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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

vintage cookbooks are so interesting

Let me start by saying I'm not a great cook.  I'm a basic cook.  I don't entertain a lot and don't make fancy new dishes that are trending all the time with food I haven't a clue what to do with.  Murray likes meat, potatoes and veggies.....and cookies....and now we eat salad a lot.  Haha. 

I have a few old cookbooks that were my mother's and my mother-in-law's.  As a new bride I received many cookbooks, a traditional gift at bridal showers, and have given most of them away.  They were taking up valuable space in the cupboard and have pretty well become redundant with the Internet and all the thousands {millions} of recipes available there.

The cookbook on the top left was given to me by my older sister for Christmas in 1966 "from the cats".  😊  I use a lot of recipes from that tattered and worn cookbook today....most often the chocolate chip cookies recipe and one for butter frosting.  The one on the right is the original Purity Cookbook from 1932 that was my mother-in-law's.  She even wrote recipes on the inside covers and pages!  The books are pretty well identical inside except the photos are different.  There is a new edition of this cookbook available now too, but the photos are black and white.

A photo from my book.

Our favourite cookie recipe.  I used about 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and omit the nuts.

This battered cookbook was my Mum's.  It is full of handwritten recipes in my mother's handwriting and my older sister's as well.  My sister re-wrote a lot of recipes in her nice penmanship (she became a school teacher) for Mum.  There are sometimes names or just initials at the bottom of the recipe denoting where it came from.  Also there are some loose pages of recipes jotted down on scrap paper, some clippings from magazines, a diet Mum was following at one time in the 60's, and notes.  

My Mum's handwriting.  💗
I think someone lifted the beaters of the old Mix Master before turning it off and spattered chocolate batter all over the pages.  😋 I wonder if they were making chocolate pudding.  

My sister's precise handwriting.  💗

I found this note on the back of an old envelope from Mum to my younger sister tucked in the pages.  

Yes, this was a 'favourite' fudge recipe.  When I was growing up we had natural gas in Moncton so we had a gas stove.  It was what I learned to cook on and getting it 'just right' was tricky.  I remember cold winter Saturdays someone would make a batch of chocolate fudge for a treat.  I've never tried this recipe since and as much as I love chocolate and sweets I don't make fudge.  Perhaps I should try it again.

Recipe Clippings. 
Have you cut out recipes from magazines (before the internet)?  It was the thing to do in the last century and this handy book could store them in various categories.  Some of them date from 1949!

I love the graphics of this little recipe book tucked in Mum's book.  I don't know of Dwight's Baking Soda.  Arm & Hammer is the brand most common here and all I've ever used.

These vintage items were my mother-in-law's.  Look how worn the wooden spoon is....but you didn't throw it out.  She was the queen of thrift and recycling way ahead of her time because she grew up in the 30's when times were really tough and you 'made-do'.

Do you have old cookbooks?  Do you still use a cookbook or mostly internet recipes?  I do both.  
And there are enough recipes out there to tempt us as we are inundated with them on Facebook too.  Not a 'friendly' place to scroll through when you're sick.  Haha!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my vintage cookbooks. Have you found anything interesting in yours?

Have a great day!
Thank you for visiting.



  1. I love vintage cookbooks! I have the red Purity cookbook too. When my grandparents were moving to an apartment, for some unknown reason, I was given the old tin boxes of my grandmothers recipes, many in her and my aunts writing. I was very grateful to receive them and do cherish them. I have some of my Mum's old kitchen utensils and a few of her Mum's too,
    Great post, I really enjoyed it!

  2. I collect cookbooks and probably have a couple hundred or more. If you have any old ones that you don't want, I will gladly pay the shipping for you to send them to me. And yes, I still use them! I also collect recipes off the internet - have several big binders full! My e-mail address: paddlinlady@gmail.com

  3. You have some good history there in those old cookbooks! What treasures! I especially like recipes hand written in handwriting I recognize. The more stains the more I know it was loved and used. I think it's interesting how we keep a recipe book even when there are only a couple of recipes we use in it. I still save magazine recipes with hopes of trying them soon and then tossing if not liked---but I mainly put recipes that look interesting on my interest. Then I can just have them on my phone when I'm cooking. I do love to cook and have guests often, but usually don't like to try new recipes with guests. I should be braver! This was a fun, memory-evoking post. And your sister's handwriting looks a lot like my mom's.

  4. I love old cookbooks and have collected a few over the years. How precious are those handwritten recipes that you have. My mother wasn't a cook...but then I was! lol I rarely look up a recipe any more though. I cook things I know and remember. Makes me want to dig out an old cookbook and browse! Hugs, Diane

  5. The handwriting reminds me of my own mother's.

  6. Pam, you won't believe this but I have the exact!!! tin cannisters, glass cannister and the nut grinder. I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that we got as a wedding present 56 years ago and a couple of vintage cookbooks for kids that I have picked up at flea markets over the years. Unfortunately, we don't know what happened to my mom's recipes. I know she cooked just off the top of her head but she must have had some recipes written down??. A fun collection and how lucky you have your mom's in her handwriting..Fun post..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  7. This is such an interesting post. I love old cookbooks, and handwritten recipes. I still clip recipes from magazines, but not as often as I used to. I also love new cookbooks and can while away an evening looking and marking recipes to try out. The handwriting on your recipes is so pretty.
    I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that I got for a wedding shower present that I still use for a few recipes.
    Have a good rest of the week.

  8. Yes, I do enjoy looking at cookbooks. I especially love the handwriting on the edges with the often valuable extra information. The ones noted "favorites" are always helpful, too. Reading our loved ones handwriting again is another blessing. Now your mother-in-law's wooden spoon is a treasure and, should you decide to try the fudge again, will come in handy for fudge making.

  9. Loved this Pam . . .
    I love old cookbooks and have many . . .
    Love to come across an old recipe book in an antique shop . . .
    I have my mothers, mother in law, (recipe file box) . . .
    I collect them to read the recipes and love seeing the handwriting even more.
    When I miss my mom, and it is often, I pull out my recipe books, see her handwriting
    and she is right there with me in the kitchen.
    I find 'handwriting' like magic . . .
    And we are fast approaching the time when it will be a lost treasure.
    Great post . . .

  10. Thanks for the tour down memory lane! I have a few of those looking stained books from using them so many times and a zip lock bag full of written recipes that friends and family have given me over the years. They sure came in handy when we were first married. I didn't even know how to cook potatoes. lol

  11. Thanks for the tour down memory lane! I have a few of those looking stained books from using them so many times and a zip lock bag full of written recipes that friends and family have given me over the years. They sure came in handy when we were first married. I didn't even know how to cook potatoes. lol

  12. Love this post...and the stroll down memory lane! I'm still using my vintage Betty Crocker cookbook occasionally...for the old 'tried and true' favorites. I wish I had my mom's old cookbooks...but we really have no idea what happened to them. You have a great collection for yesteryear!

  13. I have some vintage cookbooks that were my mother-in-laws. They are so much fun to look at. I've also picked up a few at yard sales that have pretty covers. Love your collection!

  14. Love! I have some vintage cookbooks as well! Wouldn't trade them for anything. :) Love how your photos tell a story, Pam!

  15. Oh I loved this post... I have some of the same cookbooks and vintage kitchen tools.. I do use the internet but love love my cookbooks and a few hours spent at Chapters with a cup of tea and a pile of new cookbooks is one my simple pleasure.. Lovely, Pam.. xo

  16. I enjoyed this. I hardly ever open my cookbooks any more. I prefer getting recipes from friends and family or going on line. But I do have a couple of cookbooks that my grandmother got as a young bride and I treasure these for their history and vintage charm.

  17. Hi Pam, I love this post! Vintage cookbooks are wonderful and I have found some of my best recipes in them. It's so wonderful that you have your Mom's and Sister's old cookbooks and recipes with the little notes and food splattered pages. I love the sweet vintage items you have, too. I love all things vintage for the kitchen......I am one of those old fashioned gals that still collects cookbooks. I do find recipes on-line, too, but there is nothing better than a well-loved cookbook or recipe card. I learned to cook using my Mom's 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook and still use it. The beef stew recipe is the best! Thanks for the trip down memory lane :) Hugs xo Karen

  18. What a great post! I love cookbooks and have collected quite a few even though my cooking is much like yours, but I still love to read cookbooks. :) I have my mother's old recipe boxes, but they are mostly recipes that she didn't even use. She was a wonderful cook and didn't need them. Love the vintage things you have, I've always said I'd love to have a 50's style kitchen. Have a nice weekend!

  19. Hi Pam
    I still use cookbooks but I've condensed them to healthier recipe ones and do use the internet as well. Many recipes are pinned from blogs that I like.
    Tried and true, good basic food is how we eat too. For years the old standby for company was always roast beef but many don't eat red meat these days and I'm always wondering what to make.

  20. Love those handwritten cookbooks.. I must say, your sister's handwriting so beautiful..

    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

  21. Such a lovely post Pam, I enjoyed my "walk" with you down Memory Lane! I love old cookbooks too, but I think the most special part of your cookbooks is your mother and sister's handwritten recipes and thoughts. I too write my thoughts about a recipe over it to remind me if I've made it before. I love my Betty Crocker cookbook, that is one I always keep on hand, it just covers all the bases of anything you might be making. My next favorite cookbooks are the church and community ones where I can find recipes that have been tested and true in homes like mine, because my family is like your husband - potatoes and meat, lol! I think it is a special thing that you have these recipes of your mother and sisters. I enjoyed seeing that old wooden spoon too! wow, lots of meals made with that spoon! Precious memories for sure :) Hugs to you today!

  22. I love the Purity cookbook, I have my mother and my mother-in-law's copies.
    You know that a recipe is really good by the splatters on the page :)
    A wedding gift of a Betty Crocker cookbook is still a go to for great recipes.
    Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens is another old standby, simply the best recipes. Strawberry Jam, Doughboys and Pictou County Oatcakes!


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