Cooking at the Library

I went to a Holiday Appetizers program at my library this week and learned some great tips. Let me share them:

  • When baking preheat the oven 50º higher than the oven says and then after your dish has been in the oven 10 minutes reset the temperature to the specified one. This counters the cold that gets into the oven when you’ve opened the door.
  • When baking a pie, it’s better to bake it on a jelly roll pan turned upside down.
  • Sunflower oil (80%) with extra virgin olive oil is better to cook with as it’s got a higher smoke point.
  • Don’t have guests bring appetizers as they may arrive late. Let them bring dessert.
  • The teacher suggested not serving appetizers first. She serves the meal 15 minutes after the start time, then people have time to talk or play games and after awhile have appetizers followed by dessert. (She seems big on games and activities.)
  • To avoid leaving platters at other hostesses homes, she either brings a white platter with an engraving on the back to give as a hostess gift or she brings her food in disposable packaging and borrows a platter or pan or from the hostess to use. That way she’s never in the midst of her own entertaining and realizing her platters or serving dishes are missing.
  • Before adding spices to a recipe, mix them with lemon juice or oil (that’s required by the recipe) to “wake them up.”

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 456 : 9 February 2019

The image above inspired me to find photos of people cooking. Here’s what I found.


Source: Library of Congress 

Pratt Institute Cooking Class, 1915. Preparing men to cook for the army and navy.


Source: California Historical Society, n.d.

Label, Virden’s Pure Lard.


National Library of Ireland, 1896

At Adar’s Bakehouse in Waterford, Ireland.


Source: Miami University Library, 1913

A domestic science class Ohio State Normal College.


Source: Florida Memory, 1949

At a round up.


Sepia Saturday

sepia baking

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt serves to inspire bloggers to find photos of baking. What a great subject!

I found several on Flickr Commons. If you want to see other blogger’s offerings, click here.

I can't resist old packaging

I can’t resist old packaging


In Wales (n.d.)

Source: Mennonite Church, USA, 1951

Source: Mennonite Church, USA, 1951


Word of the Week

pf cookie

Click image for link to recipe

pfeffernuss, n.‘ A small, round, sweet biscuit flavoured with spices such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, etc., and typically eaten during the Christmas season. Usu. in pl.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈ(p)fɛfənʊs/, U.S. /ˈ(p)fɛfərˌnəs/
Inflections: Plural pfeffernüsse, pfeffernuesse, pfeffernusse, pfeffernussen.
Forms: 18– pfeffernuss, 19– peffernissen U.S. regional (Pennsylvania), plural, 19– pfeffernuß. Also as two words and with capital initial(s).
Etymology: < German Pfeffernuss gingerbread biscuit (1741 or earlier; < Pfeffer pepper n. + Nuss nut n.1). Compare Dutch pepernoot (1778), German regional (Low German) Pepernööt (plural), Danish pebernød (1710). Compare the earlier calque peppernut n.
In plural form peffernissen after Pennsylvania German pefferniss (plural peffernissen; compare German regional (Palatinate) Peffernuß, plural Pefferniß).
Chiefly U.S.
A small, round, sweet biscuit flavoured with spices such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, etc., and typically eaten during the Christmas season. Usu. in pl.
1891 Los Angeles Times 22 Nov. 14 (advt.) Pfeffernusse and Lebkuchen at Jevne’s.
1928 E. E. Hoyt Consumption of Wealth viii. 76 A German woman moved into a small New England village, and in three years all the housewives were making pfeffernüsse at Christmas time.
1969 N.Y. Times 20 Dec. 24/1 For Christmas, baking and giving Bremen pfeffernusse—crisp, cinnamon-cardamom flavored rolled cookies—has been a tradition in the Luhrs home for generations.
1998 Christian Sci. Monitor (Electronic ed.) 24 Dec. 15 She would come down three flights, tousle my hair, and give me a Pfeffernuss.