Planning ahead for meals was an important part of living on Decatur Island in the early 1900s. Trips to a grocery store were infrequent, and most food was grown or raised on the farm. All cooking had to be accomplished on a sometimes cranky wood range, and there was no refrigeration. Below is a quote taken from Inez Howell’s well-worn cookbook she used during the years she lived on Decatur.
“Cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits and balms and spices, and all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and savory in meats. It means carefulness and inventiveness and willingness and readiness of appliances.
It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means much tasting and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French Art and Arabian hospitality; and in fine, it means that you are to be perfect and always ladies – loaf givers”
From the Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer, published in 1916.