Ladies of Cuba, NY have joined forces to contribute some of their best-loved recipes in this 86-page cookbook from the World War I era. A journey back in time representing food staples (e.g., brown bread, tomato soup, suet pudding, boiled salad dressing) as well as local businesses (advertisements appear throughout the recipe book), Choice and Tested Recipes is dedicated “to those ‘Plucky Housewives’ who master their work instead of allowing it to master them.”
Beyond recipes that highlight some of the area’s finest ingredients (Jell-o from LeRoy and Royal baking powder from Brooklyn, NY), Choice and Tested Recipes offers a course-specific quote at the beginning of each section (e.g., John Heywood’s “Would you both eat your cake and have your cake?” for the section on cakes), advice for remedying household challenges (e.g., removing old tea/coffee stains, healing bruises, adding nutrients to and removing slugs from rose bushes, cleaning up while one works), and additional concoctions for healing those in the “sick room.”
Choice and Tested Recipes is organized by course, with a general table of contents on the last page, including breads, soups, meats, pies and puddings, conserves and jellies, and beverages. The recipes are simple, written in short paragraph format, and reveal a bit of each contributing housewife’s personality. For instance Miss Wright’s Clubhouse Sandwiches are “fit for a prince,” Mrs. C.A. Wheeler deems her Smothered Ham “a delicious dish,” and Mrs. G.E.P.’s tomato bisque recipe warns fellow housewives to “stir tomatoes slowly into the milk; if the reverse is done it will curdle.”
This work, originally published in 1916, is reprinted by Milne Library at the State University of New York College at Geneseo as part of the Genesee Valley Historical Reprints series. The Genesee Valley Historical Collection is Milne Library’s largest and most accessible collection of local history materials. Its geographical scope covers the eight counties surrounding the Genesee River in New York State: Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben and Wyoming. For more information, see: http://go.geneseo.edu/gvhr.
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