Over Christmas a friend remarked they had made a dessert out of the old “Merion Square Meals” Cookbook which I remember when it was new in the 1970s. A lot of local Gladwyne and close on vicinity ladies contributed it to it. 200+ pages of fun. Some recipes I would still try today, and some recipes caught in a time capsule. It was from a time when a lot of ladies still did their own cooking, and cooking for entertaining. It wasn’t always a we deliver catered affair!
So I went digging through my cookbooks, because I knew I had a copy. A copy I had bought as an adult second hand from either Harriton House’s annual fair, Church of the Redeemer’s Christmas Bazaar (or whatever it was called), or from the book tent at St. David’s Fair (hands down one of the most ideal places to find fun old books!).
I finally found it way up in a book shelf, with it’s very plain brown plastic comb spiral facing INTO the shelf. So I posted on my social media a photo of the cookbook and it sparked a lot of memories in people. You never see this cookbook pop up much.
Some asked me to post some of the recipes, so that is what I am going to do. But first, the preface and cool bits of history:
Now for recipes. I just pulled out a bunch of recipes at random. My edition is from the original printing. It apparently made a second appearance in 2008 or so according to Main Line Today Magazine:
Merion Square Meals
(Gladwyne Library League, 219 pages)
First printed in 1978, this old-school community cookbook is packed with the sort of blue-blood fare—spinach vichyssoise, beef stroganoff, Swiss chicken divan, gazpacho aspic, Hoosier pie, triple chocolate sin—certain to have guests reminiscing at your next dinner party. A short history of Merion Square and a dedication page to its original author, Patricia Van Arsdale Murray, offer a connection to the past and bring a little Main Line tradition back to our modern kitchens. Proceeds from its sale go to the Gladwyne Free Library.
So Gladwyne Library League? You might want to resurrect it again because people are STILL interested in this awesome local cookbook! Here are the recipes I am sharing from my personal copy: