Some frozen prune pudding, perhaps?

Collection of antique cookbooks

I have an affinity for all things old, especially retro: cars, clothes, music and cookbooks.

That being said, I was ecstatic to find in my mailbox about a month ago a slim, manila envelop containing four cookbooks. The books were sent from my brother’s friend, Kim who found them at a garage sale. Kim felt they should belong to me. Kim also shared with me her mother’s recipe for red velvet cake. How nice!

I don’t know if cookbooks would be an appropriate name since they were bound together by two staples, but each contains more 200 recipes. Each booklet has a focus: soups, chocolate, dessert and cake. Since the cookbooks were published in the 1940s, the food photography is super-saturated. The saturation of colors helped to create rich photographs sometimes at a detriment to the book since a lot of the foods appear unappetizing. Or maybe the food styling just wasn’t a necessity back then.

Anyways some true gems were found but unfortunately nothing I plan to make in the near future.

Mmmm... marrow balls
It’s marrow. It’s balls. I’m thinking of trying out the cracker balls instead.

Cream of peanut butter soup
I prefer my peanut butter on toast not soup.

To follow it up for good digestion, some frozen prune pudding.

It’s not all bad — the books were edited by the director of the Culinary Arts Institute. Some truly good recipes do appear in the book such as lobster bisque and baked Alaska.

20 thoughts on “Some frozen prune pudding, perhaps?

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  1. Mmmmmmmm… peanut butter soup! With a dollop of jelly… coule be tasty! But um, marrow? YIKES!Cool cook "books" there… neat finds. My friend Emmy also collects vintage cookbooks, check her out, D: has some amazing old cookbooks and is a vintage collector like no one i know!

  2. I guess when you get to 200 recipes, you start grasping at straws. Eww.P.S. thanks for the website. I found a bunch of stuff!!P.P.S. It's been so long since I've been on this site without my computer crashing. I have 6 posts to catch up on. Can't wait 🙂

  3. Hi WriterJax–The soup might work but it seems like a big stretch to make it appetizing. I love that book!Hi Kleopatra–I saw that hamburger in a can yesterday but I like my meat nice and fresh.Hi Nanette–Yeah, the recipes are pretty bizarre but those are the 1940s for you!Hi Sarah–Good point! Good luck with everything.

  4. I recently got a cookbook, which is a compilation of old Jewish recipies, and there were many scary items. For example, would you like to learn how to render chicken fat to use for cooking (instead of butter, since we are talking kosher)?? Yeah, me neither.

  5. Hi Jodi–I agree that the concept of peanut butter soup is okay but the ingredients to this recipe make no sense.Hi Foodette–Rendering chicken fat? I definitely will pass but the cookbook sounds interesting in itself.

  6. Seeing these cookbooks makes me want to visit that site with the Sears catalog circa 1971. There's also a J C Penny catalog from the 70's.Marrow balls and peanut butter soup…gosh just think of what home ec. classes were like back then.

  7. Peanut butter soup is good, this recipe is bad! Try substiting fresh crunchy peanut butter, add diced carrots, potatoes and cut green beans. Use kosher salt – the flavor really is different. For the cooking liquid, instead of milk, use vegie or chicken broth. The cooking method is the same. I serve it with hot sauce, sliced green onions and cilantro on the side so people can choose what they want. Peanut soup is really good comfort food!

  8. Hi Hannah–Yeah, there is something so retro in the cookbooks that makes me want to check out old catalogs too.Hi Pam–Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try your version of peanut butter soup.

  9. I've made a soup from peanut butter, and while marrow balls might be good I don't know where you'd find marrow these days. And anything with prune just does not sound appealing. What fun to look at these older cookbooks!

  10. Well, at 251 years of age, only a fraction younger than I, you should have no problem with nostalgic cookbooks. Bubble, toil and trouble, into the cauldron boil and…something or other! 🙂

  11. Hi Deborah–I agree that prunes, in general, are pretty icky. I can't help but think of my grandfather when I see prunes.Hi Mr Orph–My 251 years are starting to catch up with me. And looking through these cookbooks are fun all the same. 🙂

  12. I love cookbooks, and I have a habit of keeping old recipes on pieces of paper in an organised file. But more often than not, I use recipes which I find online to cook or bake. Especially those which people have previously commented on – it's somehow safer to me.Amelia

  13. Hi Amelia–I feel the same way about using, especially untested recipes, that have been commented on by others.Thanks for visiting!

  14. Hi Darlene! I love old cookbooks too! Believe it or not I have 16 books out of this series..but not the chocolate one. Maybe we could swap some recipes! You have to see what they can do with a jello mould and hot dogs…(complete with photo) lol

  15. Hi Chris–That's amazing you have most of the collection! We definitely should swap recipes soon — I'm intrigued by the jello mold and hot dogs.

  16. Thanks for having me! I've linked you up to my blog, will be visiting. :)Amelia

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