Every once in awhile I take a break, sit down with a cup of tea, and re-read some of my favorite old cookbooks. The most fascinating thing about reading old cookbooks is the history they tell us about the people who lived in a certain neighborhood during a specific time period.
That is perhaps one of the beauties of making your own family cookbook – you have control over favorite heirloom recipes, as well as a time capsule of all the people in your family.
If you haven’t started your family cookbook yet, no worries, there is still time to complete one for a sure-to-be-favorite Christmas gift. Meanwhile, below is interesting information about some old favorites:
Favorite Ancient Egyptian Breakfast
Ham and eggs (in 1500 B.C.)
America’s Favorite Fruits
1951 = Bananas, apples, seedless grapes, and oranges.
2008 = Strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples, and oranges.
Favorite Yuletide Treats
In Norway, the favorite sweet treat is Julekake (Christmas Bread), a sweet bread flavored with cardamom, citron and raisins.
Mark Twain’s Favorite Meal
Pan fried porterhouse steak with mushrooms and peas.
Favorite Tangy Fruit in Old China
Lemons are big in China, dating back to the Chinese Emperors, who liked lemonade. Lemons were brought to the Americas by Catholic Missionaries, and lemon trees were subsequently planted in California and Arizona.
French Monk’s Favorite Meal
In France, monks favored rabbit as a meal because it was considered fish and could be eaten as a meat substitute on “abstinence” days.
Cleopatra’s Favorite Fruit
As long as 6,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians enjoyed eating figs, both fresh and dried. They were a favorite of Cleopatra, and figs were said to be grown in the lush Hanging Gardens of Babylon (in present day Iraq).
Favorite Dessert in 1951
A survey of the U.S. armed forces in 1951 showed that banana cream pie was tops on the list for servicemen. However, their least favorite dessert was rice pudding.