Farm Journal Country Cookbook

My 1959 Edition
When we returned to small town Iowa after spending the first 5 years of our marriage in Germany, I started vegetable gardening, canning, baking even more and cooking more foods available in the Midwest.  The perfect cookbooks for my kitchen were being published at the time by the Farmers Wife magazine inside the Farm Journal.  I have collected most of them, especially those edited by Nell B. Nicholls, which are much better than later versions.  I think Myrna might have shown me these and I had to have them.  In the Seventies, you could order from a list of books available directly from the magazine.
My 1972 Edition
The first of these books was published in 1959, The Farm Journal's Country Cookbook.  A later version was published in 1972.  I have both copies, and Myrna has the later version as well.  I didn’t find my first edition copy until about 5 years ago and was amazed to find chapters devoted entirely to “butter and cream” and “milk and cheese” and “eggs”.  Now that we regularly get “farm” eggs, I understand why a farm wife would want plenty of recipes to showcase their delicious, REAL farm products.
There are also chapters for “money-making” recipes for bake sales and organization or church dinners, and recipes for large quantities, recipes for fish and game, farm meats and poultry, garden and orchard produce, canning, freezing and food preservation, regional dishes, and my favorite:  Old-fashioned recipes – those recipes Grandma may have made that use old-fashioned ingredients like lard.
I could probably cook forever with just this cookbook.  Coffeetime, desserts, make ahead recipes, potluck dishes, dishes to make your reputation as a good cook, they are all in there!  If you see one of these Farm Journal's Country Cookbooks at a thrift shop, book sale or flea market, my advice:  Buy it and use it!

Jellied Beef Mold

Rice Delight

Lemon Cookies

Provincial Potatoes

Crispy Sundae Crunch

Swiss Steak with Chili Sauce

Pineapple Date Loaf

Rice Bean Salad

Creamy Thousand Island Dressing

Lemon Coconut Bars

Cashew Tuna Luncheon

Green Beans in Sour Cream

Mashed Potato Salad

Orange Lard Cake

Creole Pork Chops


9 comments:

  1. I appreciate your posting. Just yesterday, in our local True Value store, I saw two recipe books at $14.95 each-- they were filled with recipes, some dating back to 1931, from the 'old' Farm Journal magazines. (Darn!, I'd only taken enough $ with me to buy the mineral and milk replacer!) When I was young, though not cooking or baking a thing, I remember quickly turning to the magazine's recipe pages when it arrived. Oh, just like my mom's cooking, these are a part of gooooooood memories from when life seemed more simple/safe-- a time with a whole lot of tasty HOME cooking happening!

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  2. I have several Farm Journal Cookbooks... I wish I had purchased more "back in the day..."

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  3. I have searched "for decades" for a cake recipe I made from a Farm Journal Magazine in 1959 or 1960. The cake was called "Hungryman Cake" and was one of the recipes published in an article about cooking "big" for haying crews, etc. It was a rich but "not so sweet" yellow cake. I remember using lots of eggs!! I was 13 or 14 years old at the time and loved cooking from recipes. If anyone has this recipe or knows where I can find it, please let me know. The original recipe makes a huge amount of cake!!

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    1. Perhaps this is the recipe you are looking for??

      Hungry Man's Lard Cake
      Source: Farm Journal's Timesaving Country Cookbook (1961)
      "A big cake to carry in pan to picnic or lunch in the field--made by Grandma's creaming method"
      1 1/4 cups lard
      2 1/2 cups sugar
      6 eggs
      5 1/2 cups sifted flour
      8 teaspoons baking powder
      2 teaspoons salt
      1 1/2 cups milk
      1 Tablespoon vanilla

      Cream lard 1 minute; add sugar; cream until light and fluffy.
      Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
      Sift together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and vanilla; beat until well mixed.
      Pour into greased and floured pan (10" x 14").
      Bake in moderate oven (375*) about 35 minutes. When cool, spread with caramel or chocolate-fudge frosting made from a packaged mix.

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  4. Thanks Sue! Sounds like this could be the one, time frame (1961) is right on. Seems to me that 8 teas of baking powder might be a bit much. I'll give this a try and post my results. :-)

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    1. I loaned my book out...should have it back next week...I can verify the amounts for you then if you wish.

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    2. I got my book back today...the 8 teaspoons of baking powder is correct. Remember, this is larger than a usual 13" x 9" cake pan.
      It's more of a food service type baking pan size.

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  5. In the 1959 version I remember my grandma making the sugarage cookies that took lemon zest... they were the best. I haven't been able to find that recipe anywhere! It was always a favorite holiday treat!

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    1. Kendra - this may be your recipe? From my copy of the 1959 book.
      Hope so...Sue

      Sugar Cookies (Master Recipe)
      ½ Cup Butter
      1 Cup Sugar
      1 Large Egg
      ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
      2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Rind
      ¼ Teaspoon Salt
      1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
      2 Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour
      ¼ Cup Milk
      • Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add egg, vanilla and lemon rind. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
      • Sift dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture together with milk.
      • Divide dough in half. Chill 1 hour.
      • Roll out half, on floured board, keeping the other chilled until ready to roll. Roll 1/4" thick.
      • Cut into bars and place on greased baking sheet.
      • Brush with slightly beaten egg white (optional) and sprinkle with sugar.
      • Bake in moderate oven (350°) 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 24 large cookies.
      "Farm Journal's Country Cookbook 1959 page 328"

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