Tuesday, September 29, 2009

White House Cookbook

My friend Patti from the library brought in a very old, much loved edition of the White House Cookbook. I found this updated one, the Centennial edition, with what is almost the same cover. I would not be surprised if Patti's copy came from 1887, but the first 16 pages are gone.

This is a treasure of recipes, including favorites from the first First Ladies, household tips and more.

Here are some 'Facts Worth Knowing':

To Ventilate a Room: Place a pitcher of cold water on a table in your room and it will absorb all the gases with which the room is filled from the respiration of those eating or sleeping in the apartment. The water will be entirely unfit for use but it will make the air of the room pure. (I changed the order of the last sentence as it was harder to understand.)

To Take Spots from Wash Goods: Rub them with the yolk of egg before washing.

These are great. The next time I have family over I'm putting out big buckets of cold water.

Here's a recipe for Molasses Candy:

Put one quart of West India Molasses, one cupful of brown sugar, a piece of butter the size of half an egg, into a six-quart kettle. Let it boil over a slack fire until it begins to look thick, stirring it often to prevent burning. (What about burning to yourself?) Test it by taking some out and dropping a few drops in a cup of cold water. If it hardens quickly and breaks short between the teeth it is boiled enough. (What if your teeth break?) Now put in half a teaspoonful of baking soda, and stir it well; then pour it out into well-buttered flat tins. When partly cooled, take up the candy with your hands well buttered then pull and double, and so on, until the candy is a whitish yellow. It may be cut in strips and rolled or twisted.

How would you pull and double with hands that are well buttered?

Hopefully Patti will guest blog on here about this book and her family, and which recipes they like from here.

Back to writing. I took vacation days this week to get my ALA book done.

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