CARE's Old Time Recipes Book

Determined to help the world's hungry masses, a young California couple compiled and sold a cookbook of old time recipes to raise money for CARE.

| September/October 1974

  • 029 old time recipes
    Robert and Kathy, seen here with their three children, combed through cookbooks from 1800's and early 1900's to find the old time recipes for the We CARE Cookbook. 

  • 029 old time recipes

Robert and Kathy Reed—a young married couple living in Saratoga, California—are just plain folks like most of us except for one astounding fact. Since December 1972 they've helped feed 1,500,000 children scattered throughout Honduras, Haiti, Greece, and other hunger-pocked areas of the globe! How so? The Reeds each made a very personal decision to not let a crisis-crunched world overwhelm them. Instead, Bob and Kathy optimistically concentrated on finding something they could do to alleviate human suffering. And this lead to their affiliation with the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere.

"Although we were vaguely aware of CARE's existence before," Bob says, "we'd never contributed. But now the light came on." And a blazing light it was. Quickly bypassing the easy option of making regular donations to the Cooperative, the Reeds used their own natural ingenuity and deep concern to produce something that would snowball their talents into massive assistance for a famine-ridden world. That "something" is—of course—a book of old time recipes the Reeds call the We CARE Cookbook.

After spending weeks researching hundreds of "receipt books" from the 1800's and early 1900's at the University of California—and working with the close cooperation of the San Francisco Field Office of CARE—Bob and Kathy published the cookbook. It contains 300 of the best old-timey recipes they could gather, all based on natural-food ingredients and reprinted in their original wording (hurrah!). Here's a sampling of the goodies that graced the dining tables of our forefathers and are featured in the Reeds' kitchen manual: scalloped tomatoes, individual chicken shortcakes, oyster croquettes, ham boiled in cider, chocolate gingerbread, wine jelly, lemon ice cream (from scratch) and deviled crabs. The attractive pen sketches and borderline prints throughout the guide further enhance its old-fashioned appeal.

Like to see for yourself? The following three recipes are reprinted straight from the We CARE Cookbook:

Stewed Brisket of Beef

Put the part that has the hard fat into a stew-pot, with a small quantity of water; let it boil up, and skim it thoroughly; then add carrots, turnips, onions, celery and a few pepper-corns. Stew till extremely tender; then take out all the flat bones and remove all the fat from the soup. Either serve that and the meat in a tureen, or the soup alone, and the meat on a dish, garnished with some vegetables.

The following sauce is much admired served with the beef: Take half a pint of the soup, and mix it with a spoonful of catsup, a teaspoonful of made mustard, a little flour, a bit of butter and salt; boil all together a few minutes, then pour it round the meat.

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