Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oatmeal Revisited

January is...National Oatmeal Month.

Today I would like to share a rather unusual oatmeal recipe book from my collection. First, we should probably talk a bit about die-cut advertising cookbooks. Like most cookbook collectors or any other collector for that matter, organization is of the upmost importance. With the exception of the die-cuts, I have my cookbooks organized by category. All of my soft cover promotional cookbooks including the die-cuts are held in protective acid free sleeves and put in binders. Hardcover cookbooks are displayed on library shelves.

One of my favorite cookbook reference books is titled Vintage Cookbooks and Advertising Leaflets by Sandra A. Norman and Karrie K. Andes. It's a Schiffer Publishing book copyright 1998 and lovingly inscribed by both authors. Vintage Cookbooks and Advertising Leaflets "is an in depth, pictorial review and price guide which includes more than 850 color photographs of cookery pamphlets and advertising memorabilia from the 1860's to the 1950's". For our purpose, I would like to highlight what Karrie and Sandra "define" as die-cut advertising cookbooks.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s the printing industry developed a new technique for producing attractive books. First marking an outline of a product or an illustration on wooden rollers, printers then inserted thin blades on the outline, which cut out shapes on paper. The end result was a recipe booklet that caught the consumer's attention, helped with product identification, and promoted sales.
Basically, these advertising books were in the actual shape of the product they were promoting. I am always in search of additional die-cut recipe booklets although, they are indeed difficult to find, usually expensive, and I do have quite a few so it is often hard to find one I don't already have. I think they are now publishing cookbooks that are also "shaped" but quite truthfully, I don't care for them.

The Quaker Rolled White Oats recipe book which I have pictured here is also in this reference book. This is what Karrie and Sandra had to say about the Quaker Oats Company.

The Quaker brand of oatmeal was created by The Quaker Mill Company in Ravenna, Ohio in 1877. The company merged with The German Mills American Oatmeal Factory and together were renamed The Consolidated Oatmeal Company in 1886
This little bit of information may seem trivial but in the case of this particular recipe booklet, (which is undated) it allows me to narrow down the time frame of publication. I don't have any intentions of offering this book for sale but, if I did it would be an important factor in price. A Quaker Rolled White Oats advertising die-cut with the inscription on the bottom that read MFD by The American Cereal Company rather than Made By The Quaker Oats Company (as this one has) would date it much earlier probably around 1894. Whereas my die-cut is probably from around 1910. We continue with Karrie and Sandra's remarks.
Due to financial difficulties, Consolidated went out of business two years later. In 1888, the partners, Henry Parsons Crowell, Robert Stuart, and Ferdinand Schumacher, were instrumental in the merger of seven of the largest oatmeal millers in the United States. They named the business The American Cereal Company.
Karrie and Sandra continue to inform us of the numerous steps taken by the company before finally becoming The Quaker Oats Company in 1901. Of course, this dates the pictured book after 1901. One more bit of "trivia" that the authors privy us to is...
In 1897, a huge Quaker sign was posted on the famous White Cliffs in Dover, England. Incoming ships could see the sign as far as three miles. This advertising stunt was very successful due to negative publicity. It took an act of parliament to get it removed.

Can you imagine what a sight that must have been:) I wouldn't be sharing this book with you if I didn't include at least one recipe. Actually, what I'm going to do is give you this recipe for Quaker Health Soup below and also a scanned picture of recipes for Quaker Tomato Soup, Quaker Oats Muffins, Cream of Oatmeal Soup and Quaker Oats Griddle Cakes. Now remember, these recipes are from 1910. That makes them 100 years old in 2010! Give them a try, it's only oatmeal and your family may just like the feeling of eating like they did in he "golden" days:)

Quaker Health Soup
6 cups highly seasoned white stock
1/2 cup Quaker Oats
2 cups scalded milk
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
salt, pepper, cayenne
Process: Bring stock to boiling point; add oats and simmer one hour; rub through sieve and strain through one thickness of cheese cloth; add milk and bind with butter and flour cooked together; bring to boiling point; add seasoning to taste.
Here's a little "diddy" from the first page of the Quaker Oats booklet pictured.
It is the mission of this booklet to teach the housewife the rare possibilities of Quaker Oats as an article of daily diet. A great many are not aware of the variety, the daintiness and withal the wholesome simplicity and economy of the dishes suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner
January is also National Hot Tea Month. Since I may not get to celebrating Hot Tea Month this year, I do want to include this little bit of information and also steer you toward the links below for National Hot Tea Month.
According to George Leonard Herter in his book Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices, Genghis Khan and his army did most of their traveling substaining themselves on one tablespoon of butter per day in hot tea. The butter they carried with them was aged and had a nut-like flavor. Here is the recipe for Tea Genghis Khan.
Tea Genghis KhanBring your pot of water just to the tremor before actual boiling occurs. Remove the pot from the heat and quickly add two level teaspoons of tea for every cup. Stir the tea into the water as rapidly as possible. Let it stand just 3 minutes. Strain the tea leaves from the brew and drink at once. ghenghis put a level teaspoon of butter into the tea just before drinking it. This is not, of course, necessary.

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Thanks for dropping in...Louise