antique cookbooks

I think these cookbooks can be categorized as antiques. Left to right in the photo above they were published in 1922, 1936, and 1913.

They are an education in and of themselves, as well as being their own kind of time capsule. But these cookbooks, like their vintage mid-century cousins are terrific because they give you a lot of basic techniques and recipes that are overlooked in modern cookbooks in favor of photographs and pizazz.

They are also interesting little history lessons. Next time you see old cookbooks at a rummage sale or wherever, take a look through them– you might be surprised and have fun. Not everything is on the Internet as far as recipes go.

Sometimes it is fun being a bookworm 😊

a little mini cookbook gem

Did I need this little miniature cookbook? No but this little cookbook booklet was sitting on a shelf when I went barn picking this morning.

It’s partially a little time capsule but it is also a great little how to book for making piecrust, apple dumplings, chocolate layer cake, biscuits, sour milk gingerbread and more.

These are old school recipes like your grandmother would make. Now mind you I don’t cook with lard, and I think that is part of this cookbook. It was a gimme and advertising for Armour Lard.

And this booklet was created by Fannie Farmer in 1912!

Yes you are looking at photos of the entire booklet. It’s from 1912 so no harm in sharing. Also note the letter from the Principal of the Philadelphia School of Cookery on Powelton Avenue in West Philadelphia. Needless to say I don’t even think the building exists any longer!

Enjoy!

way back when

A friend of mine brought me treasures today. Mementos of a different era. Souvenirs of a Philadelphia and surrounding area that lives no more.

First is a weekly entertainment guide printed by Majestic Press. The week of April 8, 1940. Movies that were a very big deal being shown in theatres that no longer exist. There is even an ad for a burlesque show at the Troc and a photograph of the late great Maestro Eugene Ormandy as a young man.

The other treasure won’t appeal to as many people but it appeals to some of my friends and I because we lived it in the 1980s and late 1970s is the program book from the 1963 Philadelphia Charity Ball.

It’s like a walk through Philadelphia history. The grande dames of society and their husbands.

Ads for Philadelphia businesses that no longer exist, including all the fabulous fashion and department store shopping that used to be in the Philadelphia area.

To most people this means nothing, but for me to see a Kelly for Brickwork ad is something really special. Or for financial institutions that are long gone like Butcher & Sherrard.

What is so different from the way the program has evolved is there are no pictures of debutantes in the program book. The committee got out there and sold advertising space and basically filled an entire book with it. That’s hard work. I used to help my mother get a donors for the Philadelphia Antiques Show programs years ago.

One of the things that totally made me laugh was the ad for the Bryn Mawr Trust Company. It’s completely stuffy, pompous, and sexist. The irony is I’m not sure how much they’ve evolved to in the present day.

Some of you are going to think I spent way too much time taking screenshots of old program books. But I think this is really cool. It’s a social history and the history of businesses gone by, and a way of life that no longer exists. And its total mid century ad copy as well. And I love the fashion illustrations.

But this is also from an era when there was society and it meant something. And yes that meant lots and lots of rules. It was also kind of civilized.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of area history. A time capsule of the 1940s and 1960s. Take special note of the “President’s Message.” it was written literally right after President John F Kennedy was assassinated. I wasn’t even born yet and it gave me chills.

“cooking with soup”

This cookbook. I know my readers must be so tired of me going on about my love of vintage cookbooks but this is one right out of my childhood. The edition you see above is the first edition which was from the 1960s put out by the Campbell Soup Company.

I got this at an estate sale this past weekend. As a matter fact I haunted the person holding the estate sale to make sure I would get this cookbook!

This is another one of those great shortcut bearing mid century cookbooks that had two recipes I remember from my childhood. 

One of the things I love about this cookbook other than it’s as it was when it first came out in the 1960s, are the notes found in the cookbook. The lady who owned this cookbook left notes and recipe recommendations throughout the cookbook. As a matter fact I have been peeling off now rusted paper clips of where she had marked recipes she found especially good!

One of the recipes I wanted was the original tuna n’ noodles casserole recipe. Growing up, that was the our parents are going out and leaving us with a babysitter meal. I swear my mother practically made this every single time we had a babysitter.

The other recipe was their short cut version of turkey tetrazzini. And I actually did want that recipe because we had a frozen turkey that we cooked at the end of last week and I have to figure out what to do with the leftovers.

This cookbook is like a little time capsule. It goes back to a time when everyone and everything was probably a little more innocent. Is it necessarily the healthiest cookbook in the world? No, but sometimes I wonder how hard it would be to update these recipes for a more modern kitchen.

I still think this is a cookbook that every kitchen should have a copy of. And the 1960s edition that I have is found easily on Amazon and eBay and with used book dealers just as the 1970s version.

Add a little vintage to your kitchen! You’ll be glad you did!



rainy day estate sale

Picked up some amazing vintage linens today that are already soaking in the sink! The woman who lived in this lovely little house liked to sew so I have some amazing full- coverage aprons and vintage pillowcases. I also picked up these cute little hand stitched clothes pin bags!

Another great vintage score was an entire plastic container full of trimmings and sewing notions. Lace and ribbon and different kinds of trim. This is a crafter’s delight and I will use this stuff in many ways over the years to come.

Finally, I also picked up some amazing cookbooks. I think the Amish Dutch cookbook is my favorite but running a close second was the first edition James Beard cookbook I also found.

It was a cute little house way out and beyond Strasburg Road. I was in heaven as we drove by farm after farm because it was so nice to see some stuff that hadn’t been overtaken by development. Even in the rain, Chester County is so beautiful to explore.

Stay dry!



old bells

Thai Elephant Bell

Do you love bells? I love bells.

When I was in elementary school I was actually in a handbell choir for a brief amount of time. I remember feeling very special with my white gloves to handle the beautiful bells. But I am not so musically inclined, so it didn’t last long. But while it lasted it was fun!

Bells are a happy sound to me. Everywhere I have lived since I was born has been in close proximity to some kind of church bells.

Vintage English brass dinner bell

I have little bells scattered all over my house. I also have them scattered all over outside. I love them in my garden. Mostly I have old bells. 

An old copper goat’s bell

The bells in my garden are mostly little bells I have hung that just make this delightful twinkly sound when the wind blows or I tap them. I will admit I do have a larger cow bell in one tree, and that has a much deeper tone to it.

Bells are just part of me , I guess. I find them all over because a lot of people just don’t want them.

What I really would love except I’ve never been able to find one that is intact on its own pole is a farm bell.  i’m not sure where I would put one but I would gladly dig a post hole and set it for the right bell. Not a huge farm bell, just a moderately sized one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Old cast bronze bell of unknown origin.



yes, vintage linens are among my favorite things

So I know I must be pretty boring every time I talk about how much I love vintage linens, but I do.

I bought a couple new old dish towels and these two amazing embroidered vintage pillowcases that were all remainders of an estate sale.

I think people overlooked the pillowcases because they were super yellowed with age in spots including covering the fabulous embroidery. They are embroidered with pine cones and pine branches. I just thought they were so incredibly special.

So I soaked them overnight in Restoration and a little Woolite. You can buy Restoration directly from Engleside Products or on Amazon.

I have said before how terrific this wash is on vintage linens and quilts and old crocheted items. But I wish I had taken a photograph of the pillowcases before I soaked them because this was that amazing a transformation!

Now my old linens are drying on a clothes rack and when they are dry I will press them and put them on my pillows next time I change my sheets!

Don’t overlook old and vintage linens. They add so much charm and character to your home.

I am also in the process of restoring and patching an old flannel-backed quilt from Maine. I love them on our beds in the winter there’s nothing cozier and nicer than an old patchwork quilt and vintage embroidered pillowcases! and if you shop smart and aren’t afraid of cleaning items up you can usually find both of these things at less than fancy dealer prices.