I’ve been perusing “Clayton’s Quaker Cookbook” tonight. It was published in 1883 in San Francisco and really captures a time and place. That’s one of the things I adore about cookbooks – the snapshot they give us.
I do not own a copy of this, but found it online. You, too, can have a copy – for free! You can download your own pdf.
You can find tons of other cookbooks online, too. There’s a whole world of cookbooks I wasn’t aware of until tonight. I’m not sure I needed more to look at.
Cookbooks vary tremendously in the amount of knowledge they assume you have. Most church cookbooks are written with cooks in mind so they don’t give a lot of detailed instructions. You might find, “bake at 350 degrees until done.”
Well, at this time, instructions were even more basic. In fact, there really weren’t instructions – there were ingredients. I’ve been looking for a good sponge cake recipe – maybe this is it – 5 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups flour, 1/2 teacup cold water; mix well and bake quickly. How much easier could it be?