Digital Collection Spotlight #13: Recipe Notebook

Posted November 24, 2020 in Digital Access

Digital Collections Spotlight #13: Recipe Notebook
By Jonathan Ennis, digital archivist

As part of an ongoing series of posts, we’re highlighting different collections and items from the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, that have been digitized and are accessible online. Check out our earlier posts in this series at

As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching it seems an appropriate time to highlight an interesting item from our collection, a series of recipes collected by a resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the early 20th century. These recipes were handwritten, some in a notebook and others on loose paper, and several of the recipes recorded in the notebook are identified as having been copied from a 1929 cookbook titled Meals for Small Families by Jean Mowat. A letter included in the notebook identifies the owner as “Elsie” and while not proven it has been suggested that this may be Elizabeth Lehman Myers (1843-1932), who was born in Bethlehem and worked for both the city and the Moravian Seminary and College for Women as a historian. Here we have transcribed two of the recipes included, a seasonally appropriate meal involving turkey and a dessert, specifically a type of nougat. If anyone feels inspired to try these please let us know and send a photo!

“Boiled Turkey”

  • Put one lb of fat salt pork in boiler with enough water to boil a turkey.
  • Let pork boil for 30 min then put turkey breast down and tie legs together.
  • Let pork and turkey boil together for about one and ½ hours then add Cabbage and let all boil for about 45-min longer. It should all be cooked in that length of time.
  • If you have a good fire make dressing out of boiled potatoes mashed fine Raw onions chopped fine season, pepper, sage, thyme savory¹.
  • make gravey,
  • boil neck gizzard and liver and heart together.
  • Cut gizz and liver and heart up fine and add thickening.
  • serv the turkey up well.

¹Savory is an herb related to mint


“Iced Nougats”

  • ½ lb figs
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ lb dates
  • 1 cup chopped nut meats
  • Lemon Juice

Grind the fruits and nuts together, add enough of the lemon juice to form this paste into nougat shape.

Place in the freezing compartment of the icebox (or freezer) for 1 hour.