The cover of Carson City Historical Cook Book.
I have been
perusing my old cookbooks lately trying to downsize and get rid of a few that I
really don’t use anymore but it is hard for me and I find that I would just
rather keep them. There is so much history in their pages of a simpler way of
life, a really different style of cooking and many old names and faces that go
with the recipes. Some I knew many I didn’t.
City Historical Cook Book, sponsored by the Nevada Landmark Society, was edited
by Noreen Humphreys and illustrated by Thelma Calhoun, also a former council
woman. I had the privilege of knowing these ladies and think it’s fitting to
shed a light on them in March during Women’s History Month. These two were
movers and shakers in their time. The cookbook is an ethnic collection of
recipes dating from the birth of Carson City to the present (1975). “Carson
City’s pioneers comprised every race, faith and color, left their mark in the
houses they built and the foods they prepared,” said Noreen Humphreys.
As you can see by the cover it was a well-used cookbook and it is literally falling apart but still has some of my favorite recipes. I love looking at the ads in the back of the book. It’s a glimpse into Carson’s past. With St. Patrick’s day next week I’m going to share a little bit of what’s in the book about the Irish.
Many of the
emigrants continued in the occupation they were accustomed to, the Irish and
the Cornish dug ore. The Irish introduced an age-old custom to their new land
of Nevada. They had their well-known “wake” of eating, music and drinking
during the long night watch of their beloved deceased. It seems that when St.
Patrick was dying he requested his weeping and lamenting friends “to forgo
their grief and rejoice at his comfortable exit and advised each one to take a
drop of something to drink.” The last injunction of the saint was complied with
at every Irish wake and whisky was the preferred drink.
I’m sharing two recipes from the book. Grapefruit Supreme from Irma Callahan Carville, First Lady from 1939-1945 and Bubble and Squeak that uses leftover corn beef with only a date 1897.
I made the
grapefruit supreme and I admit it was delicious. I did cut down the brown sugar
by half and the butter really did add an extra that made them “pop.” Save this
for a special occasion or not.
grapefruit in half, separate sections and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of brown
sugar between the two and dot each with a little butter. Place in a pan and
broil until slightly brown and juicy. Serve warm.
Slice cold corn beef thin, season with salt and pepper then saute in a fry pan with a little butter, remove and brown some cold boiled cabbage in the same pan.
In a well-buttered
scalloped dish alternate layers of the corn beef and cabbage starting and
ending with the corn beef. Over this pour a sauce of melted butter, sliced
cucumber pickle and a bit of minced onions. (I would probably saute the onions
with the cabbage, sliced or minced) Bake and serve.