Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Ladies' Organization Cookbooks and Family Recipes

A cousin of mine posted on Facebook that his daughter decided to make sugar cookies and he could have sworn they were the exact cookies our Grandma Panther made when we were kids. This reminded me that I have an old cook book from West Point, Iowa, where Grandma Panther lived after they sold the farm. I looked through it and found several recipes by my grandmother and a few by my aunts. I scanned these in and posted them to our private Facebook group. This was enough to get one cousin so far to post recipes she found in her version of this cookbook, published 7 years after mine. Now that the snowball is rolling down the hill, it sounds like everyone will be posting the recipes they have from Grandma Panther and their mothers, and I plan on putting them together into a family cookbook in the near future. This post is some scans from the West Point, Iowa, Daughters of Isabella 1973 Cook Book.

The cover of this cook book appears to be the 1970s equivalent of clip art. There is nothing unique about it to tell you anything about who was responsible for its publication. For a small town church organization, that seems reasonable.

The second page is the title page telling us the book was compiled by the St. Ann's Circle No. 751 chapter of the Daughters of Isabella organization in West Point, Iowa in 1973. It also provides a clue of the company they used to publish the cook book, likely using a predesigned template for artwork and extras they added to the book.

 Next is a bit of information about the Daughters of Isabella
and the Circle responsible for the cook book.

Next I'll show just a couple of the pages of the extras they included in the book. These pages are measurement equivalents and ingredients you can substitute for other ingredients. Other extra pages are greatly varied, including the best weight for a man or woman of a given height and the calories needed for any given weight, suggested meal plans including all dishes for three meals per day. Other things are helpful household tips like how to keep your pie filling for boiling over in the oven to how to treat pie filling that did boil over to make it easier to clean up.

Finally, I'll include a few recipes from the book from my grandmother, Elizabeth Menke Panther, including her famous Molasses Crinkle Cookies.

Try out one of these recipes if it sounds good to you and be sure to let me know how it turned out! I'll provide an update when I'm ready to publish our family cook book!

Edit: I tried the Molasses Crinkle cookie recipe. Since it didn't have baking instructions, I baked them at 350 for 10 minutes. They turned out awesome! The kids are insisting I continue to make these. They love them!



  1. Great idea. I've been prodding my sister to make some of Mom's recipes and take pictures of the results. Hopefully, we will get it into a book someday for the family.

  2. Pretty sure I have seen this exact book in my mother in laws house in West Point Iowa also. : )