Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buried Treasure


Mom and I continued to sort through my boxes in storage. Among the books, I found my great great grandmother's cookbook, which she inscribed in 1882. First published in 1877, the Home Cook Book was compiled because (according to the Letter to the Publishers): "We have no Schools of Cookery, as you know, in our Dominion, where our young ladies may learn that art which the ancients deemed second only to medicine. The Home Cook-Book is intended . . . to supply the place of the Academy." I'm looking forward to my education. ;-)


Inserted among the pages was a recipe in my great great grandmother's hand. I took pleasure in following her instructions and thus tasty, not-too-sweet gingersnaps accompanied our afternoon coffee. Perhaps I should have cooked it as a cake since she titled her recipe gingerbread. Next time. Maybe even tomorrow. ;-)

The name "Dick's Fairy" baffled us. An Internet search provides some clues: This is the title of a story by Silas K. Hocking, written in 1883. You can read the first edition on-line. It's a bit Dickens-ish. I find it uncanny that the author based his characters on poor Arabs who lived in Liverpool and Manchester in the 1880s. It will take me a while to read its 169 pages, but I hope to find the connection with my great great grandmother's recipe.

4 comments:

John said...

Seeing that handwritten recipe brings back a memory of the great 'US Cup vs British Cup' debate...

Shari said...

I remember! From that day forth I've wondered why we call it "Imperial" measure. Good memories!! :-)

Anonymous said...

so worth the shipping!
pmc

Anonymous said...

I"m working my way through my grandmother's things, brought home by my mother 30 years ago. I found this same cook book in her things...I'm shocked it has survived so many years. Grandma would be 116 now, but I believe the book was originally gifted to her mother-in-law in 1886! Binding is separated, pages are brittle and broken, but still the inscriptions inside and handwritten recipes are jewels. Thank you for sharing your find so it would help me identify mine!