One of the many delights at The Texas Collection is our growing collection of Texas and Southwestern cookbooks–some dating back to the early 1900s. You can find so much more than recipes in these books! They’re filled with history and heritage, clues to cultural values, and strategies for coping with sometimes scarce resources. Many of these cookbooks seem to have a voice or a personality, because they document facts and foods that someone believed were important enough to both preserve and share.
We’re looking forward to blogging about some of our favorite finds in the Texas Cookbook Collection. Here’s just one example from a 1950 cookbook:
“Few may think of Presidents of Republics dipping into a cookie jar, yet it is said on good authority that Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas, kept a well-filled cookie jar, and that these Soft Molasses Cookies were usually the most popular item in it.
Soft Molasses Cookies
1 cup molasses 1 level tablespoon ginger
¼ cup shortening 1 level tablespoon soda dissolved in
½ cup Imperial Pure Cane Sugar ½ cup cold water
½ teaspoon salt
4 to 5 cups flour.
Scald molasses, pour over shortening, add Imperial Pure Cane Sugar, salt, and ginger; add dissolved soda to cooled molasses. Then stir in from 4 to 5 cups sifted flour, making a soft dough to drop and spread in a pan or a stiff dough to be rolled and cut. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.”
Romantic Recipes of the Old South and the Great Southwest, Selected and compiled for the Imperial Sugar Company by the Jane Douglas Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, p.25.