Monday, March 17, 2014

Selections from 1929's "Pennsylvania State Grange Cook Book"

This book, sadly, is in tatters and is off to the recycling bin.

It's the seventh edition of the Pennsylvania State Grange Cook Book, compiled by members of the Pennsylvania State Grange Home Economics Committee and published in December 1929. It was printed and bound by The Evangelical Press of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Fortunately, copies of various editions can still be found. As of this writing, that includes the fourth edition and a 1950 edition with a plastic-comb binding. Newer editions and a reprint of the 1950 edition can be purchased through the Pennsylvania State Grange website.1

One of the neat things about the 1929 edition is that, in some cases, it provides the name and hometown or home county for some of the recipe providers. Indeed, the foreword states:
"These recipes have been contributed by Grange women from all over Pennsylvania. We do not claim for them originality; though as you look through the book you will see that some are original and it is with satisfaction we present these; but we do claim for all that they have been tested and tried and found successful by busy house wives."
Here are some of the recipes — all of them short and to the point...

Sweet Milk Pancakes
One tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons shortening, 1 egg (beat white separate), 1 cup of milk, ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder (heaped). Beat thoroughly.
Mrs. A.L. Pence, Chestnut Ridge Grange, No. 7133.

Graham Bread
Three-quarters cup molasses filled on up with milk, 1 cup sweet milk, ½ cup wheat flour, 1½ cups Graham flour, 1 egg, 1 level teaspoon soda, 1 tablespoon butter, salt.
Bertha June, Mehoopany, Pa.

Chicken Corn Soup
Take a good fat chicken; put it on to boil with salt to taste. Let boil slowly until soft, remove chicken, and strain broth. To one chicken take two quarts of corn, and about two hard-boiled eggs, put in broth and add the meat of the chicken cut fine. (If you like the taste, add a little saffron, which also gives the soup a very nice golden appearance.) Cook together until well-blended, and if too thin, add what they call in Lancaster County "Rivels," which are simply egg mixed with enough flour to crumble between the fingers; or a few noodles.
Elizabeth Givler, Ephrata Grange No. 1815.

Green Corn Fritters
Cut 2 cups corn from the cob. Mix with it 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of sweet milk, soda the size of a pea, 1 tablespoon melted butter, add flour enough to make it a batter. Fry on a hot griddle, or by adding a little more flour, they can be fried in spoonfuls in hot lard.
Mrs. M.J. Weiss, Mt. Nebo Grange

Grandmother's Indian Pudding
One quart of milk in dish to scald, wet 1 cup corn meal in cold milk and stir in the scalded milk, salt a little. When cooked take off stove and pour in pudding basin. Add 1 cup sugar, 4 eggs, butter size of an egg, 1 teaspoon soda, dissolved. Spice to taste and bake thoroughly. Serve with hard sauce made by stirring butter, sugar and flavoring together.
Mrs. George Gault, Dicksonburg Grange, No. 556.

Dark Cake for the Poor
One cup sugar, butter, size of an egg, 1 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon soda in milk, ½ cup cocoa in water enough to smooth, 1½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Watson Grange, No. 1068.

Blarney Stones
Bake a sponge cake. Cut in pieces any size. Cover with thin powdered sugar icing and while moist roll in ground peanuts. Serve in an hour or so after they dry.

Dingle Babbles
Two cups sugar, 1 cup butter or lard, salt if lard is used, 3 eggs well-beaten, 1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon soda. Mix soft roll, spread with cinnamon, roll up and cut off ½ inch in thickness. Dip in sugar and bake.
Mrs. Lucy Fassett.

Canned Beef
Cut beef in small chunks and pack in a can till half full then add a heaping teaspoon of salt. Fill can to the rim, add another teaspoon of salt. Fill from rim up with suet. Seal not very tight with cover and old rubber. Boil till done then remove old rubber, put on new one and seal tight.
Mrs. Clara Dewey, Union City, No. 89.


A newspaper clipping was glued to one of the blank pages and it detailed the following recipe:

Real Dutch Lunch
  • 2 cups boiled potatoes
  • 2 cups stale bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 onions fried brown in butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Thoroly [sic] mix the above ingredients. Cut plain pie dough into squares. Fill with the mixture, lap over and seal the edges. Drop into boiling salted water and cook twelve minutes. Then brown in butter in a hot frying pan. Pour the cooking water over them and serve at once. — Mrs. C.B., Pa.

(I kind of want to try that last one. I'm a little unhappy at the idea of pouring the cooking water over it, but I'd give it a whirl once.)

1. The Pennsylvania State Grange describes itself on its website as follows: "The Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) is a fraternal family organization dedicated to the betterment of the American way of life through community service, education, legislation and fellowship. The Grange includes members of all ages and specifically has programs for Juniors (ages 5-14), Youth (ages 14-23) and Young Adults (ages 23-35). The Grange represents approximately 9,000 Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth. It is the oldest agricultural and rural advocacy organization of its kind in the United States. The National Grange representing about 200,000 members, began in 1867 and the PA State Grange was chartered in 1873." Its motto is: "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."

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