Sometimes when I am in quarter-a-book-mode I make a split-second decision, yay or nay, because believe it or not there are some other people in the aisles just waiting to snatch up my pretties.
At first glance, Recipes From Madison’s Kitchens is a fairly nondescript fundraiser cookbook. No date, no location immediately evident, just that it is the product of the fine women of the First Congregational Church. Luckily, they managed to sell one ad. If you are going to sell an ad, this is the kind of ad I want.
I remember seeing the ad, and the phone number. On this ad, I saw “Madison 717” and that prompted me to drop the book in the basket. Old-style phone numbers can mean any time period from the 30s to the 60s. For me, that just screams vintage, an automatic buy.
It wasn’t until I started looking at the book to write this piece that I noticed the final piece of the puzzle. The ad proudly announces the 1948 Oldsmobiles. The ad also has the location … Madison Connecticut. Thank you, East River Sales and Service!
A 1940s cookbook is a rare find. There were fundraiser cookbooks in the 40s, but they are few and far between. This one is in excellent condition, just a little wear around the edges. It is also a very nicely printed book. There is no indication of who printed it but for a church cookbook it is very nicely typeset and has a very professional look. Credit is mentioned in the introduction for a particular editor, expressing thanks, so I am wondering if someone in the publishing industry provided a free service to the church. The professional printing itself is not unusual for cookbooks in the forties. The cookbook is very nicely organized, has a great index.
Here is one page of recipes … as one would expect from a town right on the coast of Long Island Sound, there are a lot of seafood recipes. Here are some recipes for clams. I couldn’t decide between all of these so I just included the entire page.
As I said, this was an unexpected treasure. I always plan on taking a deeper look at the books I pick up, but that examination often gets delayed. I pulled this book out at random and after finding that ad, I am so glad I did.