What could be more appropriate during the Fall than a display of kitchen wares and old family recipes? The current Collector’s Showcase features two collections.
One collection features beautiful kitchen ceramics made of Jadeite owned by Karen Massey and the second part of the display is a collection of 19th century hand-written recipes from the Poullain, Prior and Campbell families owned by Becky Vickery.
Jadeite was made by three different American companies at the height of its popularity, beginning in the Depression era. The McKee Glass Company was the first to release “jade glass” in 1930, and these pieces are easily distinguishable by their distinct “McK” on the bottom of their glassware.
Shortly after this in 1932, McKee’s rival company, the Jeannette Glass Company, began production of similar items such as mixing bowls, shakers, canisters, refrigerator dishes and juice reamers. Most Jeannette pieces are not marked
In 1945, jadeite dinnerware came onto the scene from the Anchor Hocking Fireking division. They produced dinnerware sets in several different lines. These patterns are known as Philbe, Alice, Jane Ray, Charm, and Restaurant Ware. Most Fireking jadeite is marked with a variation of the Fireking logo somewhere on each piece. During this time, Anchor Hocking advertised a dinner service of Jadeite for 8, 53 pieces in the set, for $6.95!
Arriving on the scene much later is Mosser Glass with their Jadeite green wares beginning in 1970. The display has one piece of Mosser Glass which is the cake stand. Pieces of Jadeite from Karen Massey’s much larger collection were chosen because they were used in the kitchen — canisters, measuring bowls and cups, salt and pepper shakers, a cookie jar, a reemer and spice jars.
All of the recipes and the recipe book were purchased by Becky Vickery at the Prior estate sale after the death of Florida Prior sometime after 2012. The hand written recipe book probably belonged to Sarah “Sallie” Poullain Campbell who lived from 1870 to 1936. She was the daughter of Antoine Poullain and his second wife Rebecca Louisa Lamar. The book has an 1885 date in it with her name given in several places. The loose, yet categorized, recipes appear to have belonged to her daughter, Florida Lamar Campbell Prior (1898 — 1991) and to her daughter, Florida Campbell Prior (1924 — 2012). The collection spans 3 generations of the Poullain, Campbell and Prior families.
There is a good assortment of hand written recipes within the old recipe book with cakes the heavy favorite — White fruit cake, Sunshine cake, Orange cake, Currant cake, Coffee cake, Chocolate cake, Sponge cake, Scripture cake, Child’s party cake, Orange coconut cake, White cake, Lemon Cake and Apple cake to name a few. These recipes often had the vaguest of measurements — “butter the size of an egg”, “a tumbler of clabber”, “a pint of flour”. Other recipes included Meats, Pudding, Eclairs, Fish, Muffins, Waffles, Salads, Pickles and chow-chow, and how to preserve 16 varieties of fruit.
Also of interest is her recipe for Southern Cheese Straws from the late 1800s — here is her recipe: “Take well beaten biscuit dough and roll it out as thin as possible, sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese on it. Fold the dough together. Roll it out again, as thin as possible, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Repeat the process until the cheese has been used 3 times. Roll it out again and cut it into thin strips as long as the middle finger. Bake until light in a slow oven.”
The collection also includes loose recipes from newspapers, held within envelopes clearly marked with every classification you can imagine. There was also an envelope of saved newspaper clippings, a newspaper column entitled, “Recipes from some of Madison’s Best House-keepers”. One recipe was of a fruitcake sent in by Mrs. William A. Broughton (Mollie Pou Broughton). Another envelope contained the operating manual for an ice cream freezer along with numerous recipes for ice cream cut from the newspaper. Still, another envelope held clippings from a column in a newspaper titled, “Little Late Suppers”. The intro reads, “Little suppers after the theatre or an evening at cards or games is a problem hard to solve for the hostess or the entertainer. It is so easy to overdo the menu.” For this column, there was a contest running in the newspaper for the best recipes and menu for Little Late Suppers. The winner was to receive a Gorham silver chafing dish!
Do plan to visit the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, 434 S. Main Street in Madison. This fascinating exhibit will run through the end of December. The Cultural Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.