In Special Collections, you’ll find a robust collection of rare and specialty cookbooks, recipe cards and other food ephemera that can enhance your research or your next potluck meal.
Browse the recipes below for inspiration on what to add to your weekly menu—and stop by Special Collections to delve deeper into our extensive cookbook and food ephemera collection.
In transcribing the recipes below, all efforts were made to preserve original spelling and abbreviations.
A Taste of Delaware
Food brings people together. Family, friends and communities bond by sharing their traditions and recipes with one another. In Special Collections, you’ll find a number of cookbooks compiled by local Delaware companies, organizations, associations and restaurants all designed to bring Delawareans closer together through food and flavor.
Baked Pineapple Stuffing
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
5 slices of bread, cubed
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in bread and pineapple. Pour into greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Note: Stuffing is especially good with ham. Yield: 6 servings.
Helen M. Bartels
From “Delaware’s Finest,” compiled by the Delaware chapter of the American Red Cross in 1990.
In a medium-sized frying pan, melt margarine and stir in basil and lime juice. Coat fillets with this mixture and cook in the frying pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side until fish is opaque throughout. Serves 3.
In the 20th century, American food companies turned brand names into essential ingredients by creating recipes based around specific products to market their goods. While this type of advertising still exists today, the materials you’ll find in Special Collections will give you a glimpse into the food trends, marketing tactics and popular brands of yesteryear.
All sweetness and lightness
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 cups Rice or Corn Chex
1. Butter a cookie sheet or three 8 or 9-inch shallow pans.
2. Heat butter and syrup in large heavy skillet over low heat until butter is melted. Then stir until blended.
3. Add sugar. Stir until smooth. Continue heating slowly without stirring until mixture is all foam and twice the original volume. From this point, heat for 2 more minutes.
4. Then while still over heat, add the Chex all at once. Stir until each Chex is coated.
5. Pour onto buttered cookie sheet. Spread over entire sheet. Mixture will be in a lacy pattern.
6. When cool, break into bite-sized pieces.
Yield: Approximately 5 cups.
8 medium-sized potatoes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Carnation Milk, undiluted
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice potatoes, cook until tender in enough salted water to cover. Drain, reserving 4 cups of the liquid. Force potatoes through ricer or sieve. Combine with potato water. Add egg and Carnation Milk, beating well. Season to taste. Heat thoroughly, stirring constantly. Serve at once, garnished with chopped parsley. Serves 6.
Cut the bananas into long thin strips, sprinkle with lemon juice or salt water. Place on thinly sliced bread and spread with mayonnaise. Chopped almonds, chopped pecans or pimento cut into tiny pieces add an attractive flavor and nutritive value to this delicious sandwich for the children’s luncheon.
Whether the paper is riddled with food stains or perfectly preserved, there is something undeniably personal about a recipe someone wrote out by hand. In Special Collections, you’ll find a variety of 19th and 20th century cookbooks filled with handwritten recipes, newspaper clippings and other ephemera that provide true snapshots of the time and plenty of inspiration for your next kitchen adventure—even if the recipes are more like ingredient lists than instructions.
4 tablespoon-fulls of pork drippings
4 of boiling water
Fill the cup with molasses
1 teaspoonfull of saleratus*
1 of ginger
1/2 of cream tartar
*Editor’s Note: Saleratus, similar to baking soda, was a chemical leavener.