To Better Homemaking

“Cooking means the knowledge of all herbs, and fruits and spices, and of all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves, and savory in meats; it means carefulness and inventiveness and watchfulness and willingness, and readiness of appliance; it means the economy of your great-grandmothers, and the science of modern chemists; it means much testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French art and Arabian hospitality; and it means, in fine, that you are to be perfectly and always ‘Ladies—loafgivers’.” [1]

Such is the opening address in the Granddaughter’s Inglenook Cookbook.

The very first Inglenook Cookbook was published in 1901, complete with 1000 recipes from women associated with the Church of the Brethren. Two generations later, “granddaughters” of the original contributors submitted over 5000 recipes from which the Granddaughter’s Inglenook Cookbook was born.

When my mother graduated from high school, her grandfather gave her the Granddaughter’s Inglenook Cookbook. When I was growing up, many of our meals were based on recipes from it. (I say “based on” because my mother is one of those creative cooks who views recipes as mere guidelines and likes to add her own pinch of this and dash of that—with excellent results!)

A few years ago, I purchased a 1973 edition on eBay. (You can find practically everything there!) The 1973 edition was modified to “serve new generations with recipes that are still current and choice.” [2] … Chicken potpie … Scalloped Potatoes … Creole eggplant … Applesauce Doughnuts … Black Walnut Taffy….

Granddaughter’s Inglenook Cookbook, 1973 edition: Herein lie the secrets to the daily routine of managing home with thought and ingenuity.

Much like the dictionary and encyclopedia, I enjoy simply opening the cookbook and reading—it’s a quaint and delightful adventure of gastronomic proportions topped only by actually making the recipes described.

As the introduction to the cookbook exhorts, here’s “to better homemaking”!


[1] Quote by Ruskin, Granddaughter’s Inglenook Cookbook. The Brethren Press, Elgin, Illinois; 1973, 5.
[2] Ibid.

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