Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

St. Mary’s Altar Society Cookbooks

Jerry Stratton, May 23, 2020

Update: I’ve added an index by book, in case you only have one or two of the books.

I’ve been toying with making an index for a few of my index-less or basically index-less cookbooks for a while. Last week I decided these church spirals would be a good choice to try it out and see how much work it is, and whether it’s useful. One of them has no index, and the other two have indexes that are in page order rather than alphabetical.

St. Mary’s Missing Index (PDF File, 1.7 MB)

I came up with a system that helps me type recipe titles, pages, chapters, and authors quickly, but while the system for putting the index together is automated, the actual typing of recipe titles and author names was me, by hand. With thanks to Mrs. Bischoff. Her typing class was probably the most useful class I took in high school. The ability to type without looking at the keyboard—or even the screen—has been extraordinarily useful as a programmer.

I’ve tried to fix any obvious typos of mine, but scanning through pages and pages of names tends to dull the senses, and spellcheck doesn’t work well on names. If you see anything I ought to fix, let me know in the feedback, or in the comments of the social media site where you saw me post this link.

There are of course also typos that were in the original. I can, for example, make simple changes to people’s names that don’t harm the ability to find the recipe on the page. If it turns out that Delores Dougan and Dolores Dougan are the same person, I can change the incorrect spelling for the correct one in the source file.

As an aside, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to put something like this together in the day before personal computers were easy to use. I used a combination of Perl, Python, and Nisus’s macro language to put this index together. The latest of these books were published three years before the first Macintosh came out!

This project is completely unofficial and independent of the Altar Society; I did it for myself, and am making it public in case others have use for it too. The index includes only three cookbooks; I’m not aware that the St. Mary’s Altar Society in our area did any others, and in any case these are the only ones I have.

America’s Bicentennial Cookbook1976

Commemorating 25 Years of St. Michael’s School, Brunswick1981

Hesperia Community Kitchens Presents1981

They are all amazing cookbooks. I don’t know if there are any still floating around but if you can find them, I recommend them all. Some of my favorite recipes include, from the America’s Bicentennial volume, Mary Stark’s “Crisp Oatmeal Cookies”, Adele Lob’s “No-bake (oatmeal) cookies”, and Josephine McDonald’s “Light Waffles”. I’ve owned the other two only relatively recently, but from the Hesperia Community Kitchens volume, for example, there is Tillie Ring’s “Oatmeal Pie”.

Oatmeal pie

Tillie Ring’s “Oatmeal Pie”.

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Mary Starks’s “Crisp Oatmeal Cookies”.

Peanut oatmeal crunchies

Helen Hozer’s “Peanut Oatmeal Crunchies”.

You might notice that the margins in the PDF seem off. That’s because this is an upsized 6x9 book. Once typo reports stop coming in I’ll upload it to Amazon so that I can get a moderately more professional copy to shelve next to the cookbooks themselves. I will also link to the print version from here (and fill out the ISBN placeholder on the indicia page) in case anyone else wants a copy. It looks like it’ll be about five dollars.

The PDF will remain available here for free. The print copy will be very cheap; any profits will go into the collection basket at either Christ the King or All Saints.

Chocolate waffle cookies

Myra McGinnis’s “Waffle Iron Cookies” were the first things I made in my new waffle iron.

Tempura fried fish

Mrs. Joseph Uskert’s “Tempura Fish and Chicken Batter”.

No-bake cookies

Adele Yob’s “No-Bake (Oatmeal) Cookies”.

“You make the grass grow for the cattle and plants for people’s work to bring forth food from the earth, wine to gladden their hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread to sustain the human heart.”—Psalms 104:14-15

In response to The missing indexes: Whoever decided that cookbooks don’t need indexes was never stuck hungry at one o’clock in the morning with nothing but a pepper, a tomato, and a couple of cloves of garlic.