Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Banana Muffins - 1938

I just returned from a wonderful visit to my hometown in Western Pennsylvania. We had a great time with lots of shopping and delicious food; and, as promised, my mother had some gifts for me! First of all, as you can see above, is a cookbook that belonged to my great grandmother, Susan Hendrickson. I'm not sure of the date it was published, but she has handwritten notes throughout the book, one of which is her name and address and that is dated 1938. I thought the note shown here was sweet. (I'm afraid it's hard to read without zooming in, but it reads "Always love one another. - Mrs. Susan Hendrickson"). On another blank page, she wrote "When dreams fail you, Look up and dream again."

Along with that obviously much-used and well-loved cookbook was a copy of a magazine from 1940 that I'm assuming also came from my great-grandmother. This is the cover, and you can see that somebody in her family added their own embellishments and pricing to the cover!

I was not lucky enough to know great-grandmother Susan, and unfortunately I have no photos of her in my possession, but I do have a general area of where she lived. It was in the next town over, in an area of town called "Seldom Seen." I remember visiting the area years ago out of curiosity, and her house was on a typical small town street with kids riding bikes and dogs barking. I didn't have time to go there on this trip, but I do have a picture so you can see the general area. In the photo below, I am standing on the riverbank, taking a photo of the town across the river. If you would keep going a bit further to the right of these houses, and higher up the hill, her neat blue house would be there.

Here are a few other photos from my trip home, which included a trip to the city of Pittsburgh (about 45 minutes away).

To the left is my parent's front porch.

To the right are some colorful buildings in the "strip district" in the city of Pittsburgh. The strip district is where the farmers markets and fresh foods are sold in the mornings, and many residents wake up early to purchase the best things before they are sold out.

The photo on the left was taken from the car as we drove over the Liberty Bridge into Pittsburgh, and it shows how beautiful the weather was for my entire trip!

This city view is another shot taken in the Strip District.

Well, hopefully that gives you a better idea of the area where both I, and Susan Hendrickson, used to live! In closing, I will go back to her cookbook and post a recipe from it. This one is for Banana Muffins, and I'd imagine that they'd be extra good with some miniature dark chocolate chips thrown in to the batter, and possibly even some cream cheese frosting on top!

Banana Muffins - 1938

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup banana pulp
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cream shortening. Cream in sugar. Beat in banana pulp.
2. Beat whole eggs light. Add to first mixture.
3. Sift dry ingredients together. Stir into batter.
4. Pour into greased muffin pans. Bake (350 degrees F, for 20 to 25 minutes). Makes 1 1/2 dozen.