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When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picnic, or just a hearty supper after chores were done. As Jerry writes, "For me food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter, and good-hearted fun." Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos, Old Farm Country Cookbook recalls a time when electricity had not yet found its way to the farm, when making sauerkraut was a family endeavor, and when homemade ice cream tasted better than anything you could buy at the store.


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When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picnic, or just a hearty supper after chores were done. As Jerry writes, "For me food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter, and good-hearted fun." Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos, Old Farm Country Cookbook recalls a time when electricity had not yet found its way to the farm, when making sauerkraut was a family endeavor, and when homemade ice cream tasted better than anything you could buy at the store.

30 review for Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Jerry Apps takes us to the heart of the home -- the kitchen. His memories of food, cooking, and farm life during the 1930's and 40's show us a time when farm families raised and produced their own food. Old Farm Country Cookbook is an informative and pleasant read about farm kitchens and foods and their preparation. Country ways are explained including woodstove cooking, butchering, hunting, fishing, and canning. Sidebars offer information on topics like harvesting ice, victory gardens, headchee Jerry Apps takes us to the heart of the home -- the kitchen. His memories of food, cooking, and farm life during the 1930's and 40's show us a time when farm families raised and produced their own food. Old Farm Country Cookbook is an informative and pleasant read about farm kitchens and foods and their preparation. Country ways are explained including woodstove cooking, butchering, hunting, fishing, and canning. Sidebars offer information on topics like harvesting ice, victory gardens, headcheese, and so much more. Scattered throughout are recipes and helpful kitchen tips such as the best way to pit cherries or how to make butter. I found this to be quite a comprehensive book. Things I didn't know I wanted to know about are in here. It's everything you wanted to know about farm cooking and farm foods back when your grandparents were children. Everything Jerry Apps writes about comes from his own memories of growing up on the farm. This is not a book of facts, but one person's actual living of, and familiarity with the farm foods and ways. Jerry Apps grew up living farm to table and his memoirs are wonderful recollections of what some would call the good old days. His writing is direct and informative. You feel like you are in the kitchen with him as he points out where the icebox sat, where the party line phone hung on the wall, or where his place was at the dinner table. This book and others he has written are very highly recommended to anyone interested in farm and country life in the 1930's and 1940's.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wisconsin Alumni

    Jerry Apps ’55, MS’57, PhD’67 and Susan Apps-Bodilly ’84, MS’95 Coauthors When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picni Jerry Apps ’55, MS’57, PhD’67 and Susan Apps-Bodilly ’84, MS’95 Coauthors When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picnic, or just a hearty supper after chores were done. As Jerry writes, “For me food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter, and good-hearted fun.” Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos, Old Farm Country Cookbook recalls a time when electricity had not yet found its way to the farm, when making sauerkraut was a family endeavor, and when homemade ice cream tasted better than anything you could buy at the store.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Lots of great recipes in this book! I even found one that's in my American family's cookbook! Loads of fun info of back in the day fun and goodness. Just like I remember some of it! I loved the ice box story. I remember my dad's family always referred to the fridge as an ice box (even us kids did until we hit grade school and kept getting reprimands from our teachers!). I love cast iron cookware and still own some from my dad's family (came all the way from Tennessee back in the 1800's! and it s Lots of great recipes in this book! I even found one that's in my American family's cookbook! Loads of fun info of back in the day fun and goodness. Just like I remember some of it! I loved the ice box story. I remember my dad's family always referred to the fridge as an ice box (even us kids did until we hit grade school and kept getting reprimands from our teachers!). I love cast iron cookware and still own some from my dad's family (came all the way from Tennessee back in the 1800's! and it still works.). I mostly cook German (mom's side), but sometimes it's fun to explore the American side! Great book for us first generations and anyone else who wants to read the way it was done and how Americans ate back in the day!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Gallen

    “Old Farm Country Cookbook, is a cookbook but it is also a collection of charming memories. The recipes are detailed to permit easy use. Some are common, such as mashed potatoes or backed fish, others are suited for wild game, such as fried squirrel or baked rabbit while others are, well, unusual, like chocolate sauerkraut cake or potato chip cookies. If you are in to experimenting and cooking from scratch, give some of them a try. What I like most about this work is author Jerry Apps’ memoires o “Old Farm Country Cookbook, is a cookbook but it is also a collection of charming memories. The recipes are detailed to permit easy use. Some are common, such as mashed potatoes or backed fish, others are suited for wild game, such as fried squirrel or baked rabbit while others are, well, unusual, like chocolate sauerkraut cake or potato chip cookies. If you are in to experimenting and cooking from scratch, give some of them a try. What I like most about this work is author Jerry Apps’ memoires of his youthful life on the farm. It was a life that saw the advent of electricity, fishing for food, chores, the Depression and World War II. Some provide insights into another life style. How many readers have used syrup or lard pails for lunch boxes or butchered chickens? Have you ever thought that milk stored in an icebox would not be as cold as that from a refrigerator? It makes sense but it never crossed my mind. The impressions left by visitors from the city are interesting. Some sidebars are informative as the account of how ice was harvested, some are practical as is the explanation of the qualities of various types of fire wood and the note about Victory Gardens brings to life an historical topic of which most have read. Authors Jerry Apps and Susan Apps-Bodily have crafted an easy, light, informative and entertaining read. Each chapter highlights memoires associated with food. At the end are several related recipes. This is a book to read, enjoy and, just maybe, go back and follow one of those recipes. I did receive a free copy of this book without an obligation to post a review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    I felt like I was sitting at the table with Apps and learning about his childhood and his family growing up on a farm. He was raised in an era where it was farm to table to survive. His sharing of personal life of old country ways should make us appreciate our modern conveniences. The importance of "victory" gardens, canning, using most parts of animals, and eating seasonally. The love and sharing of family was evident when they gathered around the table for every meal. Sprinkled through out eac I felt like I was sitting at the table with Apps and learning about his childhood and his family growing up on a farm. He was raised in an era where it was farm to table to survive. His sharing of personal life of old country ways should make us appreciate our modern conveniences. The importance of "victory" gardens, canning, using most parts of animals, and eating seasonally. The love and sharing of family was evident when they gathered around the table for every meal. Sprinkled through out each chapter's anecdote are recipes from his mother's white, wooden recipe box. Some were both familiar and new to me. Make sure you gather your loved ones around a table to share both food and life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    DK Simoneau

    Great little book. Felt like I traveled back in time. Reminded me of some foods I had forgotten about. Can't wait to try a couple of these. Nice happy light read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    A combination cookbook and memoir. Great stories of growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930-40's

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    I loved that it wasn't just a regular cookbook but the memories they shared along with it made it very interesting

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    5+ Stars!!!!! This was a great read! Yes, READ! Jerry had some great stories to go along with his mother's recipes. I'm purchasing this cookbook and giving it as gifts for those that also appreciate a good story with recipes!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane Rutherford

    Another book that takes me back to my childhood in Wisconsin, my grandparent's farm, family events, and recipes that my grandmothers made

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barb

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawnene Hassett

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie Tubb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  16. 5 out of 5

    WHS PRESS

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  19. 5 out of 5

    A.j.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  21. 4 out of 5

    zoetseng

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Terry

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Apps

  25. 4 out of 5

    Juli

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abrilina Bray

  27. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie Johnson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aly

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  30. 5 out of 5

    MaryJayne

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