Saturday, June 16, 2007


My husband turned 40 yesterday, so we spent the day antiquing. The little guy had an extra day of school while we did this.

I found a book with this on the inside cover - who could resist? It is the Culinary Institutes's 1939 American Woman's Cookbook. It is 815 pages of recipes, pictures and tips. Some are definitely not healthy, like uncooked eggs in things, but others sound fabulous:
Stuffed Peaches

Pare large peaches and cut a slice from the top of each. Remove the pits without breaking the fruit (why would they care about this?) and fill the hollow with nuts or with any chopped fruit, such as apples, citron or raisins. Sprinkle with sugar and a little cinnamon or nutmeg. Pour custard (? What custard?) over the peaches and bake. Or serve cold soft custard with the uncooked chilled fruit.

Like my Grandma's recipes, these are vague but sound delicious. Bake at what temperature and for how long? I guess people assumed a common knowledge of these things in those days.

Also at one of the many Antique Malls we went to I found a 1962 diary and then the matching autograph book for the same girl - and they were filled! I started reading immediately. A while later my husband came back, amazed that I was still there. Of course I bought them, and he was making fun of me. But - the clerk was delighted, and read several passages with me. The girl listed her name, Helena, and address, plus the names of all the boys she dated over 5 years, girlfriends and family. I looked her up when I got home and can find no record. At least I am fairly certain she or her sisters or Mother did not die, as there is nothing in Obits. or SSN death records. (I am a librarian!) She would be 15 years older than me, so around 50 or so. More on this to come. I love the stories of how she got a ring, then the boy took it back, then gave it back, etc. My husband rolled his eyes, but then asked some questions while I read aloud on the way home. I really wonder how this treasure ended up in the mall. Did Helena leave them in a house after they moved?

I got a total of 5 cookbooks, the diary and the autograph book. A great day.

I am reading Raffaella Barker's Summertime, a sequel to Hens Dancing. These were recommended by my friend Sarah on her blog. (I will get the link up here soon - I just figured out the links menu on here.) Have you seen the This is like a MySpace site all for booklovers! It is fun, and we are starting to use it with teens through the library site.


Anonymous said...

I've got that book too (or rather, the 1947 reprint). Love the frozen dessert section!

Sarah said...

Oh Wow!-a diary and autograph book? I'd be all over that. I wonder how Helena would feel knowing it ended up for sale and that someone else is reading it? When I was a kid I always fancied that someone in the future would find and read my things. (a thought which did not bother me.)I hope you like Summertime!

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