Research Ready: December 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. The books included this month are not new to our holdings but were deemed appropriate as a celebration of the Christmas season. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: October 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Wedding Etiquette in the 1950s

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

As the calendar turns to June, we enter into the height of wedding season. The families of the soon to be bride and groom engage in a flurry of activity to ensure all the preparations are ready for the big day. Some of the cookbooks housed at The Texas Collection include recipes and menus specifically designed with weddings in mind. One of the most detailed descriptions of these preparations comes from a quirky cookbook published in the 1950s by the Charles W. Cook Auxiliary at Christ Episcopal Church in Laredo, Texas called Warm Welcome.

The cover page of Warm Welcome

The section entitled “Wedding Meals and Receptions” covered the expectations and etiquette for weddings, which provides an interesting glimpse into the norms for wedding receptions in the 1950s in Texas. The cookbook stressed the importance of the tasteful arrangement of delicious food and drink as the key to a successful wedding reception. Detailed rules existed regarding the order of the receiving line for a formal wedding: first the bride’s mother, then the groom’s mother, the bride, the groom, the maid of honor, and then the bridesmaids. Interestingly, the bride’s father did not stand in the receiving line but “greeted special guests and escorted old friends to the refreshment table.”

The rest of the section preceding the recipes explained the traditional food and beverages served at wedding receptions. No matter what time of day the reception was held, champagne remained the standard beverage served. Etiquette did allow for a fruit juice or gingerale punch as suitable substitutes, though. Every reception also featured a bride’s cake covered in beautiful white icing which could be topped with the same flowers used in the bridal bouquet.

A recipe for the traditional wedding cake, a dark fruit cake.

For weddings with larger budgets, the cookbook described another traditional element of the reception. Each guest received a piece of dark fruit cake in a small white box wrapped in a white satin ribbon. This cake was the designated wedding cake, as opposed to the white bride’s cake that we think of today. The mother of the bride saved a piece of the fruit cake for the bride and groom to eat on their first anniversary. Protocol allowed for the two cakes (bride’s cake and wedding cake) to be combined into a single cake with white cake making up the first two tiers and a layer of dark fruit cake at the top.

Sample menus for receptions at various times of day and levels of formality.

After the explanation of some of the etiquette and traditions surrounding wedding receptions, the cookbook provided specific menus for the various times of day a wedding reception might be held. With menus for early morning breakfast, stand-up breakfast, sit-down breakfast, buffet breakfast, breakfast served at high noon, luncheon, or supper, any bride and her family could plan the perfect reception. As you can see, cookbooks provided much more than simply recipes to the women who owned them, and helped them plan some of the most important events in the lives of their families.

Bibliography:

Charles W. Cook Auxiliary Christ Episcopal Church. Warm Welcome. Laredo, TX: 1950s?

Research Ready: March 2016

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

March’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

March’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Fiesta de San Jacinto Association. An Invitation. San Antonio, TX: The Association, 1939.
Fiesta de San Jacinto Association. An Invitation. San Antonio, TX: The Association, 1939. This oversized commemorative invitation to the 1939 Fiesta de San Jacinto, today known as Fiesta San Antonio, contains information about the event as well as beautiful full color illustrations.

Cookbooks at The Texas Collection, Baylor University
Parent-Teacher Association. Hostess Reference Book. Greenville, TX: circa 1920. Texas Tables: the Junior League of North Harris and South Montgomery Counties, Inc. Nashville, TN: Favorite Recipes Press, 2010. Murphy Family Cookbook. Wortham, TX: circa 2000. The Texas Collection is home to more than 5,000 Texas cookbooks. The three represented here vary greatly in age and authors. Even though the cookbooks are intended for different audiences, they all offer great insight into Texas cookery, whether the cookbook is created for a family and is filled with family memories or is created to raise funds for an organization.

Cooking in Texas: Cornbread and Coffee Cake

CookinginTexasSocialMediaAdJan2015 (2)Wondering what you want for lunch today? After this post, you’ll want cornbread and coffee cake…at least we do! As we prepare for our Cooking in Texas event, we asked our panel to share some of their favorite recipes with us, and boy, do they sound good! Last week we shared a few entries, and here are a couple more. If these tickle your taste buds, please join us at Bennett Auditorium on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30, to talk Texas food and cuisine—and then head to the Texas Collection reading room for a reception featuring regional cuisine prepared by culinary students at Texas State Technical College, and more foodie discussion.

Cooking in Texas panelists include Lisa Fain, founder of the award-winning blog “Homesick Texan”; Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas; Mary Margaret Pack, private chef, food historian and author; Beth White, cookbook collector and author of Sweets and Meats: Early Texas Cook Books: 1855-1936; and moderator Addie Broyles, blogger and food editor for the Austin American-Statesman. The panel will discuss the quality, bounty, preparation and uniqueness of Texas food and cuisine.

Can’t make the event? Follow the discussion on Twitter at #cookingintx.

WhiteBethBeth White lives in Houston and worked for thirty-seven years in the Texas Medical Center Library. She discovered that the most fascinating part of her job was building historical collections.  Her day job was collecting bits and pieces of Houston’s medical history for the archive, while the fun after hours was collecting cookbooks to tell the stories of Texas cooks and the communities in which they worked. Growing up in Fort Worth, she remembered Sunday barbecue at Walter Jetton’s and special lunches in the Zodiac Room in Neiman Marcus. She started collecting by gathering a few Fort Worth and Helen Corbitt titles, along with a large number of American cookbooks. Soon Houston and Dallas cookbooks were added.  Then she began trying to gather something from each of the 254 Texas counties

Sometime in the late 1980s as the bookshelves were overflowing, Beth realized that she might have the beginnings of a nice collection but it had to be controlled. Since many cookbooks were produced for the 1986 Sesquicentennial, that became her target to try to limit the collection. Then, in 1995, eBay began.   She, along with many other collectors and librarians, realized its potential for developing significant collections. The ease of access through the Internet meant perusing auctions for hundreds of books each day and meant a collection could be built within a decade rather than over a lifetime. When Beth retired in 2010, one of her goals was to disperse the collection.  By December of that year, Baylor’s Texas Collection had been chosen to receive the titles.

Country Corn Bread (Adapted from The Only Texas Cookbook by Linda West Eckhardt)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. bacon grease (some tiny bits of bacon will not hurt)
  • ½ cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Place bacon grease in 9-10” iron skillet and heat until grease is very hot.
  3. Mix dry ingredients, then add buttermilk.
  4. Stir well and add egg.
  5. Mix well and pour hot grease into batter. Stir quickly.
  6. Sprinkle several drops of water into skillet. It should be hot enough to make water sizzle.
  7. Add batter and put into the oven.

Cook until the top is dull and feels firm when you touch it. Around 8-10 minutes.

Turn on the broiler and run cornbread under the heat until the top is speckled with brown.   Serve warm. If any is left, the cold cornbread can be toasted and served with butter and jam.

~

BroylesAddieAddie Broyles is a writer, photographer, blogger and quilter based in Austin, Texas.

As a food writer for the Austin American-Statesman, she covers everything from cookbooks and food trends to farmers markets, food entrepreneurs and culinary culture in the Wednesday food section, where she has a weekly column called Relish Austin.

At home, when she’s not chasing after her two young sons, the Ozarks native and University of Missouri graduate writes about women and food at The Feminist Kitchen and is the special projects chair of the Austin food Alliance.

In April 2013, the History Press published The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook, a community cookbook that Broyles spearheaded and whose production she oversaw.

Addie won a National Headliner Award in 2012 and her Relish Austin blog has won honors from the Society of Features Journalism and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

In 2011, Addie was named by Tribeza magazine as one of the top 10 Austinites to watch, and for three years in a row, readers of the Austin Chronicle have voted her the top food writer in the city. CNN’s Eatocracy blog has a food crush on her, and she has been a judge for the Statesman Social Media Awards since 2009.

Her freelance work has appeared in Dwell, The Guardian, Metropolis and Food Network Magazine.

Gaga’s Coffeecake

For batter:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Work in the softened butter, eggs and milk.
  4. In another bowl, lightly mix together the topping ingredients.
  5. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8×8-inch glass or metal pan. (A bread loaf pan will also work.) Sprinkle half of the topping mixture on the batter and then pour the rest of the batter on top.

Add the last of the topping mixture and then bake for about 35 minutes. Serves 8.

Cooking in Texas: Recipes to Savor

CookinginTexasSocialMediaAdJan2015 (2)Are you hungry for dinner yet? Prepare to salivate, because we’ve got some delicious dishes to share with you! As we prepare for our Cooking in Texas event, we asked our panelists to share some of their favorite recipes with us, and boy, do they sound good! Today we’ll share a few entries, and we’ll post a couple more next week. If these tickle your taste buds, please join us at Bennett Auditorium on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30, to talk Texas food and cuisine—and then head to the Texas Collection reading room for a reception featuring regional cuisine prepared by culinary students at Texas State Technical College, more foodie discussion, and cookbook signings. The event is free and open to the public.

Cooking in Texas panelists include Lisa Fain, founder of the award-winning blog “Homesick Texan”; Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas; Mary Margaret Pack, private chef, food historian and author; Beth White, cookbook collector and author of Sweets and Meats: Early Texas Cook Books: 1855-1936; and moderator Addie Broyles, blogger and food editor for the Austin American-Statesman. The panel will discuss the quality, bounty, preparation and uniqueness of Texas food and cuisine.

Can’t make the event? Follow the discussion on Twitter at #cookingintx.

~~~

FainLisa_DSC3842DLisa Fain is the James Beard Award-winning creator of the food blog Homesick Texan, and the author of The Homesick Texan Cookbook and The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Texas Monthly, Southern Living, and Saveur, and she’s a founding member of Foodways Texas. A seventh-generation Texan, Lisa currently resides in New York City.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Lisa’s The Homesick Texan Cookbook

There are pies, and then there is my grandma’s chocolate pie. It’s a luscious chocolate custard resting on a flaky, almost salty crust, topped with a springy meringue. Whether times are good or times are bad, it’s always welcome and appropriate. It is my favorite dessert.

Pie Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust in a pie pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or 1 1/2 squares of baking chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Meringue Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Poke holes into the unbaked pie crust with a fork and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until it’s lightly browned. Some people prefer to weigh it down with pie weights or beans as it may bubble a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, egg yolks, and milk with a whisk. Cook in a pot on medium heat while occasionally stirring until it bubbles and thickens, about 7-10 minutes. If it starts to become lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook it in the pot until it’s your desired thickness.)
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
  5. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with salt until they are smooth, light and fluffy; they should have soft peaks like whipped cream. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, a strong arm with a whisk or an eggbeater can accomplish this task, too. Please note that by hand it will take much longer than 10 minutes.) Stir the sugar into the meringue.
  6. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake it until the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

BendeleMarvinMarvin Bendele is the Executive Director of Foodways Texas.  He is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches a class on American Foodways.  He contributed to the 2009 book Republic of Barbecue, and has completed multiple oral histories for the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Southern Barbecue Trail & the Foodways Texas oral history archive at the Briscoe Center for American History. Bendele comes from an Alsatian-Texan family that settled in Castroville in 1848.

Deviled Eggs (Provided by Marvin’s mother-in-law Margaret Anne Mitchell)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise or more (to your liking)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives or parsley (or both)
  • 2 tsp. capers plus ½ tsp. caper juice
  • Dash of dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Slice eggs, Scoop out egg yolks. Mash yolks with a fork and add remaining ingredients. Stir mixture together completely and put back into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika or small sprigs of parsley. Chill.

~

PackMaryMargaretMary Margaret Pack is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up on the Gulf Coast eating shrimp, blue crabs, and rice and gravy. She’s a food writer/historian and private chef who divides her time between Austin and San Francisco. A former librarian and technical writer, she’s a graduate of Rice University, the University of Texas, and California Culinary Academy, and has been writing about food since 1998. A regular contributor to The Austin Chronicle and Edible Austin, she’s published in Gastronomica, The San Francisco Chronicle, Sugar & Rice, Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America, Nation’s Restaurant News, Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, The Dictionary of Culinary Biography, and Southern Foodways Alliance’s Cornbread Nation 1. She’s presented on food and foodways to various museums and food history groups, as well as to IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), Les Dames d’Escoffier International, CIA-Napa, Southern Foodways Alliance, Foodways Texas, Texas Folklore Society, and the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Sky Terrace Shrimp and Avocado Salad 

I grew up in Houston and, as I’m sure was the case for many little girls in the ’50s and ’60s, it was a huge treat to shop downtown with my mother at Sakowitz Department Store and have a grown-up, elegant lunch at the Sky Terrace. I often ordered the shrimp salad with avocado, and as I recall, so did my mother.

 This dish was served at least since the 1960s at the Sky Terrace Restaurant in the Sakowitz Brothers Department Store in downtown Houston, Texas (1950-1985). The popular Sky Terrace never published a cookbook, but this recipe was printed in the Houston Chronicle, and many versions are available online. It’s a great example of a mid-20th-century dish for ladies who lunched, yet it remains fresh, timely, and delicious.

  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded

 Directions

  1. Lightly mix shrimp, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Combine with remoulade sauce, cover, and chill.
  3. Halve avocados, remove seeds and peel and slice each half into four wedges.
  4. To serve, divide shredded lettuce among six plates.
  5. Fan four slices of avocado on each plate and top with generous portion of shrimp salad.

Remoulade Sauce

  • Makes 1 ½ cups
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 shallots or green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped and well drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon or Creole-style mustard
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • Dash of liquid hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Directions

  1. In food processor, blend egg, shallots, garlic, spinach, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, mustard, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and pepper sauce.
  2. Can be made one day in advance.

Research Ready: January 2015

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here are January’s finding aids:

      • Elizabeth Borst White papers, 1905-1995, undated (#3910):                       Contains cookbooks produced by Texas utility companies as a service to their patrons, postcards of various places in Texas, and photographs of rice harvesting and processing machinery. White has also generously given The Texas Collection many historic cookbooks of Texas, which can be found in our online library catalog.
Truett Seminary Faculty Competition Advertisement
During finals, some Truett Seminary faculty participate in a Fight Club Wii boxing competition series–a chance for students to unwind by watching their professors compete! Students help campaign for and cheer on their professors with flyers like this one. BU records: George W. Truett Theological Seminary #BU/298, box 38, folder 10.

 

        • Lou Ann Sigler East Waco Community Photograph collection, 1925-1961, undated (#3916):                                                                                             Contains photographs of African American life in Waco, including Paul Quinn College and A.J. Moore High School students. Most of the people in the record group are unidentified.
Texas Carrots Cookbook page
In the mid-twentieth century, the Texas Department of Agriculture began distributing cookbooks to the public in order to support Texas grown products, such as beef and carrots. Elizabeth Borst White papers #3910, Box 7, Folder 3, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

The sweet taste of Texas cookbooks

Elizabeth Borst White knows cookbooks! Twenty-five years ago, recognizing the unique window into cultural history that they provide, Ms. White began a collection that now contains nearly 1,600 volumes.  Recently retired after nearly 40 years as a librarian for the Houston Academy of Medicine–Texas Medical Center Library, White understands the value of her Texas cookbook collection as a historical resource and has pledged to donate her materials to The Texas Collection, significantly enriching our already wide assortment of resources in this area. In addition, Elizabeth White has generously established the Biscuits and Gravy Endowed Fund–a permanent endowment that provides funding for future purchases and preservation of the cookbook collection.

White says that her favorite types of cookbooks are “community cookbooks with lots of advertisements for local businesses” because they “give the reader a good picture of the community at that time. We just do not see advertisements for rifles and ammunition, or corsets and ladies’ hats in cookbooks today.”

Here’s a small taste of the delights you can find in the Elizabeth Borst White Texas Culinary Collection:

  • “Treasure Pots,” The Austin Woman’s Club, 1940 which includes recipes for Salmagundi Dressing, Admiration Pie, and ‘Possum and Sweet Taters.
  • What’s Cooking in Our Swedish-American Kitchens, Central Methodist Church, Austin, c.1951, with Wienerbrod (Coffee Bread), Kroppkakor (Potato Dumplings with Pork), and Brysseikax (Iced Box Cookies). Also Tuna Noodles and Tamale Pie.
  • Portrait of A. Fillmore, author of one of the first cook books by an African-American chef, The Lone Star Cook Book and Meat Special (From the Slaughter Pen to the Dining Room Table), Hotel Lubbock, 1929.

 

  • Advertisement for Kitchen Queen’s Baking Powder (“Healthful and efficient.”) and J.E. Grant Fine Wall Papers (“Don’t paper your house like everybody’s house.”) from the Waxahachie Cook Book, 1902 .

 

  • Advertisements for Miss Julia A. Hillyer, Teacher of Piano, and Kauffman Vehicles (“Would be pleased to figure with you if in need of a good Vehicle.”) also from the Waxahachie Cook Book, 1902.

The Texas Culinary Collection is a fascinating look into the kitchens of the past. These cookbooks help us understand the history of the organizations that authored them, and the daily lives of the chefs and homemakers whose recipes they contain. They remind us of businesses and products no longer available, and of trendy foods no longer in fashion. Come in and sample the collection for some great reading and great cooking!

–AO & AWC

Anson Jones’ Cookie Jar

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.