Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vintage cookbook and blackberry jam recipe

Vintage Recipe Thursday is meant to preserve your own original vintage family recipes, or out-of-print, copyright-free recipes from old cookbooks, magazines, newspapers or postcards. You're invited! Get the details by clicking to the Vintage Recipe Thursday Homepage. I post recipes from the Household Searchlight Recipe Book, first published in 1931. My 16th printing is from 1943. What will you post?


When CC of Lace 'n' Ribbon Roses showed us her own vintage Pure Food Cook Book last week, I thought it added so much value to the post that I decided to wait no longer to show you my Searchlight Recipe Book.  If you are interested, you can also click on the link to see a picture of one of the Household Magazine covers.  The magazine editors created this cookbook.

I found it at my local Friends of the Library bookstore.  As you can see the book is very distressed, but that's just proof that it was heavily used, and a good indication that it has good recipes.  All the ones I have made have actually been quite good.

The cover is real leather and still smells good.  The colors on the cover are bright red and turquoise.  The photographs on the end papers are still bright.  There are no colors or illustrations on any of the inside pages.  It is all text on all 320 pages.  It has an excellent stitched binding which is not showing any sign of pages loosening.

The end papers are torn.  There are many splatters throughout and a few minor tears on inside pages.  There are a couple yellowing pieces of tape, too.  The edges on the indexed pages are showing heavy wear.

The previous owner left an improvised bookmark.  It is a "Win-A-Fortune" Game Card, a "free-no purchase necessary" lottery card with a store coupon at the bottom.  It is dated 02/01/90.  It was folded in thirds and left between the last page of pastries and the first page of poultry, and I have left it in its place.

Of course my cookbook is much older than that.  It has a 1931 copyright, and my 16th printing is from 1943.  The recipes inside are from both the editors of the Household Magazine, and from their readers.  Some of the recipes were prize winners when they were first published in the magazine.

The picture of the inside pages includes today's recipe at the bottom left, Blackberry Jam Pie.  I'm also typing it out as usual so that it's readable.

I picked this recipe because we bought a large package of blackberries to eat, but the grower had sadly mixed very sweet and delicious blackberries with some bland ones, and some tart ones.  It rather felt like Harry Potter's Berty Botts Beans where you never know when you might get a horrid flavor.  That just won't do for me, so I made some jam.  This pie would be a great use of it as it contains one cup of blackberry jam.


Blackberry Jam Pie
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup blackberry jam
1 tablespoon corn starch
Few grains salt

Beat egg yolks until thick.  Add cream, butter, and jam.  Combine 1/2 cup sugar, salt, corn starch.  Add to first mixture.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.  Bake in hot oven (425 F.) about 25 minutes.  Cover with meringue made of egg whites and 3 tablespoons sugar.  Brown in slow oven (325 F.) 20 minutes.  Maggie Clemmons, Huntsville, Mo. 
  • This Linky is for participants of Vintage Recipe Thursday.
  • Please leave a link to your vintage recipe, not your homepage.
  •  Please include a hyperlink back to this post or blog.
  • Enjoy making new blog friends by visiting each other.


  1. I once saw pages of Joy of Cooking, another vintage cook book but this one appears to be real old in terms of publication. 1931 is a way real long from now but you see these recipes are the real home made ones. I say so because you did not have much of commercial seasoning and spices so you had more wholesome food. Although one will say well, people did not know about cholesterol so food then was somehow fatty but there were also real goodies.

    My associate showed me a hummus like recipe from a 1960 recipe guide (not a book actually) and you can tell things used to be real wholesome.

  2. Wonderful vintage cook books. I have some that belonged to my mother. I do not cook much anymore, so they are not used. I love blackberries anyway you fix them.

  3. I love this meme. I do wish more people would participate. How can I help you spread the word? Do you have a button I can put on my sidebar?

  4. Home Food Fan: You are right there isn't much if any commercialism in this vintage cookbook. I find most of the recipes to be pretty healthy, too. It's mostly just wholesome ingredients.

    LV: How wonderful that you have your mother's cookbooks. My mom gave me her first cookbook from when she was a newlywed. I treasure it, plus it contains all my childhood comfort food recipes. It would be wonderful if you would share some of your mom's cookbook recipes (even some of your own, too) with the rest of us. You wouldn't necessarily have to cook, you could just type out the recipes in your blog, and/or you could photograph them like CC and I did. I'm sure there are some real gems in your collection, and they shouldn't be forgotten or lost. You are warmly invited to join us.

    Michelle: Thank you. I am glad you are enjoying this meme. Feel free to grab the button I use each week or the one toward the top of my sidebar. (Right click and Save Image As.) It can be shrunk or enlarged to any size. I would greatly appreciate any help in spreading the word about Vintage Recipe Thursday. :-)

    Diann: Thank you. There are wonderful old cookbooks, and they can teach us a lot about women, traditions, history of foods, etc., plus those of us who like vintage also appreciate them for their aesthetics.

  5. I too have this Searchlight recipe book. My mother passed away in 2007 and I inherited it. It was her very first cookbook. It too hase been well used. She has added her own notes and additional recipes on blank pages in her own handwriting. I will treasure it forever.

  6. Hi Michelle....
    First, thank you so much for this sweet award.. I love that you thought about me and liked my blog. I know just the sweet ladies that this award will be sent along to.
    I can't believe I missed the Recipes Thursday..
    sharing recipe is one of my favorite things to do.
    Perhaps it was the fall that fractured my pelvis, maybe it fractured my brain as well. :). I will tie a string around me next week as a reminder...I don't want to miss a thing with this party.
    I really like the way you showed the book.. I collect and read every one I can find.
    Again thank you for this sweet award..I treasure it..and thank you for being such a great hostess on the Thursday party.

  7. Oh my gosh! First of all, thanks for visiting FT-L; I read your blog title as Joy of Deserts (maybe I need new glasses) and so I was expecting to see lovely pictures of maybe Arizona(which would have been nice) -- but it was LOVELY to see what your blog really is (although it makes me hungry).

    Secondly --- I have my Mom's copy of Household Searchlight and I love that cookbook (it is stored right now while we travel) but I use recipes from it all the time. I think it was a postwar cookbook so there are a lot of economical recipes in it.

    Your blog is cool; I'll come back.


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