The Cook Book

The cook book was so revered, that my Ma kept it in the cabinet above the refrigerator, along with several others and a mass of newspaper recipe clippings and typed and handwritten family recipes. That book, and the others, was only brought down to the kitchen counter only when she was ready to bake or cook something special.

Ma would let me look through this particular cook book from time to time. Yes, I had to “be careful” with turning the pages and “be careful” not to spill anything on it. There were times I could sit for an hour reading and absorbing chapters and recipes and the few photographs in it – not a small feat for a eight-year-old (was when I first started reading it). As time went on, I read more and more recipes, happily thinking about the day when I would be married and cooking for my own family.

This particular cook book is the Antoinette Pope School Cook Book by Antoinette and Francois Pope. They were a couple who was born in Italy (Antoinette) and France (Francois), and immigrated to the United States (Chicago) in the early twentieth century. Over time, she converted their basement on the south side of Chicago into a cooking school. Ultimately, they even had a television cooking show on ABC (Channel 7) in Chicago. I remember watching it with Ma. Their culinary history is legendary. There is a well-written article about the Popes written when Antoinette passed away in 1993. You can read the article HERE.

Book1a

Two of my aunts also had this book, presented to them by my Ma. Ma’s book lasted for decades. It was so well used that over time, the pages were separating from the binding and she had to rubber band the book together after she used it. It was getting fragile from so much use. It became a lost artifact when my parents had a small flood in their basement (where she moved the book there for some unknown reason) and the book became so water logged, it was destroyed.

Recently, I found this same edition in near perfect condition, and I bought it. The mailman delivered it to my house yesterday, and I was thrilled beyond expression! I went through the chapters and pages, reveling in chapter introductions, measurements, techniques, and recipes. I found the first recipe I ever made from the cook book – Tuna Noodle Casserole. I was fourteen years old. It wasn’t my first time cooking (I was already do that since I was about eleven). But, oh! I felt so grown up using a Pope recipe!

This edition I now have seems to have an interesting history. Someone – Amy – bought it for Jane and presented it to her on December 25, 1954:

Book2a

It looks like Jane tried Pope’s Oatmeal Cookies, but made notes about looking at the recipe on an Oatmeal box:

Book3a

She made Pope’s Chop Suey and added penciled notes about her own revisions to the recipe. She even said it was “very good”:

Book4a

Jane made Chili con Carne (remember how that was how we used to always refer to chili?). Jane also made the Beef Stew, and that page is scribbled all over with notes:

Book5a

On the last page and inside cover of the book, Jane taped a picture of Francois Pope and his two sons, plus a write up on the cooking school. She cut up the dust cover; that’s where that came from:

Book6a

The only clue as to where Jane lived was a note she wrote in a margin: “Use Burghardt’s rye bread”. My Internet research revealed that Burghardt’s rye bread came from the Livonia, Michigan area.

This weekend I’ll be making the lasagna recipe from the book. And that Tuna Noodle Casserole won’t be far behind!

I’ll be remembering Ma baking and cooking, my young days pouring over the cook book’s pages, and of Jane and Amy – sisters, friends, cousins, or in-laws? Cook books are a good resource to learning about how people prepared and served food, and perhaps how they thought enough about each other to present them with a useful and thoughtful gift.

Bon appetite!

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

Advertisements

12 Comments on “The Cook Book

  1. I have even delved into this book. It’s not just receipies, not by a long shot. Perhaps it will help me improve my cooking skills as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The cookbook is an absolute treasure – both because of your memories of your mother, and because of the wonderful notes and annotations by the unknown Jane. Cookbooks can tell us so much about people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So very true…I’m really getting a kick out of the handwritten notes and prolific underlining on some of the recipes. It all is a fantastic insight into life decades ago…..thanks for commenting Sheryl. I also enjoy reading your blog about days long ago . . . 🙂

      Like

The Indecisive Beader

A blog about how I bead, with other random musings.

Central Florida Critter of the Day

A daily photo posting of Central Florida Fauna

Biff Sock Pow

Finding the humor in everyday life.

Eva Newermann

Art and Books

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

Pamela Allegretto Artist/Author

Original Art and Fiction Writing

Love Travelling

Travel diaries providing inspiration for planning the perfect trip

Create Space

Creating, living, learning.

Janaline's world journey

My Strange, Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through the World

witness2fashion

Sharing the History of Everyday Fashions

Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

Mindfulness, Philosophy, Spirituality, Meditation, Awareness, Religion, Nature Photography

The Lonely Author

Hoping to inspire the world one word at a time.

Victor Travel Blog

An illustrated travel magazine by Victor Tribunsky.

The Austrian Dish

Welcome to Austrian Cuisine!

Preserving the Past

50 years of research about aviation by Clarence Simonsen

Forktrails

Indulgent escapes of the Banjaran Foodie

The Ink Owl

"If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story." -Terry Pratchett

Beans, Pen & Nirja

An amateur writer trying to make an impact through her words, just to feel the beauty of life and love. Cherishing the beauty of Hope 💞 I am a banker by profession but I love to write everything that comes to my heart and mind. I am actually hopeless but yet I try to find hope in every aspects of life. I believe life has stored better things for me, so just while keeping wait, I prefer to write 💕 Its about my feelings expressed in words as I am so introvert to express in front of people. It's my diary and pen that understands me better. I love to write and hope other people will also like my write ups. Thank you so much for stopping by and having a look at my blog, Keep reading and suggesting. Love, nirja

FiveFeetAndOneInch

Just a blog about a short girl in her twenties

The Gardenia Cottage

Daily Life at The Gardenia Cottage

Dining with Donald

Donald on dining in and out

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

JANE STURGEON

From the banks of The Mersey......

World Hangover

Bad decisions make good stories.

Empowered

Everyday

IMPREINT journal

The official bulletin of the artist IMPREINT created to repost excerpts from 'En plein air'.

The Violet Basket Diary

Entries from the Violet Basket Cottage Diary

The Gardenia Diary

Thoughts on Life Written from The Gardenia Cottage

Jemverse

Life in words

spanishwoods

thoughts from the forest

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World

Book 'Em, Jan O

Ghosts, Tall Tales & Witty Haiku!

When Timber Makes One Still

"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the soul" -John Muir

barrywax

Short Stories by Barry Wax

Online Home of Susan Feathers

Writers live twice. ~ Natalie Goldberg

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes

Pre-Code.Com

Celebrating Pre-Code Hollywood Cinema, 1930 - 1934

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

The Vintage Traveler

Fuzzylizzie's Fashion & Travel: Vintage Style

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

The Indecisive Beader

A blog about how I bead, with other random musings.

Central Florida Critter of the Day

A daily photo posting of Central Florida Fauna

Biff Sock Pow

Finding the humor in everyday life.

Eva Newermann

Art and Books

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

Pamela Allegretto Artist/Author

Original Art and Fiction Writing

Love Travelling

Travel diaries providing inspiration for planning the perfect trip

Create Space

Creating, living, learning.

Janaline's world journey

My Strange, Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through the World

witness2fashion

Sharing the History of Everyday Fashions

Tom's Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog

Mindfulness, Philosophy, Spirituality, Meditation, Awareness, Religion, Nature Photography

The Lonely Author

Hoping to inspire the world one word at a time.

Victor Travel Blog

An illustrated travel magazine by Victor Tribunsky.

The Austrian Dish

Welcome to Austrian Cuisine!

Preserving the Past

50 years of research about aviation by Clarence Simonsen

Forktrails

Indulgent escapes of the Banjaran Foodie

The Ink Owl

"If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story." -Terry Pratchett

Beans, Pen & Nirja

An amateur writer trying to make an impact through her words, just to feel the beauty of life and love. Cherishing the beauty of Hope 💞 I am a banker by profession but I love to write everything that comes to my heart and mind. I am actually hopeless but yet I try to find hope in every aspects of life. I believe life has stored better things for me, so just while keeping wait, I prefer to write 💕 Its about my feelings expressed in words as I am so introvert to express in front of people. It's my diary and pen that understands me better. I love to write and hope other people will also like my write ups. Thank you so much for stopping by and having a look at my blog, Keep reading and suggesting. Love, nirja

FiveFeetAndOneInch

Just a blog about a short girl in her twenties

The Gardenia Cottage

Daily Life at The Gardenia Cottage

Dining with Donald

Donald on dining in and out

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

JANE STURGEON

From the banks of The Mersey......

World Hangover

Bad decisions make good stories.

Empowered

Everyday

IMPREINT journal

The official bulletin of the artist IMPREINT created to repost excerpts from 'En plein air'.

The Violet Basket Diary

Entries from the Violet Basket Cottage Diary

The Gardenia Diary

Thoughts on Life Written from The Gardenia Cottage

Jemverse

Life in words

spanishwoods

thoughts from the forest

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World

Book 'Em, Jan O

Ghosts, Tall Tales & Witty Haiku!

When Timber Makes One Still

"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the soul" -John Muir

barrywax

Short Stories by Barry Wax

Online Home of Susan Feathers

Writers live twice. ~ Natalie Goldberg

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes

Pre-Code.Com

Celebrating Pre-Code Hollywood Cinema, 1930 - 1934

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

The Vintage Traveler

Fuzzylizzie's Fashion & Travel: Vintage Style

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers