Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Rare 1910 Food and Cookery Magazine,

My cookbook shelf. A symbolic thing.

I have a little dilemma. I am invited out tonight and I promised to bring a substantial salad and an appetizer.

Now, the sky's the limit due to the Internet, these days; still, I settled on a spinach and avocado salad  recipe my mom got out a magazine in the 60's, and bagels and lox. (I  bet my Mom had trouble finding avocados back then, in the smelly old AandP under the bowling alley on Queen Mary Road in Montreal.)

I had a hankering for smoked salmon and eggs (with caper and red onion) yesterday and there was a large flat of smoked salmon on sale and I bought it. So I might as well use it up.

My friends probably find me predictable when it comes to what I bring to dinners, but Hey. There's just too much choice out there today!

Choice. That's why my ebook, Threshold Girl hasn't sold a single copy on Amazon yet, I guess :) They must have 2,000,000 books on that platform and if your book doesn`t have a rating, well, TOO BAD. (And it doesn`t help that I put a French poem at the beginning which shows up in the preview.)

Threshold Girl on Kindle Amazon

Well, I know, you are probably supposed to send copies to your friends, who then purchase Kindles if they don't have one, and the world of commerce goes round and round.

This sure is a  no-lose thing for Amazon.

And if you are a professional, you are supposed to promote the book. I am a professional and I've approached media outlets about my two books on Kindle.  But that's mostly about connections, I suspect.

I don't mind at all.

I will send this Kindle Edition to the library at OISE (the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education) who already have a draft copy of my story, but who asked me to send the Final one when ready.And another to the Library at Radcliffe.

Anyway, yesterday, as I sat wondering what to bring to the dinner my eyes fell on a little magazine on my coffee table. Food and Cookery Magazine. Yes, you can still go the 'old-fashioned' way and purchase magazines about food for recipes, but this is really Old Fashioned. Food and Cookery is from 1910!

I bought it off eBay (well, two copies) years ago when first researching Threshold Girl. (Yes, Threshold Girl is well-researched.)

As it happens, this magazine was a perfect little time-capsule, not so much for the recipes (which are very familiar) but for the articles.

I abridged some of the articles and posted them on my Tighsolas website. The magazine contains an article on the Home Economics movement, an article on Woman's Proper Place and also  Letter to the Editor about Preservatives, which looked boring to me back a few years ago, but which I now can see is VERY important.

In the United States in that Era they had a zealot running the Food and Drug Administration (whatever it was back then) a Mr Wiley, who enacted a 1908 Pure Food Law, who drove the patent medicine people out of the country (they all moved to Brockville Ontario).

He was a Pure Food Zealot:  he hated anything 'extra' put in food, not only booze, but also all of the new additives they were coming up with. This letter to the Editor  in Food and Cookery is promoting borax as a meat preservative and says Salt and Sugar, the traditional preservatives, can be very bad for you.

Food and Cookery 1910.. I have another issue from 1911 where I found the preface to Threshold Girl: Give us a healthy home full of intellectual activity where the homely virtues prevail. Where complete honesty and frankness have free expression. Where the lungs expand with pure air, and the brain quivers with wholesome aspiration and sincere inquiry. Where souls bask in contentment and the sunshine of purity and peace.             

 I think this magazine is a rarity, even today. Last month I tried to find a copy the web and even didn't have it. I couldn`t find mention of the magazine anywhere. You see, I wanted to find some Christmas recipes because my two issues are from summer 1910 and summer 1911.

The magazine was published by Food and Cookery  in South Bend Indiana.

Cafe Frappe (I wonder if this recipe might take off today. Maybe I can get rich reviving  the idea!

Make a pint and a half of strong coffee of double the usual strength. Scald one pint of thin cream. Dissolve it it one cupful and a third of granulated sugar and then set aside until cool. Mix it with the coffee, add one teaspoonful of French Vanilla and pour freezer. Freeze slowly until of a mushy consistency. Serve in glasses with a spoonful of whipped cream.