Kentucky Home Cooking

We featured several pages from the Kentucky Receipt Book a while back, in a post about the variety of lettuce sandwich recipes. However, this is a LOT more to this wonderful publication from 1903 and it’s high-time the cookbook had its moment in the spotlight…

One of the most noticeable things about this cookbook is the lack of a table of contents. The index at the back gives pages numbers for recipes by category (see image above), but if you’re looking for something specific, it takes a little digging. But, if you’re willing to dig, this book is full of surprises. A few examples:

  • the Kentucky Receipt Book is believed to contain one of the earliest printed recipes for banana pudding–however, if you look at the images above, you’ll notice the vital absence of vanilla wafers (although Nabisco was producing a cookie similar to the modern wafer by 1903).
  • there is an entire section devoted to oysters: fried, baked, skewered, curried, griddled, broiled, creamed, deviled, roasted, fricasseed, pickled, raw, in pastry, on toast, in an omelette, as a croquette, in a sauce…the book even contains directions for feeding oysters (keep them in your cellar!).
  • a whole host of unique animals and particular parts appear, including wild grouse, squirrel, terrapin, hog and calf head (for scrapple and mock turtle, respectively), backbone, and sweetbreads.
  • there is a section on beverages with directions for making fruit wines, cordials, beer, vinegar,  punches, and cocktails (gin fizzes, manhattans, and of course, the mint julep!). Several of the tea recipes also include rum.
  • directions on how to pickle everything from cucumbers and peppers to figs, melons, and walnuts
  • household hints and remedies like treating freckles with horseradish, cleaning zinc with kerosene, and curing headaches with lemon slices.

The Kentucky Receipt Book  is available here at Special Collections if you’re in the area and looking for a gelatin salad or pigeon dish for your next party. You can also view it through the Internet Archive, since it is out of copyright.

And remember, you only need to feed those oysters every other day, so take today off and bake a lemon pie, instead. This cookbook has seven variations…

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Lettuce Sandwich–3 Ways?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Mary Harris Frazer’s 1903 Kentucky Receipt Book contains not one, but THREE different recipes for lettuce sandwiches. The basic idea seems simple enough that one might not even need a single set of written directions, but this is clearly not the case. So, in case you’re entertaining this weekend—tailgaters, this probably won’t make you the hit of the party, but feel free to try—check out the recipes below…and enjoy? 

Lettuce Sandwich (aka “The Stack”)

Select tender crisp lettuce, wash and wipe dry. When ready to serve, have bread cut in thin slices, butter and place on lettuce leaf, spread lightly with Mayonnaise and add another slice of bread, press together and continue to add bread until a sufficient quantity has been prepared.

Lettuce Sandwich (aka “The BLT minus the T”)

Cut thin slices of bread, and spread with butter. Broil slices of breakfast bacon until crisp. Place 1 leaf of lettuce on bread, cover with a cooked mustard dressing, then add 1 slice of breakfast bacon and add another slice of bread, and press closely together. 

Lettuce Sandwich (aka “The Basic”)

Cut bread with round cutter, place on crisp lettuce and cover with mayonnaise dressing.

And if none of these appeal to you, how do YOU make a lettuce sandwich?