Women were now ensconced in a modern world. They grew up full of hope and wide-eyed at in the “scientific method” of cookery, and “domestic science” yet lived through the tragedies of WWI, and struggled in the depression years, forming frugal habits they would not forget for a lifetime. By the 1930s electricity was available in most kitchens, even in rural areas of the country.

The following articles contain details of this time period:

1930s-1950s, looking mostly to efficiency:

Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book.

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1936: Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book, Fine Old Recipes made Famous by the Early Dutch Settlers in Pennsylvania.
Culinary Arts Press.


Sample Text:

As you drive through the beautiful farming country of Eastern Pennsylvania you will see…behind many a farmhouse, if you look closely, an oldtime stone oven….It was customary to build these ovens wide enough to admit a large log. When the fire had burned low and the coals were red hot, they would rake out the fire and set their foods to cook…the result was an inimitable flavor which is not always easy to recapture. It was, therefore, necessary to alter slightly some of the recipes contained in this book and adapt them to the use of the modern gas range or electric stove….

One of the most noteworthy and one of the quaintest niceties of the Pennsylvania Dutch is the celebrated custom known as the “Seven Sweets and Seven Sours.” Tradition has it that the housewife used to set the table with precisely seven sweets and seven sours…and it is the custom for the guests to look for, and even count to see that there are exactly even sweets and seven sours. It often becomes a matter of much gayety to chide the hostess should there be a shortage. This custom adds to the always abundant variety and interest of the table and is a delightful aid to appetite and digestion.

When a farmer eats, he eats. When a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer eats, he eats for two. What’s more, he wants his groceries where he can get at them with a simple and inspired reach. He is too hungry to be bothered with waiting for courses, even if his flushed women-folk had time from their kitchen duties to be running back and forth from the table during the whole meal. So with beautiful simplicity the entire dinner is plunked down on the table at once, smoking and steaming hot. A little grudging room is allowed at the sides for the plates and silverware; but the reat of the cloth is hidden under platters and dishes and bowls, each with its cargo ready and waiting. All the diner has to do is go to it.

…you eat at long tables, elbow to elbow with yourselves and others….if you hope for quaintness you will be disappointed….The tables are the plainest sort of deal, with chairs to match. The chinaware is the unbreakable kind beloved of lunch-wagon pearl-divers, the silver is the usual restaurant breed….What you want for your immediate dinner you reach for or call…farther down the table to pass to you.

This is what your table carries:

  • Chicken, stewed to tenderness and divided into its component parts for instant choice.
  • Gravy in separate bowls.
  • Pork Sausage of local manufacture.
  • Flat sausage cakes, a trifle lighter in texture.
  • “Lebanon bolgna” a beef sausage cut into thickhalf-slices and served hot.
  • “Potato filling,” which is mashed potatoes filled with chopped onions, celery and (I think) some herbs, browned in the pan.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Lima beans.
  • Peas.
  • Chickpeas (a large variety, loking something like hominy and with a distinct nutty flavor).
  • Beets.
  • Corn off the cob.
  • “Chicken patties,” which are flat noodles filled with minced chicken–raviola, in actural fact: a curious link with Latinity, for the dish is a local concoction.
  • Ordinary noodles.
  • “Egg salad”–chopped egg in mayonnaiseand vinegar, a regrettable reminiscence of soda-fountain sandwiches, one in which I seem to detect a Liggett’s serpent in this Eden.
  • Cole slaw.
  • Mixed relish.
  • Pickled cabbage.
  • Mixed pickles.
  • Apple-sauce (native and of a deliciousness).
  • Sliced tomatoes.
  • Canned peaches.
  • Canned cherries.
  • Fruit salad (more serpiginous trailing).
  • Large sweet rolls, white-iced.
  • “Shoo-fly pie”–a brown-and-white crumb-cake, faintly spice.
  • Doughnuts–big round feathery powdered local boys. There are also on the table…little mints, salted nuts, stuffed olives, and hard candies.
  • The desserts are stacked on an oak sideboard at one side of the room. They consist of six kinds of pie and four kinds of cake. You can have ice-cream, too, if you want it. There is no restriction whatever on the number of times you may attack any dish.

Uncle Ezra’s Egg Nog
1 large tablespoon sugar
1/2 glass shaved ice
1 fresh egg
1 wineglass whisky or rum
1/2 tumbler rich milk
Shake thoroughly and strain. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve. The above recipe makes but one drink and may be multiplied to meet requirements.

Butterscotch Candy
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine all the ingredients and cook until a little tried in cold water forms a brittle or hard ball. Pour into a buttered pan and when cool, cut in squares.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1936 original booklet is available, Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book. $2.00. Condition: The booklet is in poor condition with cover detached, edges rubbed, scuffed, pages mellowed. 48-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Peanut Butter and Molasses.

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c. 1913: This Booklet of Useful Recipes is Issued by P. Duff & Sons, Canners of Orleans Molasses and Makers of Peanut Butter, 918-20 Duquesne Way (on the River Front) Pittsburg, Pa. Established 1867.


This is an early booklet from the company that introduced the first boxed cake mixes.

Sample Text:

Pioneers in Canning Molasses

We were the first establishment in America to put up in hermetically sealed cans the “Sweetness of the Sugar Cane” thereby changing the slow, unsanitary method of drawing molasses from a barrel in the cellar to handling a neat convenient package off the shelf of the storeroom. Furthermore, a well made tin can is more easily used when baking than a heavy stoneware jug….

P. Duff & Sons are one of a certain few of the largest buyers at the Molasses mart in New Orleans, and for the past twenty years we have been canning this product….

Our own tank cars are used for conveying molasses in bulk fom the plantations in Louisiana direct to our warehouse and emptied into vats ready for canning. The Railroad tracks run into our cannery….

In not using this pure cane molasses of P. Duff & Sons, the carbonic gas produced by the vegetable sweetness will be lacking. Bear in minde ordinary syrup so called molasses, not having that raising fermentation quality, cannot be successfully used in baking.


Duff’s Peanut Butter is not in a sense a new food commodity; but of late years it has been rapidly growing in favor as a wholesome “spread” with all classes.

In Protein, in fats, and in carbohydrates, one pound jar of DUFF’S Peanut Butter is equal to three pounds of beefsteak, and the food value of one pound of Duff’S Peanut Butter is equivalent of forty eggs in giving power of sustenance, for energy producing, and for muscle making qualities–then compare the cost of one pound of beefsteak or three and one half dozen eggs as against the cost of one jar off DUFF’S Peanut Butter. When the nutritious values of DUFF’S Peanut Butter are fully understood the family caterer will in due time, consider it a standard requirement for the larder.

One pound of PEANUT BUTTER is equal in food value to:
Three dozen EGGS
Two pounds best cuts of BEEF
Three pounds best cuts of VEAL
Two pounds best cuts of LAMB
Two pounds best cuts of PORK
Six pounds of CHICKEN
Six pounds of FISH
Nine pounds of LIMA BEANS
Ten pounds of STRING BEANS
Eleven pounds of BEETS
Twelve pounds of CABBAGE
Five pounds of GREEN CORN
Ten pounds of ONIONS

Mothers are of the opinion that nuts are too strong an edible for children and that few, if any, should be eaten. This is a mistaken idea. For a child, a peanut butter sandwich would be more wholesome than a spread of jelly or of preserves, not to mention the superior food properties contained in the former.

In hot climates, where many choice varieties of nuts are grown, the people subsist almost entirely on the diet of nuts.

To lower the cost of living, place a jar of DUFF’S Peanut Butter in a convenient place that the entire family may “nibble” when so inclined. In this manner a taste for it will be acquired and hunger appeased by a delicious food.

Hot Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Spread six slices of bread with peanut butter and press them together in pairs; cut each pair in halves and trim off crusts if desired. Beat one egg; add about half a cup of sweet milk and mix thoroughly. Soak the sandwiches on both sides in the liquid. Have ready a hot frying pan in which a tablespoonful of butter is melted, let the butter run over the whole surface of the pan, put in the sandwiches and let cook until browned on one side, then turn and brown the other side. More butter may be needed. Serve from the frying pan.

Purchase original booklet:

One C. 1913 original booklet is available, This Booklet of Useful Recipes is Issued by P. Duff & Sons…. $40.00. Condition: The booklet is in poor condition with pages detached, creased, corners bent, pencil price. 32-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Housekeeping, the Oldest Industry.

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c. 1920s: Housekeeping, The Oldest and Greatest Industry.
Dr. Miles Remedies.


Sample Text:

The first instinct of primitive man was to get food and drink. The second was the sex instinct. Having food to sustain his body and a mate to bear his children, he must now provide some sort of shelter where he and his family would be at least partially protected from the cold and storms and where he could guard against the attacks of wild beasts and wilder men.

It is probable that the cave-man lived largely on flesh, as the parts of earth inhabited by him, at that time, were very cold and there were no implements of agriculture. After the discovery of fire, cooked flesh was found to be more palatable than raw. The first cooking was by direct exposure to the fire, later pits were dug, lined with the skin of the slain beast and partly filled with water. The flesh of the animal was put into the water and hot stones were thrown in, keeping the water in nearly a boiling state until the meat cooked.

Vessels of clay were finally made, into which water and food were put. These vessels were suspended over the fire. Probably as long a time elapsed between the time flesh was first grilled or roasted over the open fire and the time it was cooked in vessels, as has passed between the time it was first cooked in vessels and the present day….

Housekeeping and home making have always kept pace with progress in manufacturing, art and science. There have probably been greater advances during the past one hundred years than during the entire previous history of the human race….

…If your hair is oily, beat the white of an egg stiff and rub it thoroughly into the scalp, allow to dry and then brush out. You will then find your hair bright and fluffy.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1920s original booklet is available, Housekeeping, The Oldest and Greatest Industry. $12.00. Condition: The booklet is in good condition with pages creased, corners bent, pencil price. 32-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Your Work Room.

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c. 1920: Your Work Room, Equipped for Better Cooking with Less Work, and a directions brochure.
Super-Maid Cook-Ware, The Aristocrat of Cooking Utensils.


Sample Text:

Crisp, Golden Brown Waffles Without Smoke–No Greasing Necessary.
To most housewives the call for waffles from daddy and the children comes much too often, because she dreads the smoke and odor connected with the baking of them…. To make brown crisp waffles first heat the mould until a drop of water runs around on it without steaming, then pour batter. Turn the gas down slightly. Don’t worry if a little too much batter gets into ther mould, because the unique construction [of the Super Maid Waffle Mould] permits the upper mould to raise with the waffle.

Super-Maid pots and pans.Delicious, Easily Digested Pancakes without Smoke, Grease or Odor
Pancakes! They might easily be called our national breakfast…. To bake pancakes without smoke: first heat the griddle until a drop of water runs around on it without steaming. Then turn down the gas about two-thirds and start baking. Adjust the heat so that the cakes are nicely browned on the bottom by the time the batter becomes mottled on top. When a cake is put on the griddle if large bubbles begin to rise at once to the upper side of the cake the griddle is too hot; if the upper side begins to stiffen before the under side is browned the griddle is not hot enough.

You Can Bake Pies on Top of Your Stove With Super Maid Cook-Ware
Cakes, pies and biscuits can be easily baked in the Preserving Kettle. The rack that is used for this purpose has two shelves, making it possible to bake two pies or two layer cakes at one time. Heat preserving kettle until a drop of water runs around in it without steaming before baking.

It is not so much the recipe as the good judgment of the cook that makes the perfect dish, so do not be limited to weights and measures. Rosa Bonheur did not paint “The Horse Fair” with one cup of white paint, two cups of red paint and one-half cup of blue…. Cooking is an art; an inspiration, that comes from the mind and heart, where spoons and scales do not reach.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1920s original booklet is available, Your Work Room, Equipped for Better Cooking with Less Work. $5.00. Condition: The booklet is in fair condition with edges chipped and folded, owner pencil writing, scuffs, worn spine and edges. 14-page booklet. Insert is an accordian-folded brochure, 6-pages in poor condition with stains, splits, folded edges, and hightly-chipped edges. Click “Add to Cart.”

BBC program “The Supersizers Eat…” with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins recreate the foodways of different time periods:

  • Ancient Rome
  • Medievaldiets based on the 4 humours; religious fasting with fish; meats swimming in sauce; pepper!
  • Elizabethan
  • Restoration
  • French Revolution
  • Regency
  • Victoriandinner service à la française replaced by a la russe; adulterated foods.
  • Edwardianbig meals; weight gain; practical jokes; vegetarians and suffragettes; Fletcherism.
  • 1920sthe desire to be thin; smaller meals; more drinks.
  • 1940sWWII rationing; Victory gardening; foraging; Common-Hall Feeding Centers or British Restaurants.
  • 1950s
  • 1970s – more calories; more fats; alcohol; more walking, dancing and socializing to work it off; don’t talk about the food; packaged foods; fewer meals in the dining room.
  • 1980s

And here’s another British time-line of cookery in video…

c. 1920:  A Selection of Choice Recipes.

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c. 1920: A Selection of Choice Recipes, “How’s that Grandma?”
Rumford Baking Powder.


Free eBook or Purchase original booklet:

Original circa 1920 brochure is available, A Selection of Choice Recipes, “How’s that Grandma?” $6.00. The cooking booklet is in fair condition, with heavy foxing, stains, eges chipped. All pages present. 4-page brochure. Publisher: Rumford Chemical. Select “Add to Cart.”

1928: Tested Recipes with Malt Extract.

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1928: Tested Recipes with Blue Ribbon Malt Extract, Premier Malt Products Co.


Text Sample:

Blue Ribbon Malt Extract is a valuable addition to the diet, and a delightful means of bringing new taste to everyday cooking. Its use in bread, for instance, will decrease the leavening time, and produce a larger, lighter loaf of better texture, deeper crust, and more appetizing appearance. Bread and other goods baked with Blue Ribbon Malt Extract will also keep their freshness and tastiness much longer….for some food uses, plain malt extract imparts the desired taste, for others the addition of the tang derived from fragrant hops is an advantage. Old time bakers and chefs knew the advantages of using malt and hops…

For your guidance, we print here a scale of oven heats:
302 to 350 degrees Moderate
352 to 400 degrees Hot
402 to 450 degrees Quick
452 to 500 degrees Very Hot
502 to 550 degrees Broil

Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lard (Crisco)
5 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon Blue Ribbon Malt Extract (plain)
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix lard with dry ingredients until flour looks mealy. Add water and Blue Ribbon Malt Extract. Roll out on a floured board. The recipe makes one pie crust.

Pork Pie
1 1/2 cups pork (cut into little pieces)
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Blue Ribbon Malt Extract (plain)
Cut left over pork into cubes, or if raw, cut it and fry until tender. Make a white sauce of the butter, flour, and milk. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Add the Blue Ribbon Malt Extract to the white sauce. Pour over the meat in a casserole, and let cool. Add sweet potato cookies on top (see page 22). Bake in a moderate oven at 310 degrees F. until the cookies are done. Be careful to keep the white sauce from simmering after it is in the oven.

Beverages With Hop Flavored Malt Extract

Base Syrup
Dissolve Blue Ribbon Malt Extract, Hop Flavored, in the proportion of 1 pound Blue Ribbon to one pint of hot water; mix thoroughly. Cool before using. Do not make up more than two days’ supply at one time. Keep in the ice box. Use the Base Syrup as directed in the following recipes. Where charged water is called for in making up the beverages, use any carbonated water or a syphon bottle.

Hot Lime Fizz
Fill glass half full of cold charged water, stir in 1 tablespoon Base Syrup, the juice of 1/4 lime and 1 heaping teaspoon of sugar to taste. Then fill us glass with cold charged water and stir again.

Hop Gingerade
Make a ginger flavored syrup by stirring 4 ounces of ginger flavoring extract into 1 pint of Base Syrup; or smaller quantities in the same proportion. For 1 glass gingerade fill glass half full of cold charged water, stir in 1 tablespoon ginger flavored syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar and the juice of 1/4 lemon, then fill up glass with the charged water and stir again. Ginger flavored syrup for gingerade can also be made by using household gingerale extract instead of ginger flavoring extract. In that case use 2 to 3 ounces gingerale extract to one pint of base syrup.

Helpful Hints for Housewives

…Vegetables…They should be completely ripened before storing and then set in cool, but not too cold, dry chamber…
When Making Jelly When the jelly is ready to pour into glasses, put the glasses in a pan of hot water to prevent their cracking. The pan should be shallow and the water about two inches deep.
Soup too Salty
Grate a raw potato and cook it with the soup a few minutes longer. The potato will absorb the salt.
To Cut Warm Foods
Dip a knife in boiling water until heated and you can more cleanly cut warm bread or cake, hard boiled eggs, fudge or caramel candy.
Burning Odors.
Salt sprinkled on any substance burning on the stove will stop the smell.

Purchase original booklet:

Original 1928 booklet is available, Tested Recipes with Blue Ribbon Malt Extract. $5.00. The cooking booklet is in fair condition, with scuffs, stains, folded bent corners, chipped corners and edges worn, paper creased, mellowed paper. All pages present. 32-page booklet. Publisher: Premiere Malt Products. Select “Add to Cart.”