Category Archives: cookbooks

Recipes from vintage American cookbooks

Cornbread with Colonial Roots

There must be as many recipes for cornbread as there are cooks who have made it. The common ingredient is corn meal, but the shortening, the sweetener, and the type of corn meal itself varies from region to region, and … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sunny Dessert for Dreary Days

By this time of the year, I need something sunny-looking on my table because there’s no escaping the snow and day after day of below-freezing temperatures. Enter apricot pudding, a recipe I adapted from The New Thought in Cooking by … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gingerbread Fit for a President

Inaugural ceremonies of the past week inspired me to read more about the inauguration of George Washington, America’s first President, in 1789. It took place at Federal Hall in New York City, as the U.S. Capitol and the White House … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Cake without Candied Fruit

Forget the glazed green cherries and other icky candied fruit. This cake relies on raisins and pecans – nothing artificial in either one. And you’ll likely have these ingredients, plus brown sugar, flour, and spices, in your pantry. You don’t … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recreating a Tearoom Treat

Through the mid to late 20th century, department store tearooms gave shoppers a place to relax and regroup. Originally a clever marketing ploy to keep customers in the store, the tearooms became a beloved part of the community. Many were … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history, History, memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cucumber Soup: A Summer Soother

As our garden yields a profusion of cucumbers, slices in salads quickly become monotonous. I’ve tried cutting spears for vegetable dips, tossing cubes into smoothies, and making batches of blender gazpacho. Too bad I don’t like pickles! Americans have grown … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Graduation Fare: Harvard Squares

How do you celebrate a Harvard graduation when coronavirus cancels the traditional ceremony? Turn on the livestream and bake a batch of Harvard Squares. I found this recipe, named for the crimson and white colors of the school, in The … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maple Sugar Season in March

Warm days and cold nights keep the sap in sugar maple trees flowing. In New England, Native Americans  taught settlers how to slash tree trunks and extract the sap to use as a sweetener. These buckets from a local farm … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vodka with Old-World Elegance

In between a one-two-three punch of snowstorms, I pulled out The Russian Tea Room: A Tasting (Clarkson Potter, 1993), a book of recipes and reminiscences from then-owner, Faith Stewart-Gordon. I never went to the Manhattan restaurant but its tea (and … Continue reading

Posted in cocktails, cookbooks, Food, history, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Sweet Ending

For a dessert to end 2018, I found a recipe with just eight ingredients, all of them pantry staples: butter, two kinds of sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, chocolate, and nuts. The shortbread base with melted chocolate and nuts on top … Continue reading

Posted in cookbooks, Food, memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments