Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cookbook Heaven!

We live in Franklin, TN. For those of you who have never heard of Franklin, it is this adorable, quaint town just outside of Nashville. It has a lovely town square with tons of antique and art shops. It also has many really old houses. Today we went to a house built in 1839 for a Cub Scout activity. The kids got to learn about geology from the lady specialist who owns the house with her husband and young son.

Much to my pleasure, my husband was hanging out with the boys which gave me a little free time. While waiting, I was drawn to a bookcase in the hallway and to my excitement, it was filled with mostly old cookbooks of all shapes and sizes. Now here was a woman after my own heart. I was in heaven! If you had told me when I was twenty that finding stacks of decaying cookbooks would make me so excited, I would have laughed. I don't know what it is about reading them that I like. Perhaps it's the glimpse of what people's lives were once like - imagining a family in 1940 enjoying a family meal together. Or maybe it's the personal comment made by the cook and handwritten next to the recipe. Okay, I am sounding a little crazy so I will move on.

Anyway, I jotted down a couple of interesting recipes from a book entitled Recipes from the Old South by Martha Meade, 1961. I did not write down the bread directions as I will change it to be used with a bread maker. Here they are:

Rich Loaf Bread

4 cups of flour
3/4 c milk
2 t of sugar
1 t of salt
3 t of butter
1 yeast cake
3 eggs


Place all in bread machine, liquids first, dry ingredients, then yeast. Set to dough cycle.

When dough cycle is complete, turn oven on for 200 degrees. When it reaches 200, turn off.

Remove dough from machine and
mold into your desired shape. Put in warmed oven. Add a cup of steaming water in a mug to the oven for additional help in rising the dough. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

After rise is complete, paint the loaf with egg white. Put back in the oven and bake at 340 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Jam


1 14-16 lb pumpkin, not too ripe
5 t ground ginger
3 lemons, peel and juice


Remove seeds. Peel pumpkin and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Weigh pumpkin after it has been prepared and add 3/4 lb of sugar for each pound of pumpkin.

Let this mixture sit over night in a large mixing bowl or enamel kettle. In the morning, add ginger and cut-up pieces of lemon peel. Simmer very slowly all day long or until syrup is thick.

Stir lemon juice into the jam about half an hour before removing it from the heat.


Nashville Cheapster said...

I'm going to try the bread recipe. I love old cookbooks too. So far, I have resisted collecting these. Thanks for posting!

Suzzette Parchman said...

I live in Clarksville, so I am not far from you and I have tons of original handwritten recipes that I ordered from estate sales all over the contry. I also have some great old cookbooks. If you are ever interested I have to come to Franklin every 3 months.(my kids see a nuerologist up there) I could always bring some and meet you at Mcdonalds and the kids could play and you could look over them.