January 11, 2011

Half-Finished Recipe Book

I've often complained that household goods found in auctions or estate sales here in Texas just aren't as interesting or plentiful as those found in the northern states at the same type of venues. There are a dozen different reasons for that, but in the end, it means that it's slim pickings in the advertising cookbooks department for me.

This is a box of recipe books that I bought at an estate auction. Six months ago. The box has been riding around in the backseat of my car all this time. Evidently it just wasn't exciting enough for me to even take out of the car. I think I bought it because I was desperate to buy something. The thrill of the acquisition and digging through the box for treasures and all that, you know.

The contents of this box are pretty typical for what I usually see here in terms of condition. Dirty, brittle, yellow, insect eaten; certainly not anything worthy of my driving it around for six months. But it is what it is and we make do with what we have to.

I finally pulled the box out of the car yesterday and pulled the top book off of the pile to look at here.

It's one of those smaller three-ring recipe binders with tabs inside for the different categories and lined notepaper to write the recipes on. I'm assuming the binder probably came from Woolworth's, because inside the front cover it says "Additional ruled sheets can be secured at your Woolworth Store, ask for No. 1062."

The tabbed pages are referred to as Index Sheets in the instructions on the first page of the book. It says "On each Index Sheet are helpful hints to aid you in the preparation of the different kinds of food." You can see the dampstains and discolorations on the inside of the binder. This is what happens when you combine excessive heat and humitity with paper. Not much air conditioning back in the 1930s.

This binder doesn't have any handwritten recipes. The previous owner took the easy way out and cut out recipes and their illustrations and pasted them onto the pages of the book. The recipes and illustrations are very familiar, although I don't know right off hand which of the promotional books they came out of. It's also possible that they were cut out of magazines. I know I've seen them somewhere before.

This first recipe, for Sunny Fritters, is filed under Desserts. It came from a Crisco booklet or ad. These fritters have bananas and pineapple in them.

They've also filed this one for Prunes under Desserts. Some of it's kind of funny: "Prunes are often misunderstood." "Simmer your prunes instead of getting them all discouraged with hard boiling." "Pureed prunes make desserts worth making. As witness the prune whip." Mmmmm, Prune Whip.

These recipes are filed under Fish--Meat. They're also made with Crisco. This woman did her homework. Notice the handwritten notes with the prices. Forty-two cents, serves 6. The Porky Pie cost thirty-eight cents to make and also serves 6.

Frankfritters cost thrity-five cents and serves 6. These remind me of the unusual frankfurer recipes on Rochelle's Vintage and Frugal Recipes blog. The Surprise Packages, made with flank or skirt steak, are a bit more expensive at forty seven cents to serve six.

Here's an interesting combination: Hamettes with Bananas. Since it's a Crisco recipe, you know they're fried.

These recipes already have the cost included under the title. The recipe for Ham Roll-Ups is really expensive--sixty three cents. Must be the asparagus.

Moving on to the Salads category, we have a fruit and a vegetable salad pictured, both made with Wesson Oil dressings.

This recipe is called Tavern Dressing, and it's meant for Meat Salads. The ingredient list calls for Old English Dressing or Worcestershire Sauce. I couldn't find anything online about Old English Dressing, I wonder if it's something that tasted similar to Worcestershire?

The rest of the binder is filled with blank ruled paper. I guess she got tired of the project before she finished.


At 12:21 PM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

I think its been slim pickens' all over the last few years. I haven't hit a really good box of advertising books in way too long. Perhaps, that's why I've been sorting through so many of the ones I have. I'm up to 12 huge binders filled. I've labeled them by the month, (don't ask:) Anyway, tons more to go through.

Hamettes with Bananas? I think I'll pass, cool book though to my mind anyway, lol.

Thanks for sharing, Kathy. Who knows what else you'll find in that box of "treasure."

At 8:37 AM CST, Blogger clara said...

your blog is great! i'm glad i found it.

At 8:26 AM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

louise - I've been sorting through mine too, updating my database. Wonder if I'll ever get them all recorded? Probably not if I keep on acquiring new ones.

clara - Welcome! I hope you'll visit again soon.


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