"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Antique Cookbook

On April 28th, 1796, the Connecticut District Court granted Amelia Simmons a copyright for her forty-seven page AMERICAN COOKERY, considered to be the first American-authored cookbook. Although its recipes were inspired by English fare, they called for ingredients not commonly used in Britain, such as the American staple cornmeal.

Simmons offered readers a tip on where to catch the best-tasting fish; "Of all freshwater fish, there are none that require, or so well afford haste in cookery, as the Salmon Trout. They are best caught under a fall or cataract. From what philosophical circumstance it is yet unsettled, yet true it is that at the foot of a fall the waters are much colder than at the head. Trout choose those waters. If taken from them and hurried into dress they are generally good and take rank in point of superiority of flavor."

I would love to peruse this old cookbook. I love to look at old cookbooks; many of the recipes are forerunners of foods we eat today, but I bet they don't taste as good now as back then. Vegetables, fruits, and even meat and grains just don't taste like they did in times past. Nevertheless, I have a recipe for you from a ranch in West Texas in the 1800's. Pies and cobblers were common food back then; whatever was leftover was stretched by putting it all in a pie. Back then, they were often eaten for breakfast. Must have originated from the British pasties or hand pies. I love pie!!!!!!!! This recipe is for the crust. You'll have to be creative and fill it with whatever you love.

Cobbler/Pie Crust

1/2 pound (1 cup) butter
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 pound (2 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (for pie, leave out)
1/4 pound rice flour or cornstarch

Cream butter and sugar together. Add flour, rice flour and baking powder. Knead all together. If the dough feels soft, add a little more flour and rice flour. Roll out and put atop fruit cobbler. Bake at 300 degrees until brown.

I have made this atop a blackberry filling and it makes a very good crust.


  1. Thanks for the comments! June Cleaver...I love it! I do wear chunky pearls from time to time! LOL Actually I haven't been too chipper this week...been battling a nasty cold trying to get well before the baby comes! But blackberry cobbler is one of my favorites! I will have to try the "vintage" crust recipe...it sounds yummy!

  2. Hhmm I will ahve to try this, it sounds mouth-watering good.
    My grandma owned a bakery, and her best selling item, other than her freshly baked loaves of bread, were her pies...
    Meat and potato, meat, cornish pasties, all staples of the English working class, and even some aristocrats with taste :)
    I think I would enjoy a rhubarb and strawberry.


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