Friday, October 22, 2010

1948 Cookbook from Nebraska Farmer

I found the old cookbook that I'm reviewing today at a flea market in Canton, Texas. A Modern Kitchen Guide is a 1948 book of, "up-to-date recipes" and household hints". It is a Bunting Publication (North Chicago, Illinois), but of course there's no ISBN. The cover looks more like it would be a mechanic's manual; it's a faded red paperback with sturdy binding, and appears to have been a give-away from Nebraska Farmer (maybe an insurance company?) In fact, if anyone out there has anymore info on Nebraska Farmer, I would love to have it-leave it in my comments, please.

The claim inside the yellowed pages is that: "Beginners will value it for its simplicity; experienced cooks will use it to refresh their memories of forgotten dishes." And I have to say, it lives up to its claim! This little book from the 40's would be useful to "newbies" and folks who "know their way around the kitchen".

There is a wide array of recipes in this "handy little helper" of a book. To be honest, there were some old recipes that I hadn't heard mentioned in quite a while (some, "old dishes" I'd forgotten). Along with the nice section on soups, there are several main dishes, and a wonderful dessert and candy chapter! Thanksgiving is drawing near and luckily this book has lots of old pie recipes. If you like to can, there are a bunch of recipes for conserves, preserves and pickles; you don't always find that in modern cookbooks! In fact there's a delicious-sounding recipe for Pear Conserve; it will be our sample recipe for today. (P.S.-I actually enjoyed this old book so much that it will be our theme next week- look for one recipe each day; you gotta have Pioneer Soup!)

Page 197 Pear Conserve

7 lb. chopped pears, peeled and cut fine
5 lb. sugar
3 oranges, rind and juice
3 lemons, juice
1 lb. raisins
Let stand over night, then add 1/2 lb. freshly shelled walnuts. Add cut rind of oranges and juice of both lemons and oranges and raisins. Cook slowly about 1 1/2 hours. Just before taking from fire add broken walnuts. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

I will be joining these swaps today:


  1. I just love old cookbooks. Lucky you for finding this one, what a treasure!! I'm looking forward to more recipes from it next week.

  2. I'm your newest follower.

  3. Thanks for joining us, Moogie!

  4. I didn't do any searching to know for sure, but as a lifelong Nebraskan, I'm thinking that Nebraska Farmer is/was a magazine. Love those old cookbooks!