Fiction style. Two years later, the cover returned more to the hardcover graphic style.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pastel Baby Coin Quilt

I'm having a bit of fun exploring the ever popular coin quilt...this flimsy has mainly 30s repro fabrics with some novelties. Next up-I'm trying plaids!I'm teaching a basic machine quilting class and thought this quick quilt would be a great one to get them started on free motioning quilting.

I'm linking to Can't I get a Whoop Whoop. Stop over at Sarah's and see all the wonderful finishes this week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Sheridan Road Mystery

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Sheridan Road Mystery by Paul and Mabel Thorne

A shot is heard in the night! A man runs out into Sheridan Road, Chicago, in his pajamas looking for a policeman! The police arrive, search and search, but there is no body-only a blood stain on the carpet in an apartment whose tenants have been away for months! Was a murder committed? By whom? And who died? What a mystery!

Don’t worry, there are fearless and clever detectives on the case. Detective Sergeant Dave Morgan and Detective Tierney of the Chicago police with the help of the no longer pajama clad Mr. Marsh get their man in the end. On the way, there are twists and turns as the true identity of various characters is revealed and there’s even a bit of romance. Yes, Mr. Marsh has his eye on the young lady in the apartment across the hall, Miss Atwood.

This fun book was written by the husband and wife team, Paul and Mabel Thorne in 1921. It was their first collaboration-after that they wrote one more mystery together and then Paul wrote several on his own.

Delightfully read by J.M. Smallheer, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf, e-Pub, or Kindle format here.