Dorri Partain

Every kitchen probably has at least one on the cookbook shelf – the school/church/club fundraising cookbook. Titled “Somethin’s Cookin’!” this edition was published by members of the Independence Boulevard Christian Church.

The title page reads, “June 1964: By popular demand, the Beau Knot Class is printing a second copy of their cookbook, ‘Somethin’s Cookin’!’ The original book was printed in 1948, and outside a few minor changes, this book remains the same. You will note the recipe for ‘Baked Fish’ by our minister, Charles M. Bretz.”

Bretz, minister at the church from 1963-1971, also submitted a recipe for “Pork and beans a la Preacher,” while his unnamed “Preacher’s Wife” submitted recipes for Spanish Steak and Barbequed Ribs.

Cookbook committee members Becky Bryant, Virginia Edwards, Maxine Hamilton, Nora Mae Herrell, Frances Phenix, Roselyn Rucker, Helen Ryan, Hazel Shour, Moneta Swenson collaborated on the 108 pages of the 1964 printing.

The first meeting of the Beau Knot class is unknown but the class has continued to meet regularly since; the name Beau Knot was a play on words for bowknot and simply meant the class was all females. At the time of the second printing in 1964, the class met at the church on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Spiral-bound cookbooks were produced by many companies and came into popularity by the 1930’s when both spiral wire and plastic comb binding were developed. First patented in France, comb binding was then patented in America by R.M.L. Drouvry in 1934. Patented as a “Binding Arrangement” (US #1.970,285) it was trademarked as Cerlox in 1940; comb binding is a popular choice for cookbooks as the book can lay flat while reading a recipe.

Here’s a simple recipe from page 23, Lemon salad dressing for tossed salads, submitted by Mrs. Howard P. Horn: 2 Tbs. salad oil, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, pinch dry mustard, ½ tsp. salt, beat well with fork, pour over ingredients. Serves 4.