My mom gave me a very special birthday present last year—a hand written recipe book. Magazine clippings and pieces of written correspondence tucked between the pages show that Mrs. Williams of Calumet, Michigan, took note of her favorite recipes from the 1920s to the 1940s.
This tiny time capsule gives a glimpse into an era when processed foods and ready-to-use ingredients weren’t so common. Instead of buying a can of condensed tomato soup, you bought a quart of tomatoes and made your own.
This volume contains a wealth of recipes I’ve never heard of before such as:
Today’s processed foods are laden with sugar, sodium, fat, and unnecessary additives to make them shelf stable. We’ve sacrificed high quality and flavor for convenience.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing classic recipes from Mrs. Williams with you and ways to adapt them for the modern kitchen. I’m especially excited about all the recipes for jam, pies, custards, and breads—making these foods is a bit of a lost art. Whether you live in East Egg or West Egg, you, too, can get cooking and eat like Jay Gatsby!
Here's a glimpse into kitchens of the Jazz Age:
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