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Peterborough

From the history books

Recipes from the women of the ‘Peterboro Grange’

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

    Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.
  • Recipes from the "women of the Peterboro Grange," circa 1900.

Around 1900, the ladies of the Peterboro Grange published a community cookbook, “Reliable Recipes,” but Michelle Stahl of the Monadnock Center for History and Culture says she’s not so sure how reliable the recipes are for modern cooks.

Stahl notes that the recipes aren’t very detailed, perhaps because cooking was an art every woman knew all too well in those days.

“First, the recipes are written in the old-fashioned way, so the instructions are not as complete as we see in modern recipes,” Stahl says. “The other thing is that these are not tested — I can’t guarantee the results.”

But for those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, we’re sharing a few recipes from “Reliable Recipes,” which is kept at the center for those who’d like to explore the cookbook more. And for an earlier period of cuisine, the Monadnock Center for History and Culture will be doing some holiday, hearth cooking on Dec. 14, with recipes from the 1700s and 1800s. The event will take place open-house style from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Phoenix Mill House at 19 Grove St. Plum pudding, mince meat, hot chocolate and gingerbread cakes are on the menu.

Admission to “Hearth Cooking Saturday” is free, but there’s a $5 per family or couple suggested donation to help defray the cost of the ingredients. For more information, see MonadnockCenter.org, or call 924-3235.

From “Reliable Recipes,” circa 1900

The “Christmas Cake” recipe comes from the kitchen of Mrs. E. R. Melvin: Two eggs. 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup molasses, 1 cup raisins, 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoonful soda, all kinds of spice.

“Quick Indian Pudding” comes from the kitchen of Mrs. William Moore: Place 1 quart milk on the stove in an agate pan. Break one egg in a measuring cup, add salt and ginger to taste, 1 large tablespoon three times even full of Indian meal, beat. Then fill the cup even full with molasses, add as many raisins as liked. When the milk boils, pour in the mixed ingredients and stir constantly until thickened. Then put in a hot oven and bake 20 or 30 minutes.

“Snow Flake Cake” comes from the kitchen of Jennie A. Morrill: 1/2 cup butter, 11/2 cups sugar, 2 of flour, 1/4 cup milk, the whites of four eggs, 1 teaspoonful cream tartar, 1/2 teaspoonful of soda, the juice of half a lemon, beat the butter to a cream. Gradually add the sugar, then the lemon, and when very light, the milk and whites of eggs beaten to a stiff froth; then the flour in which the soda and cream tartar are mixed.

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