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 !!
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 jars 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.
Ten of them have been shared around the town…
For more Sunday Posts head over to Jake’s: Recipe Post