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Old February 14, 2012, 11:12   #1
cabinetman
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The Ultimate Cookbook.....50+ years old.

Hi all

I was browsing my wife’s extensive cook book collection and became reacquainted with an old one that her Mom gifted to her back in the 1970s. Why would I waste your time writing about a cook book? Well, because it is probably the most comprehensive cookbook that you might ever read, period, end of discussion. This is the cookbook that your grandparents used and was handed down to your mom. If it’s harvested, butchered, dried, frozen, cooked, canned, stored, or grown it’s in here from antelope to whitefish (including beaver and moose), from acidophilus milk to zucchini. First published back in 1947 it harkens back to an era lost to us but clearly in the memories of buyers of the book back in mid-century. Those were the pre-refrigeration times and back when buckets of lard were still available along with farm milk and cheese, hunting for sustenance was considered normal, and everyone canned everything. It’s a fantastic bridge between the long past and past and now is available to us in the present.

There are virtually all known preservation techniques outlined in this very thick book of over 1700 (!) pages including dehydrating and canning, two techniques that are valuable when freezing might be a luxury. It is over 3” thick.

The book you want to search for is:

Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking printed by JG Ferguson and Associates Chicago, 1953.

You can Google this book and will find it easily.

There’s a 77 page index to give you an idea of how comprehensive this book is. I can’t stress enough how valuable this book would become during a shtf situation because it provides many alternatives to traditional cooking techniques as opposed to modern cookbooks which rely on microwaves and electronics and a lot of pre-packaged ingredients. In this book you start with picking the veggies from the garden, getting the feathers off a newly dispatched broiler, or carving up an elk. However, she also details more modern ingredients that may be frozen or butchered at a shop. It’s not a cookbook full only of rustic techniques but both old and newer ones. They are most certainly techniques that will help you adjust to a less-modern way of feeding a family.

Just thought I’d share this info with you all. You won’t find this in reprint, btw. You’ll have to find it at an old bookseller or antique book shop. It won’t be cheap but prices I’ve seen range from $25-$40 or thereabouts; well worth the investment. You’ll find yourself immersed in page after page of recipes and essays regarding proper nutrition (even way back then they had a nutrition wheel). You’ll also find yourself wonder if there is “X” in there and digging around to find it. More often than not you’ll find it and usually with a few options.

Good luck!

Rome
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Old February 14, 2012, 15:12   #2
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Thanks for sharing that one cabinetman, I will look for one.
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Old February 14, 2012, 15:19   #3
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THanks. I'm confident that when you see this in person and actually get into it, you'll find it will be invaluable. Cooking techniques haven't really changed all that much but preperation of food has. This book explains in great detail a lot of "how-to" do things that have been forgotten by most people and there are literally thousands of recipes in there that are really excellent. People back there were a lot healthier than we are as a society to day, even with all our medical improvements. Just look at photos of families back in the day and there were few fatties in there.

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Old February 14, 2012, 21:18   #4
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Wow! Just looked it up on Amazon. It looks like there are 2 volumes, and you can get them for about $65 for both. For now.

Looks like a good set to have for sure, tho.
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Old February 14, 2012, 21:31   #5
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look for a copy of :
"the original fannie farmer 1896 cook book" by the boston cooking school
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:23   #6
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mosbysmen Wrote.

"look for a copy of :
"the original fannie farmer 1896 cook book" by the boston cooking school"

Funny how great minds think alike. I have that bookmarked and refer to it from time to time.

Thank you.

James
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Old February 17, 2012, 19:47   #7
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Sounds interesting Cabinetman. For a more modern cookbook that really goes into the science of cooking stuff well, Cooks Illustrated "The New Best Recipe" has been very helpful to me.

Are you the same Cabinetman from SurplusRifle.com? If so, you're tips on refinishing wood seriously rock! My 1903A3 and K98 really turned out great with your advice.
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Old February 17, 2012, 20:09   #8
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Yep, I've been around for a while. Thanks for the report of your success!
I also mod the stock cleaning and restoration forum over at Parallax if you ever need any addition suggestions: http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearm...stock-cleaning

The days of lots of surplus long guns coming in from other shores has pretty much dried up, however, and cosmo impregnated stocks are more rare than anything else these days except for some 91/30s. They'll be around in crates forever I think.

The reason I brought this cookbook to everyone's attention is because it helps you prepare and store some foods that have been forgotten in todays lexicon. It relies on the tried & true methods that were pioneered by our great-grandmothers and fathers. And, at 1700 pages, it's got just about everything you might need to know. I, too, love the other ones mentioned. I just happen to prefer this one, personally.

Rome
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Old February 17, 2012, 21:08   #9
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I just finished reading a bunch of reviews of this cookbook set. WOW! Good advice.

Thanks!
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Old February 18, 2012, 14:33   #10
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I have an heirloom Fannie Farmer cookbook. I think mine is a 1937 copy. Lots of stuff in there that the modern cookbooks have eliminated, lots of preserving and pickling recipes.
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Old February 20, 2012, 08:47   #11
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Quote:
Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking printed by JG Ferguson and Associates Chicago, 1953
I noticed the 1953 printing is all in one with the 1699 pages, and it seems there is a 14th and 15th printing for 1953? Is one more desirable than the other? Also would the 2 volume set (1956 or 1959 or even newer) have the same info? Just curious, as this looks like an interesting book for my cook book collection....
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Old February 20, 2012, 14:15   #12
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I have to believe that the two volume book was done that way just to make it a bit easier to handle. However, I've never seen it in person. I've just got the one 1700 page publication. Maybe someone here can answer.

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Old February 24, 2012, 23:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
I have to believe that the two volume book was done that way just to make it a bit easier to handle. However, I've never seen it in person. I've just got the one 1700 page publication. Maybe someone here can answer.

Rome
If you go to Amazon.com and type "Meta Givens" into the search bar, read the comments. There's some pretty good info regarding the different printings.
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Old February 25, 2012, 01:05   #14
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2 volume 1955 version Meta Given's set (1957 printing) has a chapter that covers game meat (41 pages, including dressing, removal of feathers, etc.) and includes recipes for all the "normal" game + squirrels, possum, raccoon, beaver, turtle, etc.).

A different 22 page chapter (Variety Meat) covers meats many don't normally eat (heart, brain, kidneys, etc.).

Preserves/picking gets a 28 page chapter (at least discusses canning). Nothing really on dehydrating.

My guess is that older versions have more pages on old-style useful stuff. Would be easy for someone with an older set to confirm (re: pages in the above 3 chapters).
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Old February 25, 2012, 01:16   #15
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Also note, the 2 volume set has smaller pages than an average modern cookbook. Binding is just 8.5 x 5.5 inches.
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Old February 27, 2012, 13:39   #16
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[Miscellaneous leaflets on the use of cheap and plentiful foods in low cost meals] prepared by Bureau of home economics, U. S. department of agriculture.

Read on the internet.

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?i...31924003571936

The book is public domain. Maybe somebody with better internet fu that I have can figure out how to download and save a copy.
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Old April 01, 2012, 07:24   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dreas View Post
[Miscellaneous leaflets on the use of cheap and plentiful foods in low cost meals] prepared by Bureau of home economics, U. S. department of agriculture.

Read on the internet.

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?i...31924003571936

The book is public domain. Maybe somebody with better internet fu that I have can figure out how to download and save a copy.
If someone is going to one of the universities listed after going to the login screen, the whole book could be downloaded from hathitrust.

Or you could do like I did, which is to save each individual page (no login required for that) and then combine them into one pdf file. There are 40 pages in all. If anyone wants the pdf, send me a pm with where to send it to or an email and I'll gladly send it out.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:59   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inrem View Post
2 volume 1955 version Meta Given's set (1957 printing) has a chapter that covers game meat (41 pages, including dressing, removal of feathers, etc.) and includes recipes for all the "normal" game + squirrels, possum, raccoon, beaver, turtle, etc.).

A different 22 page chapter (Variety Meat) covers meats many don't normally eat (heart, brain, kidneys, etc.).

Preserves/picking gets a 28 page chapter (at least discusses canning). Nothing really on dehydrating.

My guess is that older versions have more pages on old-style useful stuff. Would be easy for someone with an older set to confirm (re: pages in the above 3 chapters).
Downloadable PDF file here:

http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-en...book-hci.shtml

I tried to download the PDF but get some kind of error, maybe you will have better luck.
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Old September 14, 2012, 19:58   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurbelgehause View Post
Downloadable PDF file here:

http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-en...book-hci.shtml

I tried to download the PDF but get some kind of error, maybe you will have better luck.
I was able to d/l the b&w copy from the above link.

This link has the color pdf available.

http://archive.org/details/cookingscholbost00farmrich Look on the left side for the different formats.
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Old September 18, 2012, 16:41   #20
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Ebay has a 1996 reprint of the Fanny Farmer cookbook for 4.99, but prolly go for higher.
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:23   #21
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Don't have much need for cooking Moose down here but might run across a beaver or two. Speaking of running across, do they have any recipes for armadillo or possum?
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Old October 05, 2012, 22:57   #22
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the settlers cook book i have found to be very good...things i look for at yard sales.
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Old October 06, 2012, 06:36   #23
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I was able to get a 2 volume copy of the Meta Givens Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking on ebay for $20 plus shipping. It is a 1951 printing. From what I can tell a 7th printing? There is even some handwriting for a "delicious white icing" recipe by someone who owned the books previously.

Some want more, sometimes you can find them for less. For those wanting the Meta Givens book(s), just keep checking and the right deal will present itself.
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Old October 16, 2012, 00:23   #24
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Just recieved our 2 volume edition today. Looks to have the 1955 printing date.

We ending up paying $25.00 for ours on e-bay and I'd rate the overall condition as very good.
There are many great, simple recipes and advise that's been forgotten in what you would find in todays cookbooks. I really think it's one of the better cookbooks out there and a must have in the home.

OP thanks for the heads-ups on this one.
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