Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gift . . .

How lucky am I to receive this wonderful cookbook, The Boston Cook Book by Mary J. Lincoln. This book belonged to my husband's grandmother, and was given to him by his cousin to give to me! The book is signed by the author and dated "October, 1911" - just over 100 years ago! I can truthfully say, it's my oldest, and now dearest cook book.

A little water damage, but who cares!
Here's what I found out about the author, Mrs. Lincoln. Her book, Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book: What to Do and Not Do in Cooking (1884) was a highly influential book that provided recipes from multiple sources and emphasized the science and nutritional aspects of cooking. It also help set the pattern of how cookbooks and recipes were to be formulated with consistent measurements and is a fore-runner to the Fannie Farmer's The Boston Cooking School Cookbook.  Fannie Farmer was one of her students!

Below is a recipe from the cookbook that I thought would befit the holiday season,  please enjoy!

Plum Cakes

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
Yolks of 3 eggs
Whites of 2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of dark molasses
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoonful cream of tartar
1/2 pound raisins, stoned and chopped (plums?)
1/2 pound currants
2 tablespoonfuls any fruit syrup
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoonfuls mixed spices

If not dark enough, add a little melted chocolate.  Bake in small tins, and frost part of them with the remaining white of egg.

Baking instructions
Bake in a moderate oven (that's it for instructions)
(I'm guessing 350 degrees, until cakes are done, about 20 - 25 minutes.

This treasure fell out of the book after my little photo shoot!

Bake, eat and enjoy!


  1. Happy baking my friend! Looks great. Merry Christmas to you ad your family.

  2. What a wonderful gift and how special that it was in your family. The handwriting is so lovely. What a treasure.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    p.s. thank you so much for leaving your "calling card!"

  3. A real treasure indeed! And how wonderful you have come to own it now. I so love things with a history.

  4. Old recipe books, especially those with a family history, are special. I spend far more time reading my old books than I ever spend with my glossy modern cookery books - not that I necessarily cook any of the recipes very often!

    I think they help to give a wonderful insight to life in a bygone age. Enjoy your wonderful gift.

  5. I have to say you have been very very lucky to receive this book....I love old cook books. This recipe is very interesting!!! Thank you for sharing it with us!!!!

  6. Just a short message to let you know that the new version of Open Kitchen Magazine has been published please check it out for Christmas ideas!!!! http://www.openkitchenmagazine.com/news/e-festa-3-numero-in-versione-inglese/

  7. Wow Mary, how lucky are you!! I can't wait to take a gander at it. Looks in prime condition. The water damage is very slight.

  8. What a wonderful gift. Are you going to make plumb pudding? All I think of is the Christmas Carol when she worries about her plumb pudding.
    the best part is the recipe that fell out.

  9. This book is amazing!!
    Lucky you ;-)

  10. What a wonderful gift; I can just imagine the thrill leafing though this book knowing it it was your huband's grandmother who owned it.
    I am sure you will enjoy.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  11. Wow, Mary! What a wonderful gift and with such a family connection! It must be neat to pass your hand down some of the pages that your relative touched too! What an incredible bit of family and foodie history! Enjoy exploring the recipes!

    Merry Christmas!

  12. I'm sure it must be a treat trying them out.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    Lorraine :-}

  13. What a wonderful gift! I'm sure you will find some fabulous recipes inside.

    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  14. What a beautiful gift - full of memories.

    I know this will be a difficult Christmas - my thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    By the way, Christmas Pudding is often called Plum Pudding and no plums in there either!!!

  15. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mary! ...and a happy & healthy new year!

  16. What a sweet teasure to won, Mary! I love vintage recipes and books, and the hand written recipe is another wonderful memory.

  17. What a wonderful treasure! It really is the most beautiful cookbook and I know you'll enjoy it! I like the recipes in this old books and the simple natural ingredients! Very nice! ♥

  18. I treasure my very old cookbooks too. I have my grandmothers and I have one that I found at an antique shop. I love yhem both. Merry Christmas!

  19. What a great old book. Gone are the days of handwritten recipes like those. Plum cake? I bet it's delicious.

  20. Definitely a treasure and what an interesting history. I have an old Fannie Farmer cookbook and the White House Cookbook with an old copyright, but now I'll be looking for this one. At first, I thought we might be talking about THE Mary Lincoln. ☺

  21. What a wonderful gift...yes...I agree...bake, eat and enjoy!
    Happy New Year!


I'm thrilled you've stopped by and I always enjoy your comments! Thank you!