You may have heard of The Grange. You may even be a member or your family was active in their local Grange many years ago. It doesn’t seem to be an active organization where I live anymore but they still do exist.
As a youth I had heard of the Grange but wasn’t really aware of all that they did in our country’s history and more importantly I didn’t know that they were such an important organization for the many rural families of our country. I think that they were such an important agricultural type organization where the rural farm families could gather at their local building to support one another, find others with the same interests as their own as well as share food and fellowship with one another. I seem to remember reading that many rural families during World War 2 would gather there to home-can foods together and share equipment. That must have been such a fun and wonderful time; don’t you think?
What really peaked my interest in knowing about them is this recipe book.
This book had been my Grandmother’s.
It is evident as I look through that all recipes are from Grange members.
It lost its covers and some pages are missing as well. As you can see my brother was hired by my Grandmother to make a new cover for it. 🙂
As I was on my journey to bake through all of the Pumpkin Pie recipes in my possession to find the one which I fell in love with first, my Grandmother’s, I had looked at the ones in this book. You can read all about my Pumpkin Pie adventures in this post: Eating Our Way Through Autumn; One Pumpkin Pie at a Time.
But as I was reading all of the members’ organization names and county names I began to realize that this particular cookbook wasn’t from the Pennsylvania Grange. So I began my journey through the world wide web to determine where it could be from. Lo and behold, somewhere I found a photo of a page of recipes in a Grange cookbook which was being sold on the internet (possibly Amazon) and I compared that page to my book. Fortunately the page on the internet was in existence in my Grange cookbook. I finally found the one which my Grandmother used so much and it is the one titled Ohio State Grange Cook Book which is from 1970 (with red spiral bound plastic).
As you can see in the top photo there are a lot of stains and I believe the book became wet somewhere along the way because of the big stains on the top of most of the pages. Pies were something which my Grandmother often made; she was a great baker and loved to bake all of the time. The photo above has the Pumpkin Pie recipes on the right page. I made one of them but I still can’t seem to find the right mixture of ingredients for the pie which she always made unless I’m not remembering the taste correctly.
But onto the cookbooks again…
After determining which Grange this book is from I began to wonder why she had this particular one since we live in Pennsylvania (although Ohio is our neighbor) and, of course, how did she get an Ohio Grange Book?? From what I recall, her one brother (my Great-Uncle) would visit family in Ohio. I don’t remember if they were my Grandmother’s family too or if they were my Great-Uncle’s wife’s family in Ohio. But I have seen photos of him visiting a cemetery of family members in Ohio. So I guess it’s possible that the Grange cookbook found its way from their through that route. I just don’t know. I was just so happy to finally learn which Grange this book had come from. And apparently it was well-loved by my Grandmother.
About two summers ago I had been at a flea market and came across a woman who was selling her late mother-in-law’s things. They were going to move into the home but there was just so much stuff. She was telling me information since I was interested in her cookbooks which she was selling. I bought 3 of them. Two were vintage Better Homes and Garden cookbooks which I discussed in the post about my collection and one of them was this Grange cookbook.
After reading through this amazing collection of vintage recipes I was so excited to have found such a treasure for what I seem to remember to be only 25 or 75 cents!!! This book contains so many rare and old recipes which you are not going to find in too many other places.
There is a section containing recipes from various noted individuals in Washington, D.C. of the time (1976) including…..
There are various recipes in the book which claim to have been served to President George Washington in the White House too!
There is even a section titled Special Diabetic Recipes. I find that unusual for a cookbook published in 1976 and yet so fascinating, especially for a Grange cookbook. Those Grange members were sure concerned for their members’ health and well being and made sure to include those types of recipes in their Bicentennial Cookbook. The only recipe which we’ve made so far was the Pennsylvania Dutch Mustard recipe which it says is over 100 years old. It was a disaster and my husband and I proclaim to never eat any others then French’s! It smelled horrible and the taste was horrific! Needless to say it was dumped out. At least we can say we tried; can’t we?!
But due to these two Grange cookbooks I began to look at other various used Pennsylvania (PA) Grange cookbooks on the internet; Amazon mostly. That’s where I tend to visit for used cookbooks, by the way.
I started reading reviews about what appears to be the most-loved of all PA Grange cookbooks. The one originally published in 1972. You can buy reprints of this book but I seem to remember to have read some reviews somewhere that stated some recipes are missing from the reprints. That is one of the main reasons I don’t like buying a reprint. Too often they are missing items/recipes from the original publication. So off I began my search for a used one on Amazon for a descent price. I received an Amazon gift card last year from someone who told me to ‘treat myself’ so I decided to use it towards the purchase of two PA used State Grange Cookbooks.
Here is the 1972 book which claims to be the best loved version of all of the ones which the PA Grange has sold.
And this one is from 1950 even though there is no date on the inside.
I am satisfied with my PA Grange collection of cookbooks. But most importantly, I have finally determined which one my Grandmother loved the most.
Now if I only could go back in time and watch her make the best Pumpkin Pie ever (and get the recipe)!!!!!
I hope that when I get to Heaven she’ll have one waiting for me as well as a big bowl of her delicious Rivel Soup!