It Takes a Village Cookbook

The internet is wondrous indeed.  So what are the odds of finding a picture of The Cherokee Village Cook Book from a small community in Arkansas?–pretty damn good and Cherokee Villagefreaking awesome actually.   Today I give to you The Cherokee Village Cook Book, from Cherokee Village, Arkansas Property Owners circa 1973.

For foodies, it is fascinating to read about food from an era and place.  But add to it family names and remembering going to school and breaking my elbow all in Cherokee Village makes it an odd treasure AND I now know how to cook canned shrimp.

I am a sucker for old cookbooks. I make no excuses. As much as I enjoy the insane amount of cooking sites and fixtures on food and “how to” videos on the internet, I am inexplicably drawn to the tactile being that is a cookbook.

The Cherokee Village Cook Book has hand designed pages of art work and typed pages all bound by the Circulation Service in Kansas City, MO.   It has sections of ads bought by local businesses in the back, many of which I remember clearly. It has many recipes from my family members and names listed as Mrs. George Billingsley– by their husband’s name. My grandmother has her own name because well, she was divorced at that time, so Mrs. Madge Garrison (Not Ms. in Arkansas).

There are several recipes that sound like a SNL skit rather than an actual recipe: Tuna Balls. Run with that. Also there is Pepper Soup, Hominy Pie, and Liver Dumplings.

One recipe is Quick Shrimp Quiche which is made from canned shrimp because Cherokee Village was a bit inland and in the 70’s access to fresh sea food was limited.  I find the whole sea food section intriguing.

My grandmother’s recipe was a basic Rice Casserole:

1/3 lb. hamburger meat, 1 ½ cup milk, 1/3 cup cooked rice, 1 chopped onion, 2/3 cup whole kernel corn and ½ can tomato soup.  Cook it all on top of the stove, then pour into casserole dish and bake at 325 until rice is done and top is brown.  I can say that my grandmother incorporated tomato soup into many meals either as just the soup, tomato aspic, or casserole.

In between chapters are little spiritual fillers like: How to make a Good Day or Plant a Character Garden.  The back section has a guide on ways to use left-overs, quantities to serve 100 people (coffee-3 lbs., meat loaf- 24 lbs., nuts- 3 lbs.). There is also a section on healthy weight and diet with charts. For example: 5’4 small frame is 116-125, and a spot removal section.

I imagine everyone must have at least one favorite cookbook-new or old. I find the book captures a time not only in printing, but long before cooking information was a click away.





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