The Gourmet Cookbook

Today is my grandmother’s 100th birthday!!! This is her Gourmet cookbook from 1952, a compilation of recipes from the first 10 years of the magazine. The spine has been taped together repeatedly from decades of use. 

This German Apple Crumb Cake should have been simple but was a comedy of errors trying to cream the butter at the correct temperature. The cake had almost no sugar and the crumble had almost no flour, making a kind of super sweet caramel topping on a savory base. 

Reading this and Mastering the Art made me appreciate that these books assumed you already knew how to cook (like a good Jewish housewife), so skip the level of detail we expect today. Like not saying to peel the apples or bake in a “moderate oven.” My grandmother had always been the consummate gracious hostess, so raising a toast and slice of crumb cake in her honor today 🥂

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