Cookbook with a history

When we came back from a recent weekend away, I came home to find a spiral-bound book on my kitchen table. The post-it was from my parents, apparently they came across this yellowed cookbook at a local Goodwill and left it at my house while dog-sitting. My mom is notorious for collecting cookbooks (or, more accurately, copying recipes from cookbooks), so a new cookbook find wasn't a surprise. The title, "Uncommon Dining" made me wonder what sorts of recipes to book held. Then, I took a closer look:

The title was a play in the Dining Commons of Taylor University! The cookbook was compile in 1988, from what I gather, with recipes submitted by staff, community members or alumni. Flipping through the names of the submitters, I saw a few familiar last names- surely "Taylor families" with generations of alumni. The forward to the cookbook holds a familiar face, too.

The recipes were dated- there were some Jello salads listed, and almost everything, it seemed, included a cream soup or Velveeta. I think at my annual college dorm reunion, we should start cooking some of these up. What do you think, Ashley?

My favorite part of the book, however, is the reprint of parts of the 1914 Taylor cookbook. These recipes were much more dated, and included economy and household tips along with the bizarre recipes. Some were less weird, of course, but the strangest is as follows:
Nut sandwiches.
One cup finely chopped nuts, two tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon mixed mustard, one saltspoon salt, one dash cayenne, juice of one lemon. Mix all together thoroughly and spread on thin slices of Boston brown bread.

All I can think of is a peanut butter-mustard-cayenne sandwich. Yuck! Also, anyone know what a saltspoon is? Another sandwich suggests cream cheese, nuts, and orange marmalade- that actually sounds good! If you want some 1914 diet tips, it's got that, too: "Tips for a Laxative Diet" and "Foods for Health, Strength, and Beauty". If you miss college food, it also includes recipes from the Dining Commons in 1914.

So, what do you think? Should I feed some of the 1914 and 1988 Taylor recipes to my college friends? Do you have any old cookbooks you treasure?


ashley @ twentysixcats said...

What a wonderful find!!! You should definitely bring it next year! :-)

Joanna said...

Want me to assign out recipes for a potluck? I've got some doozies!


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