I Will NOT Cook Like Your Danish Grandmother

I’ve read a lot of really old cookbooks. And when I say “old” I mean back to medieval English. But I have never seen anything quite like this little gem. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, so I’m holding out hope there’s something even more amazing. But I had to share the first few things I found.

I came across this earlier this summer while I was on vacation and thought, “Wow, great. I’ll get some great stuff out of this.” Yeah, umm … not so much. Okay, let me back up and walk you through my thought process.

Look at the cover. This was clearly printed a while ago. Let’s take a look inside.

Awesome. Ethnic churches in mid-20th century Cleveland tended to have high concentrations of first generation immigrants. I assume Seattle was similar, so these were going to be authentic recipes.

And by the way, don’t you love the way the library punched the page? Yes, that’s punched all the way through, like the tickets in The Polar Express. You’re not crossing that out.

Hey, let’s see if it’s still got the due-date in the back.

Darnit, the card is missing. Oh well. I wonder what the fine is up to.

So on to the recipes. How about the cookies, everyone likes cookies.

Yeah, okay, that sounds pretty good. No, wait … hold on a second. What does that say at the bottom of the first column?

What the hell?! Is that for real? That’s not even food, what are they doing putting that in cookies? And can you even get carbonated ammonia today? Would that be in the grocery store or the hardware store?

UPDATE: I’ve had several people tell me that ammonium carbonate is a powder similar to baking soda. There are still people who prefer it for cookies, though it does not work for cakes or bread.

I got an email from a Mennonite — yeah, I was surprised, too — who said she gets it at the pharmacy. And warned not to get it too close to your nose, as the smell is very potent. I’ll keep that in mind.

So maybe I won’t be making the cookies. Let’s try the soups.

Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. I know this is a cultural thing, and there are places where they love cooking the hogs head. (And every other piece of the pig.) But this …

… that’s just gross.

So now that I’m pretty sure I won’t be cooking anything from this book (Eww!) maybe the “Remedies” section at the end will have something good.

After what I saw in the recipes, I thought I was prepared for the remedies to be odd. But give me a break. Soak your feet in kerosene?

If this is authentic Danish cooking, you can have it.