As promised, here are another assortment of old church and club cookbooks.
One cleverly compiled and tastefully decorated cookbook is “MacCooking in MacKAlamazoo”, subtitled “A Hotch-Potch of Scottish Recipes and Blethers from the Caledonians of Kalamazoo, Michigan—and it really DOES present many Scottish recipes that you may not find anywhere else outside of Scotland. From Hotch Potch or the more commonly used ‘hodge-podge’ (which means something mixed up) there is a fine lamb stew but you will also find recipes for Scotch Broth, Cock-a-Leekies, Lamb & Leek Casserole, Finnan Haddie, Potted Salmon, Scotch Eggs—and oh, so many more. Amongst the biscuits, sweets and desserts you will find recipes for shortbread, marmalade, lemon curd (one of my favorites) and many others you may not be familiar with.
There is a well-prepared interested introduction, the likes of which you seldom find in a little church-and-club cookbook. The Caledonians are a Celtc/Gaelic/Scottish Heritage organization that was founded in 1986 by a group of Kalamazoo native Scots and those of Scottish descent. Why Caledonian? They are named after the people of Caledonia or Caledon, this being the ancient name of what we now know as Scotland.
There are a lot of native recipes in this cookbook—some you may never want to consider trying—but the Scots are famous for their Scottish Shortbread. To make Shortbread, you will need
1 cup butter (margarine never appears in any of their recipes)
½ cup brown sugar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour.
Cream the butter with the brown sugar, then gradually add the flour, mixing lightly only until the dough resembles pastry dough. On a lightly floured board, gently press (do not roll) the dough to a thickness of abut ¾”. Chill the dough for about an hour, pick it all over with a fork, then place it on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 275 degrees for about an hour, or until the shortbread is very light brown. (Sandy’s cooknote: all of the shortbread recipes I have ever encountered were shaped in a round cake pan, and when the shortbread has baked, would be cut into wedges. Another recipe in this cookbook bakes the shortbread in an 8×8” pan and then it is cut into squares while still warm.) **
St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lodi, California, is another American church with a long history; work to establish the church in Lodi began in 1896. The church was then called St Matthew’s Mission but on September 13, 1906 St John’s Mission was established with services being held in the Odd Fellows building. The old church building, made of redwood, was erected in 1910. In 2002, a new church was built – but I have been unable t find out anything about Priscilla’s Pantry. Maybe a church member will enlighten me. Meantime, here is a recipe for Bobbie’s Oatmeal thins cookies on the most stained page in the cookbook:
To make Bobbie’s Oatmeal Thins, you will need:
1 cube (1 stick = 4 ounces) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract or 1½ tsp grated orange peel
Melt butter in 2 quart saucepan. Add rest of ingredients. Grease and flour cookie sheets* drop by small teaspoon, well spaced (they spread a bit) and bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool slightly (about 5 minutes0 remove cookies to rack
(Sandy’s cooknote: if you use parchment paper, you won’t need to grease and flour the cookie sheets).
“WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN DISTRICT 23, Compiled by the Texas Graduate Nurse’s Association, in Borger Texas, was first printed in September, 1960, and has the distinction of ads from local businesses with telephones using a prefix instead of all numbers. Barney’s Pharmacy, Cretney Drug Stores, Jim’s Grocery and Market al have telephone numbers starting with BR (was the BR for Borger?) we may never know.
Here is a recipe for Sweet Potato Pudding made the way I like it (no marshmallows!):
To make Sweet potato pudding you will need
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar (or less, per your own taste)
½ cup melted butter
Blend the mashed sweet potatoes, butter & sugar. Then add & mix well:
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup evaporated milk
Blend well and pour into a greased baking dish; bake at 350 degrees* until hot and bubbly.
(Sandy’s cooknote: I changed the temperature of the oven and the baking time. I don’t believe in baking anything in a glass baking dish over 350 degrees. If you are using a pan, you can bake the sweet potato recipe at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. I also like to top the dish off with a sprinkling of brown sugar and chopped pecans.)
COOKBOOK compiled by THE WOMEN’S GUILD OF ST JOHN’S EVANGELICAL REFORMED CHURCH, OF Nashua, Iowa, C. J. Weidler, Pastor, offers a lovely photograph of the church and still managed to get all the above print on the cover. It was published in 1955. Google failed me this time; I couldn’t locate the church and have no idea if it is still standing (Perhaps someone who knows will write to me). It saddens me to think this sweet white church may not still be around.
Here is someone’s recipe for Wacky Cake.
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 TBSP cocoa
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Sift the above ingredients into a ungreased pan. Make 3 depressions. Into one, put 1 TBSP vinegar. Into the second put 1 cup cold water, and into the third put 6 TBSP melted butter. Stir well. Bake at 350 r until it shrinks from sides. Make an icing of:
1 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP cream
1 square melted chocolate
3 TBSP melted butter
½ lb powdered sugar
Mix well and spread on top of the cake (presumably after it has had time to cool) **
125th ANNIVERSARY COOKBOOK OF FRIENDS AND FAMILIES FAVORITES was compiled by the First Lutheran Church of Rural Ossian Iowa. The church was organized in 1850 by the first Norwegian pastor ordained in America. It chose its name because it was the first Lutheran Church in Fayette County and the first Lutheran Church of Norwegian descent in the State of Iowa. At its height, in 1884 there were 538 baptized souls.
Originally a log structure was built at the present cemetery site. The second building, located at the present site was built in 1870, was destroyed by a storm and rebuilt. The present church was built in 1924. The following recipe is that of a Norwegian Coffee Cake:
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
1 level tsp baking powder
¾ cup milk
Cream butter & sugar together; add eggs. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to mixture. . Bake in a shallow buttered 9” pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.
“MEETINGHOUSE MANNA” was presented by the Ladies Benevolent Society to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the First Church in Weymouth, 1973. The cookbook was compiled by the Book Club in 1972.
“MEETINGHOUSE MANNA” was an industrious undertaking – it’s a thick cookbook that appears to have been compiled, completely, by the Book Club in observation of the church’s 350 anniversary in 1973. They also have one of the nicest, most interesting websites I’ve ever come across. Visit http:firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Here is a church member’s contribution for making Corn Tomato Casserole:
3 TBSP butter
3 cups ½” bread cubes (6 slices equals 3 cups)
1 lb can whole kernel corn (about 2 cups)
#2 can tomatoes *
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ cup grated American cheese (2 slices = ½ cup)
Melt butter, bread cubes, and toss lightly; reserve. In a 1½ quart casserole, place alternate layers of corn and tomatoes with two cups of the buttered bread cubes. Add cheese to the remaining 1 cup of bread cubes and sprinkled over top of mixture. Bake in moderate hot oven 375 degrees for 30 minutes
(*Sandy’s cooknote – how big is a can of #2 tomatoes? Does anyone know?)
One final note – I still have a stack of these old church and club cookbooks that deserve a second look. Will post some more as time permits!