Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 1
On our recent visit back home, I borrowed a cookery book from my mom, which originally belonged to her mom. It is a little worse for ware but is filled with just short of 900 pages of 26 chapters of information and 2 600 recipes. I have not yet had the opportunity to sit down and read through the book but on a brief glance I have found loose pieces of newspaper clippings for various recipes, some scribbles which I am sure were made my mom, her brother and sister, a template for a 5 inch cookie star and some handwritten recipes in the back pages with pounds (lb) and ounces (oz) measurements.
I was amused to spot the following in the second chapter “Table Setting and Decoration” under the do’s and don’ts:
“Don’t try to be grand. Everyone sees through it and nothing is so forlorn as a pretentious party. The most distinguished entertaining is simple, done with ease and naturalness.”
“Do put cigarettes and ash trays on the table. In spite of the custom of passing these after the salad course, people will smoke throughout the meal and you might as well be prepared.”
There are also some antiquated amusing reads like:
“Service of Dinner: If you are so fortunate as to have a well-trained maid your role is an easy one. But it is the hostess without skilled help, who still manages to entertain with grace and distinction, who is the everlasting envy of her friends.”
“After-dinner Coffee: After dessert the coffee is served in the living-room. The cups, already filled and on a tray, may be passed by the maid to each guest. Or the hostess may prefer to pour the coffee herself, in which case the maid brings in a tray holding after-dinner coffee service and cups, waits while the hostess pours and then hands the cups to the guests. Small lumps of sugar but no cream are served.”
How things have changed! I would be really taken to task by the writers of “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book” if they saw our casual braai evenings with family and friends!
I am looking forward to reading through this weighty book (1.566kg to be exact), page for page and sharing more fun and interesting things with you from yesteryear. The book was copyrighted for the years 1942 through 1945 and even includes a Wartime Postscript.
It seems there are hundreds and hundreds of great recipes to try too!