The Queen City Cookbook
This month’s featured artifact is a cookbook, but it was not intended to be just another compilation of recipes. The Queen City Cookbook was published by The Ladies of the First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls in 1891. As proclaimed in its introduction, the women behind the publication believed that “[m]eals and morals have a closer connection than some imagine.” The cookbook is divided into familiar categories such as soups, meats, desserts, eggs and omelets, and bread and breakfast dishes. Some of the contributions by today’s standards seem very basic, such as fried eggs, muffins and pop overs. Other recipes appear to be more out of the ordinary as is the case with Hygienic Graham Puffs on page 90. With only four common ingredients, though, it is difficult over to determine what makes these baked goods “hygienic” 125 years later.
Considering themselves to be “practical housekeepers,” the ladies contributed their tried and true recipes to the volume in the hopes that it would serve as a useful aid within the home. In addition to recipes, The Queen City Cookbook contains menus, household hints, and a chapter called “In the Sick Room,” written by an experienced nurse, Laura A. Sherman, from Milwaukee.
During preparation for the second-floor hallway exhibit Sunny Side Up at the Old Courthouse Museum, this cookbook was one of many objects taken into consideration. In the end, the fragile volume was not selected for installation. You can, however, view a variety of small kitchen appliances, utensils and cookware in the new exhibit which focuses on the most important meal of the day!