I have one of my grandmother's cookbooks. It isn't too old... a copyright of 1946, but there are some 'interesting' foods you can learn to cook such as roasted 'squirrel or opposum'!
I can't say I've tried these recipes, but I have read some of them! Old cookbooks are a lot like history books. You can learn about the culture through the foods they ate (or that was common for that generation). I've read about rendering fat... that still comes in handy when butchering pigs!
Honestly, I cannot picture my grandmother preparing some of these things, but you just never know. She did what needed to be done to feed her family of six.
I did come across a couple of notes that my grandfather had written tucked in the cookbook! One was a score card for a game they had played and on another he was figuring the cost of gas! Can you remember when gas was 14.9 cents per gallon! These are treasures!
I wish I had more of her hand written recipes... but I do have this book, one hand written recipe and a fews recipes of hers written by my mom, so that's ok! One of her recipe follows....
Put N' Put
One of my childhood favorites!
The recipe name was given
because you put and put and put
in to the pot, right up to the top!
The idea is to layer the contents:
cut up stew beef or chicken
or meat of your choice (not cooked)
then a layer of cut up:
a layer of 'dumplings'
then sprinkle with salt & pepper
(Basically the dumplings are a 1 1/2C flour, 3/4 tsp salt,
3 TBsp shortnening, 3/4C water or milk. Mix dough then
rolled out and cut into strips or rectangles.)
Then start layering again:
meat, potatoes, carrots, onions,
dumpling, then salt & pepper.
Finish layering the ingredients in your
soup pot and then fill it with water.
Cook this on low till the veggies are
soft and the meat is tender.
The dumplings will thicken and the water will
become a yummy broth!
Ahhh, the kitchen will smell delicious (and more
so if you've made bread or dinner rolls to go with it!)