Thank you to all who attended last week’s first meeting of the Historic Foodies! For those of you who missed the meeting, Kathrine’s Moermond from the Old Capitol Museum told tales of tracking down the variations of Marlborough Pudding. I’ve included her account here and hear her tell some of the tale on this week’s episode of Talk of Iowa!
Marlborough Pudding or Pie
I happened across the recipe as I was looking through Alice Electa Pickard’s recipe book that dates back to 1868 (page 49). I love to look for new dessert recipes and this one intrigued me because of its unusual name and simple ingredients. Sure enough, the pie I found to be a traditional Thanksgiving dessert and its praise was beaming on the Old Village Sturbridge Village website where if you’re looking for traditional New England Turkey Day recipes, this would be place to find them. But, I was intrigued. Marlborough Pie is very English, calling for nutmeg, lemon, and apple. And, were some of the Pilgrims yearning for the mother land when preparing and serving this pie? The recipe listed on the website called for a slightly different preparation and a few different ingredients. So, I just had to make both.
Marlborough Pie, Alice Electa Pickard, 1868
My first attempt at making Alice’s recipe was exuberant and exciting and I think I took things a little too fast. I had consulted another recipe online though that recommended grating the apples directly into the batter as to prevent browning, so that’s what I did. I also had the hunch to melt the butter first before blending. I prepared the all butter crust first though with a recipe from Sarah Josepha Hale’s book, Early American Cookery, 1841. I then prepped the ingredients, using a cheap chardonnay for the wine and large brown organic eggs. Since she said “spice to taste”, I took the liberty of using freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger as well. I then grated the apple into the mix, stirred, and then placed it in the “undercrust” and then into the oven. Since she does not reference a temperature, I went for a reliable 350 Fahrenheit and checked it at 35 minutes. And, it turned out just right. Or, so I thought. Soon after cutting into it I realized the egg had separated from the apple and there were two distinct layers. The taste was great, but I thought that this might not be the end goal.
1st attempt at Alice’s recipe
The following evening I attempted to make Alice’s version again and the Old Sturbridge Village version. The Old Sturbridge Village version is a modern adaptation of Amelia Simmons’ version from 1796 and includes stewed apples, lemon, cream, sherry, and two teaspoons of grated nutmeg. Spicy! In hopes to save time, I stewed the apples for the new recipe first and prepared the filling for Alice’s recipe. I then made the crusts for each and then put the new recipe together. I baked the new one first and Alice’s second. In my timely preparation for both pies, I did not realize that this actually was the key to Alice’s recipe, let the filling do some blending in the bowl before you bake it.
Old Sturbridge Village pie (left) and Alice’s pie (right).
As I sliced into the second attempt at Alice’s pie I let out a sigh of relief, it wasn’t in two layers! I realized then that all that time it sat waiting to place in the oven probably helped to make the ingredients blend happily with one another. Then, I cut open the second and I noticed the texture was much different, almost more of a cooked applesauce custard. In the Old Sturbridge Village recipe I had only used one teaspoon of grated nutmeg. However, it was still very alive with nutmeg, and with sherry. Both turned out to be very tasty, but I have to give my props to Alice’s recipe. It didn’t call for lemon, probably too expensive at the time to include, and it was very basic with great results. The texture of the pie hints to apple, but along with the eggs and butter, comes together to make a lovely and delicate dish.
I like Alice’s recipe so much that I’m sharing it with boyfriend’s family for their Thanksgiving!
Next meeting: Tuesday, December 11 at 6PM. Our theme for next month is holiday recipes and cookies so find a recipe from DIY History or the Szathmary printed cookbooks in Special Collections and bring a story of your success or failure, and photos of your dish as well as a sample to share! We’ll start the meeting with hands-on time to explore the handwritten manuscripts from the Szathmary Culinary Collection and tours of the collection.
This morning I was a guest on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program, where we discussed Thanksgiving recipes, cookbooks, and traditions. You can listen to an archived version of the program here. Below are links to some of the items from Special Collections that were discussed on the show.
Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cookbooks
DIY History: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu
Mary Shelton, Dec. 7, 1865 (1865-12-07): http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cwd/id/4275
Thomas Rescum Sterns from a letter home dated Nov. 28, 1862: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cwd/id/15325
Below are a few other Thanksgiving-food related images from the Szathmary collection:
The Thanksgiving table , from the Pennsylvania Cookbook: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/transcribe/scripto/transcribe/120/7344
Turkey, from the Pennsylvania cookbook, 1889: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/transcribe/scripto/transcribe/120/7352
James Doak cookbook: The Art of Cookery, circa 1760s, Turkey recipe: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/transcribe/scripto/transcribe/116/7052
James Doak cookbook: The Art of Cookery, circa 1760s, Sauce for a Boild Turkey: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/transcribe/scripto/transcribe/116/7074
Ginger Cakes, 1840s (page 24): http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cookbooks/id/2865
Of course carving the fowl is often one of the most challenging steps of the Thanksgiving meal. Look no further than this copy of Pierre Petit’s carving manual of 1647, which has been extensively modified with manuscript additions and drawings:
Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce our newest exhibition Reconstructing ‘The American Reader’ from English Department graduate student Miriam Janechek which highlights a new type of research now possible with access to searchable digitized copies of books online. The American Reader is a textbook printed in 1808 which, like other readers, combines hundreds of excerpts from different types of published works but includes no citations. By searching the massive numbers of books now searchable in the Google Books Project, in combination with the wealth of 18th century books in Special Collections, it becomes possible to trace the origins of the passages to find the original publications, collect them together and display them to reveal a snapshot of the types of works that made up The American Reader and more broadly that comprised education in 1808, just as the United States was abandoning European educational models and developing a sense of national identity through education.
The exhibition can be viewed just outside Special Collections & University Archives on the third floor of the Main Library anytime the library is open and continues until January 3, 2013.
by Shawn R. Conley – student worker in Special Collections
With the election year in full swing and Election Day looming, most of us will be making our way to that legendary voting booth with the fancy curtains to cast our vote and take part in yet another one of our civic duties. Most of all, and assuredly most rewarding, is having the liberty to have taken part in a Presidential election that was established in our country nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago. Delusions of Americana aside, many of us are just glad to get that sought-after “I Voted” sticker one we’ve finished.
As millions of men and women flood the voting booths across the nation, the arduous task remains: how does one count these millions of votes? The task of an accurate and speedy vote count is something our forefathers have been tackling since our country was founded. During the 19th century, a flurry of new ideas and machines arose to combat this problem. One of these companies attempting to deliver “…a fair vote and an honest count” according to their brochure from over a century ago, was the Glenn Voting Machine Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
While sorting and cataloguing my way through a collection of papers and letters from E.J.C. Bealer, a very prominent businessman and stone quarry magnate from Cedar Rapids, I came across a large number of stock certificates from as far back as 1898 from long defunct companies like the Tykoon Mining Company and the American Gold Production Company. Tucked between these certificates was a little blue book with gold letters titled, “The Glenn Voting Machine.” Mr. Bealer had quite an investment in this company through the many stock certificates I found.
“Why use Glenn Voting Machines?” asks the third page of the brochure. During this time in American history, the entire logistical process of voting was changing directions. Through the evidence exhibited by this brochure, one can see how appealing casting a vote by machine would be. All one must do according to page nine is to “place the pointers on the names of the candidates of your choice — walk out.” Not only would the mechanical voting machine make voting much simpler, but it might even make voting fun or appealing which is something political scientists try to figure out to this day.
Taking a look at the illustrations of the machine, one can make out the presidential candidates of the 1904 election: Theodore Roosevelt and Alton B. Parker. The simplicity of the machine is hinted throughout the brochure, ensuring that every gentleman’s vote is precise. Sorry ladies, your time hasn’t arrived just yet…give it a few more years. Towards the end of the brochure are many newspaper articles and clippings, exhibiting how the Glenn Voting Machine promises “Fast Returns!” and “desirability” of a mechanical voting machine as compared to old-fashioned paper ballots.
So when you finally do make your way to the voting booth, pull those fancy curtains shut, and cast your vote for President of the United States, remember that it was through the inventions of companies like the Glenn Voting Machine Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa that allow us to ever so conveniently cast our votes on LED screens and receive “Fast Returns!”
Third in our series on Frankenstein related holdings from Peter Balestrieri.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published in 1818 by the firm of Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones. The deal worked by Percy Shelley called for printing five hundred copies, a short run even by the standards of the day. What kind of firm was Lackington’s?
James Lackington was a bookseller and publisher who began a career in shoemaking but switched to bookselling to satisfy his bibliophilia and his desire to provide books to people of all economic backgrounds. This desire came out of a deeply religious nature combined with a firm belief that all lives are improved by the reading and study of books. The story is told that he once spent his last coins on a book of poetry rather than food because the former would “feed” himself and his wife longer than the latter. His famous bookstore, named “The Temple of the Muses,” was an immense building in London, so large that a coach drawn by four horses was driven round the counters at its opening. Its catalogue, in 1803, featured 800,000 titles. Lackington was an innovator, who rankled his competitors with his revolutionary ideas. He invented remaindering, buying up unsold books from other dealers and selling them cheaply. He also accepted cash only, without exceptions, published authors’ manuscripts, and bought whole libraries. While making him extremely successful, these practices placed him outside the norm of traditional publishers.
In reading biographies of Mary Shelley and books on Frankenstein, I’ve come across disparaging remarks aimed at Lackington’s.I believe these originate from accounts of the day by rivals who sought to harm Lackington’s reputation out of jealousy. Histories of English publishing by Feather and Mumby set the record straight and give Lackington his due as one of the most remarkable of booksellers and publishers.
James Lackington wrote two books of memoirs and both can be found in Special Collections:
Special Collections Springer Collection B .L141L
Special Collections x-Collection CT788.L25 A3 1804
Want to make historic recipes? Or how about reading handwriting, converting measurements, recreating historic cooking implements, food photography, or writing and blogging?
300+ years of handwritten cookbooks with thousands of recipes from Chef Louis Szathmary’s culinary collection from Special Collections & University Archives are now online in DIY History, the newest transcription project from the University of Iowa Libraries. Helpful people around the world are trying to puzzle out what the handwriting says. But is that where it ends? Unlike letters, diaries, or even menus, recipes are not done even what you can read what it says. They are instructions just calling out to be tested to bring a slice of history back to life one piece of hardtack at a time.
Sound interesting? Come to the first meeting and have a voice in determining what the group should be.
If you can’t make the meeting but want to be in the loop, e-mail colleen-theisen @ uiowa dot edu to be added to the e-mail list.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
PS-Z, 120 N. Dubuque St.
(3 blocks north of PS1, on the lower level of the Wesley Center)
Today’s post comes from Jacque Roethler on Grand Army of the Republic finds in her recent processing work.
Special Collections recently acquired the papers of a law firm in Cedar Rapids, the Bealer/Grimm/Shuttleworth papers. In it were the expected files on cases, insurance, and property, but in a ledger containing E. J. C. Bealer’s 1927 expenses I came across this GAR handkerchief. Curious, I determined to find out more about the Grand Army of the Republic in Iowa.
The GAR was a fraternal order open to honorably discharged soldiers of the Union Army. The first post of the GAR was founded in Decatur Illinois in April 1866. By the end of October, an Iowa post had been organized, among the first in the nation. Though it started strong, the Iowa Department, following a national trend, lost membership in the early years, probably because the men were trying to secure a livelihood and starting (or continuing) families and certainly because they could not sort themselves out politically, especially in light of Reconstruction in the South. In January 1871 the Iowa Post was dissolved. In 1872 the national organization made an effort to re-start the Iowa program, and an Iowa Department was re-established. It remained small but the officers were determined that it not be abandoned again.
The Grand Army of the Republic reached its peak in 1890, when it had a national membership of 490,000. Iowa reached its peak then, too, with 435 posts and a membership of 20,234. After this time the number of posts remained constant for years, but overall membership declined. The national GAR was finally dissolved in 1956, when its last member died.
Though at their inception the membership decided that they were not going to a political group, the GAR was one of the first advocacy groups in America. They advocated for voting rights for black veterans. In Iowa, it was largely due to the influence of the GAR that the Soldier’s Home in Marshalltown was built after the legislature appropriated $100,000 in 1886 for the purpose. In 1889 the legislature authorized the Soldier’s Relief Fund. In 1904, encouraged by the GAR, the legislature gave veterans preference in public employment, though by this time most of the veterans had aged out of the work force.
Monuments to the Civil War dead were also a priority for the Iowa GAR and they lobbied for state funding for monuments in Des Moines and Vicksburg. The GAR got the General Assembly to finance a roster of every living veteran in the state of Iowa. The GAR was so powerful that that Iowa government gave them a room in the state capitol to be used as a permanent headquarters, for which the state appropriated funds for maintenance. The Iowa GAR was instrumental in seeing that almost all of the schools in Iowa had a flag to raise every morning and the Woman’s Relief Corps (the women’s auxiliary to the GAR) had placed in every school in Iowa a pamphlet about the management and care of flags.
The national meetings, which took place once a year, were called National Encampments. In 1922 the 56th National Encampment was held in Des Moines. Twenty thousand veterans and their allied organizations were in attendance. The average age of attendees was around eighty. At this Encampment, Judge James W. Willet of Tama, Iowa, was elected unanimously as the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.
E.J.C. Bealer was elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1901 and served three terms, and he supported legislation of interest to veterans, including the Vicksburg Monument. He served as Commander of the Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic from June 1918 to June 1919. He attended the National Encampment in Des Moines in 1922. In the collection you can find reservations at the Hotel Savery, where he stayed during the Encampment. We have a campaign brochure for Willet, sent to Bealer in an envelope addressed to “Comrade E.J.C. Bealer, Past Department Commander GAR.” And we have this wonderful GAR handkerchief seen above. The image in the center of the handkerchief is the badge of the GAR. The icons surrounding the central badge are the corps badges.
Do you remember the Sesame Street song lyrics “One of these things is not like the other one of these things just doesn’t belong”? Today’s post was inspired by the song, though I’m inclined to agree with the first part of the statement and disagree with the latter. Yes, these things are not like the others, but they certainly belong! They were all found in the stacks of Special Collections and University Archives. While most of our collections are comprised of printed books, images, papers, and ephemera, there’s an occasional surprise tucked away in a box or file folder.
I’ve selected a few items that struck my fancy. They all happen to be miniature versions of something: dining furniture, books, paper mills, for example. Some of the objects are considered artist’s books, some are parts of books, and some are just objects.
Dard Hunter: Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections, text by Dard Hunter, case and books by Robert E. Massmann. The paper used to construct the mill-shaped case and the small books came from Hunter’s handmade paper mill in Connecticut. The case is a replica of the mill which remained in use from 1928 till 1931, and the two small books (volumes I and II) document thoughts, quotations, and paper samples from Hunter. The books themselves are miniature artifacts that fit below the three dimensional model of the mill. For more information on Dard Hunter visit http://www.dardhunter.com/.
x-Collection – TS1098.H8 A25 1984
Butter Knives and Fish Forks: With Guidance From “The New Setting Your Table” by Annie Tremmel Wilcox. This artist book is a true surprise. The dining room set, with a perfect table setting replete with candles and flowers, is housed inside what looks like a relatively traditional book box. Along with the dining room set, a small accordion structure includes a narrative reflecting on table-settings, traditions, and growing up. There are also small cards which show exemplary place-set tables.
From the Szathmary Collection – N7433.4.W52
Judge James Willis Bollinger collected as many Lincoln related items as he could. Lincoln was a passion of his, and though his collection focused on books and pamphlets, he also managed to collect a wide array of objects relating to Lincoln. Included in his non-print materials are small penny sculptures. There is one in particular that would fit right in on the dining table from above: a tea and food service tray. Also of interest are the miniature books with Lincoln penny head bookends.
From the James Wills Bollinger Papers – MsC0036
And finally, since this post features miniature, I can’t leave out items from the Charlotte M. Smith collection of Miniature Books. Many of the diminutive books in the Smith Collection are lengthy and readable works, but the ones selected for today were meant as charms and key chains. There are several souvenir metal book-shaped key chains that house small accordion images from international cities. Come check them all out! The book charms with metal hinged “pages” are of particular interest as well (first image above).
From the Charlotte M. Smith Papers [Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature Books] – MsC457
Though not featured today, we also have objects of the non-miniature variety including bagpipes, films, sculptures, and much more dispersed among our archival and collections materials.
The War of 1812 in Iowa, then and now
Old Capitol exhibit opens Oct. 11 with free reception, lecture
Conflict on the Iowa Frontier: Perspectives on the War of 1812 opens Thursday, Oct. 11, with a free public reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the museum. Guest lecturer Eugene Watkins will speak in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and lead a discussion about the history of Fort Madison. Watkins is Fort Madison’s site manager for Old Fort Madison. He holds a doctorate of U.S. history from the University of Toledo.
Black Hawk’s autobiography. Photo courtesy of UI Pentacrest Museums, book from Special Collections
Artifacts featured in the exhibit include Black Hawk’s autobiography, giving insight into the war from the perspective of Native Americans, and an Orderly Book for infantry men of the period, in which general and regimental orders were recorded. These objects tell the story of the war’s Mississippi River campaign and how it affected the future of the state.
Also on Oct. 11, archaeologist Jodi Magness, distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will give the UI Department of Religious Studies Adler Lecture and the UI Pentacrest Museums Directors’ Lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum.
In anticipation of National Archaeology Day, her topic is “Ossuaries and the Burial of Jesus and James.” The presentation is free and open to the public. Magness specializes in the archaeology of ancient Palestine in the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. For more information on the UI Pentacrest Museums and Old Capitol Museum, visit www.uiowa.edu/oldcap/or call 319-335-0548. The UI Department of Religious Studies is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.