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Thursday, September 27, 2007

THE MALLEABLE COOKBOOK

This is one of the pages in a cookbook found in my grandma's old suitcase. Grandma was born in 1891 and from the pictures I would think the little book was published around 1910 -1920. It's actually a book advertising the Malleable range, which was considered a state of the art cookstove. I love looking at these old sketches because it brings back some memories of my own wood cookstove. Boy did it ever bake some fine bread and biscuits!

This picture made me smile when I saw the scribbles of one of grandma's children. Mine used to do the same thing. See the pressure boiler to the left. Pretty fancy, huh? Mine didn't have that but it did have a hot water heater that looked similar. And notice the warming oven at the top. My cookstove had a warming oven too and it sure was handy to keep cooked foods warm while everything else was getting cooked, or to keep husband's dinner warm if he was late coming home.
I did not smile at this picture. See all the sad irons lined up on the side, keeping hot so the lady of the house could iron the family's laundry. Remember they didn't have wash & wear back then unless you wanted to wear very wrinkled clothes. Most clothing was made from cotton, linen or wool.

About the 'sad iron' When I was a child I asked mom why they called it that. She explained that the irons were very heavy and very hot making the women's arms ache and causing lots of burns. She said when they had to iron it made them sad and thats why they were called that.

I don't know if that is an accurate explanation but it works for me.

Here's a few recipes from this old book:

Maryland Chicken

Dress, clean and cut chicken in pieces suitable for serving. Season with salt and pepper and dip in crumbs, egg and crumbs, place in a well greased dripping pan, and bake in a hot oven thirty minutes, basting with one-third cup melted butter. Arrange on platter and pour around it white sauce, over which sprinkle chopped parsley. Old chicken should be parboiled before breading and baking.

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Strawberry Preserves

Wash and hull the berries, cover with an equal weight of sugar, and let stand until the juice may be seen through the top layer of berries. Put into a preserving kettle and bring to the boiling point, and let simmer from ten to twenty minutes. Pour into flat pans or dishes, not more than three inches thick, cover with glass, and let stand in the sun. If cooked twenty minutes it will require about two days to thicken up; if cooked a shorter time, more time in the sun will be required. Stir occassionally while thickening.

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May the good Lord bless you all with a very happy week-end, and the next time you take your laundry from the dryer and hang it in your closet, give thanks to the Almighty that laundry day doesn't have to be 'sad' anymore and your local supermarket has fifty-eleven different brands of Strawberry preserves!


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