“The Hampstead Cookbook”

Carroll County Times article for 26 October 1997

By Jay A. Graybeal

Local churches have always sought varied ways to supplement income from the collection plate. A popular turn of the century fundraising method was the local cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of congregation or community members. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Hampstead published Model Cook Book for the benefit of the church. The book was compiled and edited by Mrs. S. F. Tholan with assistance from the members of the church Aid Society. The 86-page paperback cost a quarter.

Mrs. Tholan selected a poem by Owen Meredith for the beginning of the book:

“We may live without poetry, music and art,
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books,
But civilized man cannot live without cooks;
He may live without books-what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without love-what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?”
A straightforward Preface described the contents of the cookbook:
“NOT ALL men are of equal value; neither are all books prized alike. Some are to be studies, other read, and other used. This one is to be used, and will occupy a very important place in the home.The book is just what its name indicates, “Model Cook Book.” It contains a collection of choice and tried recipes.

The compiler’s aim was not to give all the minute details of ordinary cooking, but rather to present the public with a useful selection of such recipes as experience has justified.

While the “Model Cook Book” contains an appreciated and useful selection of recipes, it was not published in the interest of cooking entirely; but that the society’s treasury may be swelled and her object promoted also.”

The cookbook contains recipes in the following categories, soups, fish, meats, bread, fowl, eggs, vegetables, salads, cakes and icings, icings and fillings, puddings and desserts, pies, candies, preserves, jellies, etc., pickles and one on miscellaneous foods. The chapter headings tell us many the types of foods that the housewife of 1900 routinely made for her family.

Mrs. J. Lippy’s recipe for baking a ham is typical of the several hundred examples in the book: “Baked Ham. Ham intended for boiling should be thoroughly washed, rubbing with a coarse cloth. Put into a large vessel, so that it may be covered with cold water. If large, boil gently about 15 minutes for each pound of ham. When done, remove from the fire and let cool. Remove the skin and spread over the top a mixture made as follows: One tablespoon of mustard, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, and 2 teaspoonful of brown sugar. Lay the ham in a pan and pour mixture over. Bake basting frequently.”

Most, if not all, of the cost of the cookbook was underwritten by local, regional and national businesses who advertised in the cookbook. There are ads for Hampstead businesses: The Hampstead Bank; I. C. Kelly, Grocer; D. H. Millender, Grain, Feed and Flour; T. J. Hunt & son, General Merchandise; Spencer & Baldwin, Packers; A. D. Frankforter, Photographer; W. H. Miller, Boots and Shoes; Blizzard’s Drug Store; Frank B. Snyder, Stoves and Furnaces; A. P. Schultz, Monuments and Tombstones; Hampstead Supply House, Buggies and Agricultural Implements; and Howard Patterson, Bicycles and Guns.The largest of the national advertisers was the Rumford Co., that paid for a full page ad and to have “Rumford Baking Powder is Healthful” printed at the bottom of a number of pages. Many of the recipes also specifically included Rumford’s Baking Powder in the list of ingredients. Other advertisers proclaimed the superiority of their teething syrup, coffee, washing machine, coffee pot, and parlor organs. Judging from the well worn covers and pages of surviving copies of local church cookbooks, many women found them very useful. Local churches also met some of their fundraising goals from the sale of these useful items.
Photo caption: This somewhat faded postcard shows St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and parsonage in Hampstead. The church published the Model Cook Book around the turn of the century, featuring popular recipes for a wide variety of foods. Historical Society of Carroll County collection.