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Let's Get Cooking

December 11, 2012

Food and cooking may not strike many as an integral part of Presbyterian heritage. However, if you were to search CALVIN, our online electronic catalog, and type in “cookbook” under Key word, you would retrieve 24 results. Try “cook book” and you get 19 results. Search “recipes” and you get 43 items. Throughout Presbyterian history congregations have been publishing recipes, most often in church anniversary publications or histories.


The following recipes were published in 1889 in Gleaners’ Bric-A-Brac, no. 2, from the Flemington Presbyterian Church in Flemington, New Jersey. The Gleaners’ Mission Band published this pamphlet and sold it for 20 cents. Besides advertisements for local businesses, such as Stockton’s Ladies’ and Gents’ Dining and Ice Cream Parlor, Gleaners’ Bric-A-Brac includes church histories and sermons. It also includes a “large number of valuable household recipes, furnished by ladies of the congregations, and which have been tested in their own families.”

Here are seven recipes from Bric-A-Brac, including some to use for the upcoming holiday season such as Hickory-Nut Cakes, Grape Sauce, Plum Pudding and Creamed Oysters. Enjoy and please let us know how your meal turns out!

--Written by David Koch, Reference Archivist