A Lump of History

Wow, cookbooks sure have changed!

This 1916 beauty is actually a freebie distributed by Fred Scott Coal. Can you imagine anything like it today? And it’s not like Scott had any vested interest in people not wasting.

More to the point, World War I was raging and while the U.S. hadn’t yet entered, Americans were encouraged to conserve food by U.S Food Administration posters.

I took a picture of this Scott’s cookbook at a culinary library I visited in Watsonville, Calif. The library is the baby of Jean Fortenbery, 84, and a profile on her in the Santa Cruz Sentinel illustrates just how much more resourceful we used to be with food:

One recipe “reminds a cook to wash the mold off meat with vinegar after taking it out of the root cellar.

And to think, we throw away perfectly good food just because it has passed its “sell-by” date.

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