Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Dec 21

A Labor of Love

Posted on December 21, 2018 at 10:13 AM by Melissa Dalton

Do we have any cooks or bakers out there? If so, how do you find your recipes? Do you go to Google or Pinterest and type in a dish name? Do you go to a recipe app and search ingredients? Or, do you open that trusty cookbook in the kitchen? I’m sure today the majority of us use a variety of tools, but that didn’t use to be the case. Some of my greatest memories as a kid are those of helping my mother cook and bake, and there wasn’t Google to assist us. She turned to her recipe cards or a cookbook, and there were loads to choose from – Betty Crocker, Better Homes and Gardens, The Frugal Gourmet, The Silver Palate… and one cannot forget the community cookbooks! These gems were a way for churches, schools, and community organizations to raise funds for various activities, and we had plenty of them. Now, you might be asking yourself why the county archives is writing a blog about cookbooks. It isn’t a typical record a government archive would hold, but we do have one (Fig 1). This little cookbook was put together by the Greene County Children Services Board for Christmas some years ago and ended up here in an ephemera collection from the Treasurer’s Office. This week, we thought it might be fun to highlight this cookbook, and who knows; maybe someone will find a recipe for that dish missing from their holiday menu!

Fig 1. Cover and Title Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG) Fig 2. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 1. Cover and Title page of cookbook

As we began flipping through the book, we noticed that parts of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (aka “The Night before Christmas) were littered throughout, with accompanying illustrations (Fig 2). Then, when we began to read through the recipes, we realized something rather quickly – this is the quintessential community cookbook. Most are quick and easy recipes, utilizing what most people kept (and still keep) on hand. Although this is a rather small cookbook, the two main dishes are your typical casseroles, faring of the chicken and breakfast variety. Additionally, ingredients such as cream of [fill in the blank] soup, canned fruit, margarine, and condensed milk are used frequently (Fig 3).

Fig 2. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 2. Excerpt from cookbook

Fig 3. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 3. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 3. Excerpt from cookbook

Unfortunately, the cookbook is not dated, but there are references to finding particular ingredients at places like Arrow Wine (founded in 1934) and Dorothy Lane Market (founded in 1948). However, the font style (or typeface) used for this cookbook was popular in IBM typewriters, and particularly with models from the late 1970s and early 1980s (Fig 4). This has lead us to believe this cookbook is from probably the 1970s/1980s.

Fig 4. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 4. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 4. Excerpt from cookbook

It is obvious that someone worked hard to put this cookbook together. The drawings, and some of the large print, were done freehand. Someone took the time to do construction paper cutouts for the front cover, and also took great care to perfectly fold the construction paper book cover in half (and everyone knows how hard that is!) (Fig 5). I really wish we had more information about this little cookbook, but if nothing else, it was a fun little trip down memory lane. We hope you enjoyed it as well!

Fig 5. Page of Greene County Children Services Board Cookbook (JPG)
Fig 5. Last page of cookbook

From all of us at the Greene County Archives, Happy Holidays!

Until Next Time…


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