When mouse finds herself with nothing exciting to do, often she'll look through old cookbooks she's acquired over the years. Believe it or not, they're fun to read. One mouse has been looking through is from the 1940s, and entitled, The New Bride's Cookbook. It probably belonged one of mouse's great aunts who was married around the time. What makes it fascinating to mouse isn't the recipes but the ads. It's chocked full of ads for long forgotten stores, butchers, dress makers, and even coupons in the back and some WWII ration cards! Bring the coupon with the accompanying ration card and you too can buy sugar for just fifteen cents a pound!
It's also classic Old San Francisco, phone numbers included are all Mission this, North Beach, Telegraph that...
The recipes are fairly simple, and a bit dull. A beef stroganoff recipe was marked saying to only get the egg noodles from some grocery in China town and another said to buy the Pasta at the Italian shop, next to a butcher (from the address mouse strongly suspects is now the Molinari Deli). Some recipes aren't really recipes but rather a list of ingredients. Still others begin by saying go into the backyard and find the biggest chicken and cut its head off. Then proceeds in minute detail on removing the feathers, proper dressing (which mouse presumes didn't mean stuffing the bird with seasoned bread cubes), but goes little further. Clearly going back to a time when people did keep chickens and rabbits in backyard pens and coops, a tradition that continued well into mouse's time, but died out with its older (mostly Italian decent) residents and changing city ordinances provided end (with the exception mouse is told, being San Francisco's famous, or infamous, China Town).
It's odd taking the mental walking tour into the past, one that mouse scarcely knew about since it was decades before her birth, but vividly recalled and being regaled with stories from back in that day.
The reason for this? In just 6 weeks we'll be departing for the lake and mouse wants to carry with her some recipes. Of course she'll bring her tried and true recipes along with her, but she wants newer (old) recipes to add to the collection. Specifically looking for older cake and pie recipes that seem lacking, along with quick breads and other yummy things no one should eat save for when you're on vacation. Here we rarely do dessert, but while on vacation, mouse is baking cakes or pies two - three times a week, and cookies are done dozens at a time on Sunday's so we have plenty for snacks and to give away to neighbors. With the abundance of fresh fruits it's really far less expensive to just bake a cake or peach pie or crumble (which are easier) and homemade ice cream, rather than spend lots of money on the bakery that caters to the weekenders.
Honestly, mouse has thought about seriously living there year around, but the lack of amenities (let alone a Target that isn't two hours away) would drive her crazy. No cable tv or internet -- yeah that might send mouse over the bend. For a couple months and the odd week here and there it's wonderful and nice to just get away.