Recently, I was visiting my mom at my childhood home, and she's been cleaning out her basement....getting rid of everything, or trying to. I guess she'd been under the stairs in a crawlspace and found some boxes that belonged to my late grandmother, who I always called Nanny. Inside were a mass of cookbooks which on first glance, looked like a whole slew of one woman's clippings of recipes from newspapers, recipes still in the envelope enclosed with letters from friends and relations of long ago and several old cookbooks. Most of the cookbooks were put out by the Five Roses Flour (Lake of the Woods Milling Company, Canada
). There's a couple from the 1930's and one that dates back to 1915. This one in particular is a ripped mess and actually tied together with some old brown twine.
All over the first several pages and the last several pages are recipes my Nanny clipped out or wrote out and taped on all the pages where it wouldn't matter if something was taped onto them. They have headings such as Ruby's Chocolate Drops (that'd be my Aunt Ruby) and Rose's Pineapple Date Loaf (cousin Rose) and Mrs. Miller's Mayonnaise (don't have a clue who that was). On the covers of the books, Nanny has written little labels with the names of the recipes taped inside. One of the books actually has page numbers you can find these recipes taped to. My Great Aunt Ede (Nanny's sister) figures prominently as the source of many recipes.
Copyrights 1958, 1957, 1938
My friend, Maureen, was over the other night and came up with this great idea that I should try some of the old time recipes and post them in my cooking blog. This will take a bit of researching on my part because, really? ....what is a gill in measurement terms? Wow! But, there must be a reason she designated some of the recipes to the high status of being on the cover right? We could be missing out on the best Ginger Cookies, Scalloped Corn, Maple Syrup Icing, and Blueberry Grunt on the planet. So, how can I "not" make something out of these and pass the recipes down to my kids? I'm going to do this and the old time favourites will be posted in between our favourites on my Cooking Blog.
Excerpt from Five Roses Cookbook 1915.
Check out this excerpt from the Five Roses Cookbook published in 1915! Hilarious! I mean....this was pioneer days wasn't it? There are all kinds of little advertising spots in this old book...more than I thought was normal for the times! And all geared towards the "Good Housewife". I don't think that'd go over so well in this day and age do you? The great thing about this old book is at the start of each chapter it gives explicit instructions on how to make the recipes. It will tell you how to knead, how to prep your rolling pin, when to add more flour if things are sticky or more water if not, how much to handle the preparation, etc. I think even I can manage to do some baking with this book!
This is my Nanny...Flo to all the kids in the neighbourhood she used to make cookies for when they came home from school! She owned a restaurant in Truro, Nova Scotia back in the 50's & 60's called The Tourist Tea Room. It sat where the Truro Mall sits now on Robie Street. Many a Mounted Police Officer would go to her place for their lunch and I even met someone a few years back who worked for her back then as a teen! All I remember having was awesome Milkshakes!
Although my Nanny is long gone, perhaps I can do a tribute to her excellent cooking skills by preparing some traditional dishes from both her own and Five Roses