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I'll qualify this by saying I have over 20 of them so I speak from (some) experience.
None are more recent than the mid-70's.
Are they everywhere or is this simply a Midwest phenomena?
For those of you who aren't familiar: a church cook book is a compilation of recipes from the ladies of whatever church, printed, spiral bound and sold to everyone within reach to raise money for good works…and more church cook books.
Regardless of what church they come from: Lutheran (any synod), Methodist, Catholic, Church of Christ; they all have a few things in common:
Each recipe is attributed to one of the ladies (sorry, guys, I have never seen a recipe in a church cook contributed by a man…just isn't done).
And said lady, unless (and even then only rarely) she is a widow, she is identified by her husband.
Mrs. Bob Dylan
Mrs. Jerry Garcia
Mrs. Timothy Leary
Never, ever, ever: Janis Joplin.
You are wondering: what if she's single?
I haven't a clue…either single women didn't exist; weren't allowed in church; or weren't allowed to cook.
The other thing that stands out is the type of recipe contributed. The breakdown is usually like this:
Norwegian foods: 10 pages
Fatigmand, Jule-Kage, Romme Grot, Rosettes, Sandbakkels, etc.
Miscellaneous (punch, dips, household advice): 10 pages
7-Up Ice Cream Punch, Bologna Salad, Preserved Children, Keeping your man happy, etc.
Canning (bottling), preserving, jams and jellies: 20 pages
Watermelon pickles, Bread and Butter Pickles, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, etc.
Salads and salad dressings: 15 pages
Pineapple Jello salad, Canned Vegetable Salad, Wilted Lettuce Salad, Tomorrow Salad, etc
Main Course: 20 pages
Creamed Salmon and Peas, Tator Tot Hot Dish, Grandma's Meat Loaf, Best Fried Chicken, etc
Now, you should note that the above is less than half of the cook book – any cook book. Here is the rest. Does this tell you anything?!?
Breads and Rolls: 25 pages
No actual yeast bread because everyone knows how to make that… In this section we have coffee cakes, sweet rolls, muffins, quick breads and tea cakes.
Desserts: 25 pages
Peach Upside Down Cake, Rhubarb Dream, Round Robin, Plum Pudding, Apple Rumm Dumm, etc
Cakes and Frostings: 25 pages
Bible Cake, Scripture Cake, Chocolate Salad Dressing Cake, Crazy Cake, Never Fail Frosting, etc
Pies: 20 pages
Always Perfect Pie Crust, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Sour Cream Raisin Pie, Strawberry Pie, etc.
Bars and Cookies: 40 pages
Stain Glass Bars, Wedding Bars, Brown Sugar Cookies, Molasses Overnight Cookies, etc.
If any of you are looking for that lost recipe of Steamed Suet Pudding or Clouds at Sunrise let me know.
Naturally, my church cook books yielded the recipes for my favorite Christmas treats.
After my fabulous coup of cranberries the other day I was able, for the first time in 11 years, to make Cranberry bread. It takes so little to excite me these days….
Cranberry Bread (Tea Cake)
Mrs. Glenn Schmidt, Halfway Creek Lutheran Church
1 cup white sugar
1 tbs shortening (I use butter), rounded
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cranberries, cut in half
1 cup nuts, chopped (I use walnuts)
Cream sugar, shortening and egg together. Stir in juice. Add flour, soda, baking powder, stir well. Add vanilla, cranberries and nuts, stir. Bake 350F in 9 X 5 loaf pan for 60 minutes. (I line the bottom with parchment, then butter and flour the pan).
Pumpkin Bread (Tea Cake)
Mrs. William Hollis, Halfway Creek Lutheran Church
I've modified the recipe, it was written in paragraph rather than list form.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup oil (I use corn oil)
1/4 cup water (I don't use if using fresh pumpkin)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg (my addition)
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger (my addition)
1 2/3 cups flour
Cream sugar and eggs. Add pumpkin, oil, (water) and blend. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Bake 350F in 9 X 5 loaf pan for 60 minutes. (I line the bottom with parchment, then butter and flour the pan).
This is my entry for Festive Food Fair hosted by the lovely Anna, of Morsels and Musings. Visit her blog after December 10 for the Food Fair!
Happy Christmas Baking!!!!