Sunday Post: Recipe

Some years back when doing the round of local garage sales I came across a book.

Isn’t that the most beautiful book ??

It has everything. Menus planning company dinners to lunch box menus. How to lay your table including where everything goes on the carving cloth. Until I got this book I had never heard of a carving cloth. There are hints on how to clear the table, washing dishes, caring for silver, making soap, removing stains, infant feeding, where to find what vitamins in foods, economical buying and utilization of food, and what you need to stock your kitchen.

I adore this book…in a completely creepy, over-the-top, hero worshipping kind of way. My revised and enlarged edition was printed in 1954. The book was originally compiled by Mrs Simon Kander (her name was actually Lizzie Black Kander but she published the book under her husband’s name).

Born in 1858 Lizzie was involved with the Progressive reform movements that sought to Americanize immigrants. She was head of the Milwaukee Jewish Mission, and Lizzie believed that by educating women in the domestic sector these women would keep their families out of poverty and make a success of their lives in America.

While Lizzie was in charge, the Jewish Mission was merged with the Sisterhood of Personal Service and the very first settlement house in Milwaukee was born. Lizzie ran cooking classes that were highly popular, and the Settlement was the only public kosher kitchen that existed at the time outside of New York City.

Lizzie decided it was time to put out a recipe book. With funding from local business, in 1901 the first edition of The Settlement Cookbook (174 glorious pages) was published and within one year a thousand copies of the book had been sold. The entire edition.

It has since been revised, enlarged, improved, and a copy found its way to my home and my heart…and much of its product in to my kiddywinkles tummies.

You can still get this treasure at various places online.

Now, about its recipes…wonderful, wonderful recipes.

The waffles recipe in this book has become a family favourite. After the book moved in, Sunday mornings always smelled of flour and eggs, bacon, and maple syrup.

When the kiddywinkles come home these days, the waffles from this book are ALWAYS on the menu.

But…that is not the recipe I am intending to share with you…not yet at least.

One of the best things about living in a small rural town is its people.

They share. One has too many avocados, so she hands them around, another too many beans.

Oh how I love all this swapping.

Recently I was given a large bucket of apricots.

These beauties were kept for snacking.

These darlings were headed for another destination.

Page 571 of Lizzie’s book has this recipe. APRICOT JAM (FRESH)

So armed with page 571, a bucket of apricots and an equal amount of sugar I set about making JAM.

The waffles never fail and other recipes have been successes so how could I go wrong right !!

WRONG

I washed and pitted and sliced the apricots. I added an equal weight of sugar and left the mix overnight – as per Lizzie’s instructions – to stand.

The following morning I dragged out these guys (and quite a few more to boot), also given to me by friends.

I boiled them.

Then (on a tip from a friend) I popped them in to the oven at 100% celsius to dry the jarsΒ hygienically.

And I turned on the stove to start gently cooking my apricots for 20 to 25 minutes.

It would appear that Lizzie is NOT infallible.

I tried reboiling it.

I tried adding pectin.

I tried earnest begging sessions with the pot.

It looked…well…not good !!

Two days later – the jam (my first attempt at apricot jam) was still not set. I was getting ready to portion it out and freeze it for sauce when I came across this tip while searching frantically for help on the web.

Apricot jam should only be made in small quantities of never more than 4 – 6 cups at a time or it will NOT set.

So back to the stove I went.

One thing – if you know me at all – you know I hate giving up.

I divided the pot into three portions.

And I ended up with eleven of these babies.

SUCCESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ten of them have been shared around the town…

***

For more Sunday Posts head over to Jake’s: Recipe Post

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

49 thoughts on “Sunday Post: Recipe”

  1. Fantastic post. I’m stoked you got there in the end but I’m jealous, after reading that I can’t get the thought of homemade apricot jam on top of fresh home baked bread out of my head, yum.

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  2. Jo…what an amazing post! Of course I love cookbooks. πŸ™‚ But the info you shared would be interesting for anyone..I will try to get a copy of the Settlement Cookbook…not that I need any more. πŸ™‚
    I loved the recipe for Apricot Jam…your photos are fantastic! I’ll be following your blog…just love it!

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  3. Very cool find, The Settlement Cookbook. Thanks for sharing the story – I love those old books that talk about how to the table and such. Great find. And those apricots, the close-up, not only is it a superb photograph, it’s mouthwatering.

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  4. VERY cool, Jo. I bet the apricot jam was yummy! I have several old cookbooks, and some of them have things like what you mentioned, with the setting the table stuff, and cooking substitutions, measurements and such. It seems like way back when, cooking was so much more of a big deal than it is today. I guess partly because of how much gender roles have changed, but it’s neat to look back and see the traditions. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your grand jam adventure!

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  5. You outdid yourself for Jake’s challenge, Joe. What a treat to provide the recipe and a history of the original cook. I’m glad your apricots turned out well. It would have been a bummer to lose them after having put in so much work for the jam. Looks like you are in for a treat now though. Good deal. Great blog share. πŸ™‚

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  6. Absolutely stunning post and photo’s! I love the cookbook! It’s really beautiful and your apricot jam looks divine! πŸ™‚

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  7. Sounds like a proper cook book with real decent food prepared proper!
    You are generous with your lush jam, I would have held onto every last jar cos I’m mean like that πŸ˜‰

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        1. Oh my you go girl.
          Cecelia…you will love it.
          πŸ™‚
          And FINALLY you will be able to do what any decent woman should do…lay your table correctly for ANY occassion.
          Hehehehehehe
          πŸ˜‰

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  8. I regard the area of a stove as being potentially injurious, so I avoid it …
    This reminds me of a similar old South African book called ‘Hilda’s Where Is It’.
    Apricots are a bit solitary by nature?

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  9. You are more persistent then me. I would have read the recipe and said, “That sounds hard.” And then gone to the store and purchased a jar of jam. Good for you for not quitting!

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  10. “Where everything goes on the carving cloth” LOL That quickly gets the attention of the Virgoan part of me, who also didn’t know there was a carving cloth but now wants an organised one. He he
    Good work with the apricot jam. That is a great tip. I have never set jam in the time the recipe says, I seem to struggle on for ages. Testing, testing, testing!!! Now I have solved it, I don’t make jam.

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  11. I love old cookbooks …. and I’ve always wanted to jar my own food. I tried doing
    apples once when we went apple picking and had lots of apples. I got lots of apple sauce but no jarred ones. I got very tired right after the jars were boiled and never finished. It was fun up until then. Great entry for “Recipe”.

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    1. I love the old cookbooks because they don’t rely on fancy additives and the like. I haven’t had a lot of success over the years with jams and preserves, but I am trying out a bunch of different recipes in the hope that I will get it right eventually…
      πŸ˜‰

      Like

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