Connecting through old cookbooks…

I love cooking from old cookbooks for their connection to the past and family recipes.

This 1934 Goulburn Cookery Book belonged to my grandmother-in-law whom I didn’t get to meet but I know and much admire that she cared for her eight children in their country town through prudent circumstance and for many years independently after she was widowed.

I love that her middle name was Philadelphia and that in this cookbook she pasted cut-out recipes and wrote some in as well. (Roger has made the grapefruit jam like his grandmother’s handwritten recipe.)

There’s even a recipe for Eggs in Purgatory, albeit a bit different to the version likely cooked in 1930s Italy or the ‘eggs in tomato’ my great-granny Maddalena cooked!

Interestingly, recent studies have revealed that despite the use of ingredients like butter and eggs, most recipes in 1930s cookbooks have a third less calories than current ones, often due to their smaller portion sizes.


Filed under inspiration + history, kitchen stories

5 responses to “Connecting through old cookbooks…

  1. I can relate to your comment about the smaller portions. I recently started using vintage dinner plates and I’ve noticed the difference (in a good way)!

  2. We are also taller now, need more food and bigger furniture and plates… Love the eggs in purgatory, great name!

  3. Susan Hearfield

    I treasure the recipe books – handwritten – from previous generations of my family. Love making “Nanna’s Gingernuts” or “Mum’s Date Loaf” etc. Let’s hope the next generations will value them also. Susan.

    • Hi Susan, I am with you there. Sounds like you have some wonderful handwritten, family recipes. Hopefully there’ll always be that one person along the line who treasures them just the same. Zoe xx

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