It’s a given in the Quad-Cities that if an organization or business is around long enough, it will produce a cookbook. Just look at the 641.5 shelves in our Special Collections Center and you’ll see decades worth of church cookbooks, newspaper cookbooks, television station cookbooks, hotel and B&B cookbooks, museum cookbooks, school cookbooks, and so on.
The library itself has been no exception. We have a nice collection of staff recipe booklets going back thirty-odd years, which not only proves the old adage that a library moves on its stomach (or was that an army?), but shows how much recipes have changed over the years—or haven’t. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows library staff that the sweets and desserts sections are always the longest!
But you can always count on our Special Collections Center to sneak in a little history: some of our contributions include recipes from local restaurants and even local historical figures. The library’s 2003 cookbook has three of Annie Wittenmyer’s recipes, originally printed in 1864. One of these is for Fruit Pudding:
Place slices of bread, well-buttered, evenly over the bottom of a dripping pan. Cover with a thick layer of stewed or canned small fruit, then add another layer of slices of buttered bread and alternate with fruit until the pan is full. For ordinary sized pan add three eggs to 3 pints of milk and 3 1.2 pounds of sugar well beaten. Pour over and bake with moderate heat. When eggs and milk cannot be obtained the canned milk, diluted, can be used without eggs.
One would never know she was the inventor of a dietary kitchen . . .
So, if you’re ever planning a literary lunch or have been searching everywhere for the recipe for Griffin’s Spaghetti Sauce or Petersen’s Olive Nut Spread, why not try some of our Novel Cuisine?