Vintage Recipes

Mid to Late 1800's Cookery

Mid to Late 1800's Cookery

"Cookery is the art of preparing food for the nourishment of the body."

- 1918 Fanny Farmer Cookbook

"We may live without poetry, music, and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks."


"All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled."


"Cheerful cooks make every dish a feast."


"There can never be too many helps for those who, three times a day, must meet and answer the imperative question, 'What shall we eat?'" - Ladies Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church, late 1800s.

Vintage Recipes

The following recipes were collected from women's church groups back in the mid to late 1800's. The women who contributed to the collection had no time for fancy names or breaking recipes down. Instead, they gave the ingredients and expected other cooks to know what to do. A cooking enthusiast should be able to easily follow the recipes, while a novice in the kitchen may have to put forth a bit more effort.

Each recipe had been typed out for a book that the ladies of a Presbyterian church created. Scans of the typed recipes are included on each page. The book was completed in 1894.

This has always puzzled me, just how much is a pinch?
These recipes of dear Grandma's surely are no cinch.

A "snip" of this, a "dab" of that, a "lump" of something else,
Then "beat it for a little while", or, "stir until it melts."

I have to be a wizard to decipher what she meant,
By all these strange proportions in her cookbook worn and bent.

How much nutmeg in the doughnuts? Grandma wouldn't flinch,
As she said, with twinkling eyes, "Oh, just about a pinch."

There must have been in her wise head a measuring device,
That told her just how much to use of sugar, salt and spice.