I Tried A Handwritten Recipe I Found In A 100 Year Old Cookbook

I Tried A Handwritten Recipe I Found In A 100 Year Old Cookbook

A few months ago I was browsing through an antique shop with a good friend of mine when I came across several baking manuals that dated to the beginning of the 20th century. These were the kind published by a company to demonstrate the many ways to use their product in recipes. This particular book was the Ryzon Baking Baking Book (1918) by Marion Harris Neil which was described as “a practical manual for the preparation of food requiring baking powder.” The other book was Borden’s Prize Recipe Album (1925) which featured recipes using the Borden’s Evaporated Milk.

Not only were these books absolutely fascinating because it’s a glimpse at how baking was approached over 100 years ago, but these books were filled with handwritten recipes! So of course these had to come home with me!

After going through the handwritten recipes, I came to the conclusion that both of these books were owned by the same woman due to a good handful of recipes having the same name on them: Louise.

Who was Louise?

There was no other information given … only her first name. No last name or initial initial, no address or general location … nothing but these recipes. The only clue I may have to which era these came from is that one recipe is written on the back of a sheet of a calendar note pad with the date Wednesday, December 17, 1930. Most were written in English, but a few appeared to be in German. Once I went through the piles of recipes, I decided to tryout the Baking Powder Coffee Cake recipe that bore Louise’s name on it.

Below you can find a copy of the recipe and my thoughts on the resulting coffee cake. 🥰

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Sewing A 1908 Ladies House Dress

Sewing A 1908 Ladies House Dress

Over the past few months I have taken up the mantle of a passion project I began several years back, to sew my own clothing and to have a nearly complete me-made wardrobe. My style preferences have changed considerably since 2016, however I believe I have found the style and era that I feel completely at home in: late Victorian to early Edwardian (roughly 1890-1910).

At this point I have already made a handful of underpinnings and several walking skirts (with more to come, of course). Now I wish to turn my attentions towards the House Dress.

As a mom to a very active toddler, its very important to me that I am able to keep up with her while still feeling comfortable and put together. At the beginning of motherhood I fell into the trap of wearing yoga pants for everything, a modern mom uniform, and I greatly wished to break free no matter how alluring those stretchy polyester pants are. In addition to my motherly duties, I spend my days as a house wife running the home, cooking homemade meals, and completing day-to-day chores, so I need these clothes to be practical and functional.

One evening I was up late scrolling through pages of sewing patterns on Etsy, as one does, when I came across this pattern for a 1908 House Dress. At once I knew this was the solution to my dilemma! This fantastic dress was the perfect marriage of form and function to clad myself in as a worked around my home and played with my daughter.

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