by Lucie Roy
Recipes and cookbooks tell a story through time, and Morinville has more than 11 cookbooks and more than ten other cookbooks where residents submitted recipes.
Many books have suggested servings, quotes, hints, remedies, cures, cooking charts, and lists of substitutions.
Recipes passed down from generation to generation, books well read and used, crumbled pages, notes beside some recipes, pages with bent corners and inserts in the books from newspaper clippings of great recipes are just some of the signs of favourite cookbooks in the community.
Cookbooks tell a story through time
The recipes often conjure up images of family gatherings, an Aunt’s favourite recipe, and sometimes the smell of memories come flooding back.
Some remember the events where the recipes were used.
The cookbooks provide entertaining reading when you browse all the sponsors and advertisements as they give a snapshot and nostalgic look of the businesses in town at the time and all the great cooks.
The twenties brought about the gas range and Pyrex cookware.
The thirties introduced less expensive substitutions, and economy recipes gained acceptance.
The War years brought with it rationing of sugar, butter and coffee.
What foods were common, what kitchen appliances were invented at the time, and the recipes changed with it.
In this first part of this series, we will look at a few local recipe books.
The first one is The Gift & Tea House in Morinville presents Ollie’s Delicious Dishes Cookbook by Ollie Green (photo taken pre COVID-19 mask bylaw).
Ollie Green said she had a restaurant years ago where she cooked quick meals, pies, soups and tarts.
Green made a cookbook, and the first 1500 copies sold out fast.
With more than 40 pages, it includes a section on bread, muffins, cakes and squares, pies and cheesecakes, soups, sandwiches and quick meals.
Green said the recipe book was a collection of recipes used at the Gift & Tea House in Morinville for more than four years. Numerous requests for recipes prompted her to publish the book with the hopes that people would enjoy each recipe that they tried.
Green said she did catering for twenty years to weddings, meetings, and other social gatherings, and some of the recipes were handed down from her mother. Others she created in her kitchen. All the recipes are simple and easy to make with all ingredients available in local markets.
Green said she has always thought of producing a second book in a smaller size with pictures and covering different recipes, including Ukrainian foods and bread.
She eventually sold the restaurant to Kelley’s Deli and Bakery.
The second book in this series is Prize Recipes in Morinville, with a photo on the cover of the Morinville Explorers 1983/84.
Many recipes were submitted from the community, and some of those included Beverly, Tracey and Joanne Rockwell, Jacquie Zubko, Pauline Stenzel, Marg and Ronald Sherlow, Susan Henry, Laurie and Shannon Pifko, Marilyn McDonald and Paul Krauskopf.
An interesting recipe is the Bible Cake by Beverly Rockwell.
For every ingredient added, there is a quote from the Bible. For 1/2 lb, butter it quotes Judges, 5:25 “She brought forth butter in a lordy dish.” For sugar, it quotes Jeremiah 7:20 “Sweet cane from a far county.”
The third book is the 1982 book Shared Secrets of Heritage Place Lodge.
It has a section on Super Quantity cooking for 100, 175, 225, 135 people, how to convert to Metric system, Measurements and Weight, Beatitudes for the Housewives, oven temperature charts and more.
There are recipes submitted from Anne Kryskow, Brent Skjersven, Ruth Gatzky, Lottie Savard, Audrey Connery, Lucy and Annie Brenneis, Clarice Beaupre, Susie Kluthe and many more.
Lots of advertising provides a glimpse of the businesses in town and the owners. The Morinville Variety & Sears Catalogue Office, Frontier Honda & Trailer Town, Dial Equipment, Mar-co Welding, His & Hers Hairstyling, Frontiersman Restaurant and many more.
In the newspaper, The Legal Record, they had a column titled $1.00 for Favorite Recipe.
In the July 9, 1953 issue was a recipe for Carrot Pudding, and a cheque for $1.00 was sent for this recipe to Miss Laurette Champagne. Box 44 of Legal.
In Part 2, we will cover a few more Morinville cookbooks.