Ring Out 2014–Culinary Arts Institute Style!

2015 is around the corner, which means it’s time for me to dig out the holiday cookbooks. I thought about a post full of candy, but it’s important to remember this time of year isn’t ALL about sweets. That being said, our feature item this week still has its fair share of holiday dessert classics. Let’s take a look at The Holiday Cookbook from the Culinary Arts Institute. It was issued and re-issued repeatedly, but ours is from 1957.

This title actually covers nine different holidays, but I don’t want to spoil some of others just yet. This title could reappear in 2015. :) We’re focused on Christmas, full of classics like roast goose and fruitcake, and New Year’s, with its savory canapes, rich main dishes, and holiday-ingredient-inspired pies. There’s a mix here of the expected for Christmas: a “light” fruitcake that looks anything but light (plus, you can make them in a range of sizes!); roast goose; candied yams; and candies and hard sauces. But you’ll also find 5 dishes with persimmons in the 6 pages of Christmas recipes and a creamy, yet chunky looking “Creamed Oysters with Turkey.”

The New Year’s recipes include a lot of seafood canapes (“Crab Nippies,” herring in sour cream, and shrimp cocktail), as well as heavy meat dishes like Yorkshire Pudding and rib roast. There’s stuffed or curried birds (“Curried Chicken with Broiled Bananas?”), an Eggnogg Pie, and three different eggnogg recipes, for those of you who can never get enough of the ‘nog. Apparently, one should ring in the new year with a rich diet!

No matter what holiday you’re celebrating this time of year, who you’re with, and on what you’re dining, Special Collections wishes you the best! We’re looking forward to our holidays full of goodies (we’ve all been busy making our usual–and not so usual–treats for each other around here) and we hope you are, too!

Happy Holidays and we’ll meet you back here in 2015!

The U. S. Bureau of Internal Revenue…Pre-Prohibition

Last Saturday (December 5) was Repeal Day. Eighty-one years ago, on December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States. You might think this means we’re going to talk about cocktails this week. Or Prohibition. But instead, we’re going to go a bit farther back. Before there was a ban on alcohol, it was still closely watched and legislated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. And we’ve got the forms to prove it!

Clearly, the Bureau was interested in distilling activities in the early part of the 20th century. Perhaps not as much as they would be, once Prohibition went into effect, but as an archivist, I’m always fascinated by how they documented their processes and actions.

You can read more about the first three forms above online here. They are part of Ms2008-095, the United States Bureau of Internal Revenue Distillery Forms. The last item hasn’t been processed yet, but you can still see it, if you decide to visit us!

A Bovine Round-Up

Our last post looked at turkeys, since it was just before Thanksgiving. (Hope you all had a lovely holiday, by the way!) This week, continuing with the agriculture theme, I thought we’d look at some books about bovines and milk products. We have a couple of particularly unique new items on the subject that just arrived, but they aren’t back from cataloging just yet–and both deserves a post all their own–so stay tuned. In the meantime…

Some books focus a little less on the cows as cows and more about how to feed, care for, and profit from the animals. The Book of Ensilage: Or, The New Dispensation for Farmers : Experience with “Ensilage” at “Winning Farm”. How to Produce Milk for One Cent Per Quart ; Butter for 10 Cents Per Pound ; Beef for Four Cents Per Pound ; Mutton for Nothing If Wool Is Thirty Cents Per Pound, from 1881, is just that!

The Book of Ensilage; or, The New Dispensation for Farmers, 1881

The Book of Ensilage; or, The New Dispensation for Farmers, 1881

This image includes directions for how to layout a dairy barn that would contain cows, as well as feed storage.

Some books are detailed (text-heavy) accounts of various breeds, their characteristics and classifications, milk production, etc. Guenon’s work, Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, went through several editions (including this 1883 edition), which were translated into English along the way.

Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, 1883Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, 1883

One of my favorites is Jacob Biggle’s Biggle Cow Book; Old Time and Modern Cow-Lore Rectified, Concentrated and Recorded for the Benefit of Man from 1913. This book combines technical and practical advice, along with color and black and white images. It includes chapters on everything from feeding cows, creamery design, and cow products (and by-products).

Not all our books on cows are strictly agricultural education, either! Some of them are just for kids! This storybook for children, Mr. Meyer’s Cow, talks about cows and milk production. It is part of the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Collection.

As you can see, when it comes to bovines, we’re pretty diverse, from professional to amateur, and from farmer to children. As always, this just scratches the surface. If you’re looking for more historical approaches to cows, or simply curious to find some bovine trivia, be sure to come by. We’ll help you milk the collection for all its worth!

All about the Turkeys!

Thanksgiving week is here! Special Collections is open through noon on Wednesday, but we’re all thinking ahead. In the meantime, it seems like a fun idea to talk turkey. (Or, at least look at them!) Agriculture plays a BIG part in culinary history and Virginia Tech history. So, it can’t be all that surprising we have material relating to all manner of poultry. Whether you’re looking to raise, exhibit, judge, cook, or eat, we probably have a publication for you. This week, we’re focusing on the turkey. And you might be amazed at the variety of breeds and things you might need to know about them.

The slideshow below includes images from two books: Turkeys and how to grow them. A treatise on the natural history and origin of the name of turkeys; the various breeds, and best methods to insure success in the business of turkey growing. With essays from practical turkey growers in different parts of the United States and Canada. Ed. by Herbert Myrick from 1897 and Turkeys, all varieties; their care and management, mating, rearing, exhibiting and judging turkeys; explanation of score-card judging, with complete instructions. A collection of the experiences of best known successful turkey breeders, exhibitors and judges from 1909. (And yes, that IS a census of the number of turkeys in each state in 1890 that you’ll see!)

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Happy Thanksgiving (and eat well)!

(We’ll be back to posting in December!)

Upcoming Event on December 5th!

Hello all! While I work on a post for next week (this week really got away from me, but it involved fun things like teaching a one-time instruction session/show-and-tell ALL about the culinary collection!), I did want to promote an upcoming event.

If you’re in the SW Virginia area, you’ll want to know about this! On December 5, 2014, the Peacock Harper Culinary Friends will be hosting a lunch and program: “British Holiday Brunch.” This event will be at the Kyle House in Fincastle, and includes a tour, brunch, and talk. This should be a wonderful event!

Please note: You do need to register in advance, by December 1, 2014! (The registration form is below the flyer.)

British Holiday flyer


Below are pdf versions of the flyer and registration form for downloading and printing:

British Holiday flyer

British Holiday registration form

Cocoa Syrups, Powders, Nibs, and Bars!

There’s something in the air in Blacksburg. Literally. If you were outside last night or this morning, you may have noticed some white snowflakes drifting down. Not enough to stick, but enough to remind us that November is half over. The cold that has arrived has driven me into the arms of my favorite fall and winter comfort: tea. (Today, it’s a Ceylon black called “Hazelnut Cookie.”) However, I doubt I’m the only one equally tempted by hot cocoa this time of year. You’ll find quite a stash of both beverages in my office. These days, many of us are used to those neat little packages that just need a hot liquid, but there was (and can still be!) quite an art to making good cocoa.

Best Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes dates from about 1931. It was produced by Walter Baker & Company, Inc. (hence the use of Baker produces in all the recipes, of course). There were LOTS of these pamphlets, year after year. In fact, back in 2012, we did a post about a 1928 one, which is currently the only other one in our collection.  (We have recently acquired a 1920s Baker’s Chocolate label, but it’s not quite processed yet!) The image on the front cover was the iconic logo for the company. As you can see from the chocolate centerfold, it appear on many of their products.

Clearly, cocoa is more than just a powder in a package. And chocolate drinks aren’t just for winter. However, it may hit the spot on a chilly evening. Many of the recipes in the pamphlet call for a dash of salt to help bring out the flavor. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you might try a hint of cinnamon, or even a dash of chili pepper.

Whatever you do, stay warm out there!

Talkin’ About Sandwiches

This week, we’re back to a favorite topic: sandwiches. (Nothing frosted this time, but I will caution that I found another recipe for one today’s feature and there will be a Frosted Sandwich, Part 4 post one of these days!) Sandwiches for Every Occasion by Demetria Taylor (also title TownTalk Sandwich Book) pretty much tells you what is it. However, you might be surprised just how many occasions DO need a sandwich…

This publication is corporate sponsored (Town Talk Bread, Worcester Baking Company, Massachusetts). But, unlike some similar items, it’s far less obvious. This is a booklet that’s all about the recipes. And the sandwiches. (Sooooo many fillings!) We haven’t digitized the entire item, but you’ll find recipes for themed parties, social events, everyday situations, picnics, holidays, and more. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can already start planning to use those Thanksgiving leftovers!

Although there isn’t anything we haven’t really seen before when it comes to sandwich fillings (or at least come close to), there are a few that might give you pause: Bacon and peanut butter? Tuna with pickled beets? Deviled ham and peanut butter? Flaked salmon with walnuts and green peppers? Peanut butter, orange rind, parsley, orange juice, and mayonnaise? (Seriously, sandwich cookbooks, leave the peanut butter alone–it’s fine as it is!)

At any rate, this great little publication is an important reminder: sandwiches are everywhere and you don’t need an excuse to enjoy them. Just grab your favorite bread and fillings and dive in. Stick with an old stand-by, or get creative–you might surprise yourself!

Have a favorite sandwich? Let us know in the comments below!


The Little Housekeepers

This week, we’re delving back into the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Collection. The Little Housekeepers and Other Stores, Illustrated, was published in 1886. We purchased it with funds from the Hertzler Endowment in May of this year. And, while it may not seem like it on the surface, this book is definitely at home on our shelves!

We’ve looked at “how-to” cookbooks for children (most often girls) before. This book feels more like a version of a household management guide for little girls, a sort of “junior” version of something like The American Woman’s Home: Or, Principles of Domestic Science… from the 1860s. It uses stories and poems to teach young girls about a variety of domestic activities: cooking, laundry, food shopping, sewing, and raising children. The book also  features a number of color illustrations, as well as many smaller black and white ones, all of which make the tasks in them look somewhat glamorous and exciting.

The idea that books for children can help groom them for expected roles certainly wasn’t new in the 1880s. Etiquette books for people of all ages had been around much longer. And we can still find them today. However, this publication takes a clever path and combines education with amusement, incorporating activities young girls would witness everyday and adding elements of childhood (games, dolls, and other toys). We’ve seen this in other books in the Hertzler Collection, too, and it’s a tactic that would likely worked very well! The Little Housekeepers and Other Stories, in any case, is a great example of the space where children’s literature, cooking, and childhood collide, which is one of many reasons it matters to us.

The Little Housekeeper and Other Stories is in fragile shape, but you’re still welcome to come by and see it. After all, you’ll only find about 10 copies of the 1886 edition in academic/public libraries and even fewer of the c.1900 edition. (Lucky for you, TWO of those libraries are in Virginia!)


Upcoming Event!

Hello all! If you’re in the Roanoke area, you’ll probably want to know about an upcoming event! On November 14, 2014, the Peacock Harper Culinary Friends will be hosting a lunch and program: “The Culinary Influence of a Revolutionary Virginina: Mary Randolph and her book, The Virginia Housewife.” It will be held at the Roanoke Country Club from 11:30-1:30. Please note that you need to register for this event in advance (registration form is below the flyer). We’ve talked a lot about Mrs. Randolph’s book on the blog because it’s such a great piece of culinary history for Virginia. This should be a wonderful event!

Please note: You do need to register in advance, by November 9, 2014!

Below are pdf versions of the flyer and registration form for downloading and printing:

Peacock Harper November 14, 2014 Event Flyer

Peacock Harper November 14, 2014 Event Registration

Jack Frost in the Kitchen

With the holidays just around the corner, fall and winter baking season is here! (It’s baking season almost year round if you’re me, but this time of year can be especially popular.) And, in the past, we’ve talked a fair bit about flour and baking powder on the blog, but we haven’t said much about another staple: sugar!

This 1930-ish pamphlet belongs to the large family of advertising publications and icons in our collection. Eighteen Unusual Recipes has a center image, so each page has a half moon cut out, allowing Jack Frost and a few of his products to shine through. He’s framed by recipes that may not all seem that unusual. We have things like cakes and dessert loaves, and “Sea Wave Candy” (which may sound a bit strange, but isn’t really, when you see the ingredients). For the time, we might consider “Spanish Marmalade” and “Chutney Sauce” to be a bit out there. Perhaps more importantly, though, is convincing people to buy the right product. And, with as diverse a set of sugar products as the company made, they were certainly targeting a wide market. (I particularly like the little individually wrapped sugar tablets in the center of the back page.)

The National Sugar Refining Company of New Jersey isn’t called that anymore. It has long since become part of a larger company. But you might still see Jack Frost on a package or two, depending on where you live, continuing to bring you granulated sugar for all your goodies!

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