Young “Mother Hubbards” Baking Day: Part Two

Friends! In my haste to you have contact me at my email, I instead gave you my website. Ha! You could have snooped around and found my email from the site, which was not my intention. So, let’s give this another shot! If you have any suggestions about what recipes you’d like to see or have a recipe to share PLEASE email me at: michele@mandyandmichele.com.

I took you on a bit of a rabbit trail last week, which was fun and you can read about it here, but today we will talk about this beautiful little cookbook I found. It was hiding in a bin with an old children’s tea seat from Japan.

As I glanced at the cover I immediately fell in love with the picture. I love her dress, and I thought it was terribly cute her husband (I can think that because in the day that was something only your husband would have done) had his hand on her hip. Kind of a blusher photo- Oooo my!

Anyway, I snapped up the recipe book and small teapot collection, paid at the checkout, and eagerly headed home. I so enjoy taking a “trip back in time”, thumbing through looking at the pictures, the different fonts, the vernacular they used for that time period, interesting recipes, and just the general feeling of peace and happiness in a time long forgotten.

Marie Cole Fisher was the editor of the “Kitchen Clinic” for the St. Paul Dispatch, as well as a baking expert and consultant. Marie also wrote this little cookbook. She looks pretty stern, so no slouching when you read this. Sit straight and shoulders back! The young woman up above is “YOUNG” Mother Hubbard. I guess the old “Mother Hubbard” wanted to retire.

Bread is the staff of life

Here we have Marie with the “Young” Mother Hubbard. Marie is imparting all her kitchen wisdom as a very attentive young woman looks on. Throughout the book, Marie sells you the beauty of using a quality flour made by Hubbard Milling Company, “Mother Hubbard” brand flour.

As I continued to pour through the reading I bust out laughing at the following paragraph from the book:

“Flour is sensitive. It readily absorbs odors or gasses and moisture and its strength is killed by exposure to high temperatures or to fumigating gases, such as formaldehyde or Sulphur gas.”

– Marie Cole Fisher

Fumigating gases? Marie! For crying out loud, do you store your flour in your garage or your basement? Perhaps we should check on Marie’s credentials in the area of “expert”?

Baking anecdotes from Marie

It wasn’t very far into the book I caught sight of some interesting anecdotes and baking insights from Marie, or from that era. Here are some that gave me a chuckle:

  • “Sugar the spur-salt the bridle”
  • “Lard seems to be better for this purpose than butter (making bread), as it acts more satisfactorily on the gluten.”
  • “Pancakes baked on a griddle are better if the griddle is not too hot and is not greased. The grease or fate can be mixed with the butter. No smoke of burning grease will then make the baking of griddle cakes a bugbear.”- I italicized the word bugbear. Bugbear?!

Time out while I quickly tell you what bugbear means. Bugbear, as defined by the Cambridge dictionary, means a particular thing that annoys and upsets you. If it’s one thing I love the Brits for, it’s their interesting vocabulary and their lovely dialect.

  • They spelled the word cookie as “cooky”… two entirely different ways to say a double O.
  • She uses the word “muss” and “jiffy”
  • Marie uses a great deal of “foundational formulas”
  • Then this dandy, “pie-plant”. Whaaaat?

Pie-plant got my attention. What in the WORLD is pie-plant? So to Duck Duck Go, I go. Pie-plant is rhubarb. Rhubarb comes from Europe and was grown by Maine gardeners in the late 1700s. You can find a “pie-plant” recipe in the 1890 Riverside Cook Book. I would love to get my hands on that!

Once again I have run out of space. Next week I will give you a bunch of 1920 era recipes… get ready to enjoy! Until next time, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

3 thoughts on “Young “Mother Hubbards” Baking Day: Part Two

  1. Maryleigh says:

    Oh, My! The baker in me LOVES this! I asked my husband about the sulfers and he wondered about delousing which made me think about storage. When I taught college composition, students had to take advertisements pre-1950 and current compare/contrast what the ads say about society. The husband/wife advertisement would be great fun! This review was such a treat!

    • Michele Bruxvoort says:

      Mary! Thank you so much for dropping in and reading! I love “old times”! Yes, sulfers and alike were used for rodents, bedbugs… I just laughed when she mentioned them interfering with her flour. Ha! Crazy stuff they did back then. Thanks for reading!
      Michele

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