People’s Dairy

PD -- 00Cover

My father-in-law, Robert, worked at People’s Dairy in Desoto, Missouri. And this recipe book is from 1937 from what I assume was Mona Faye’s mother’s collection. Your grandma or great-grandma probably had something similar on her shelf since it was produced by National Dairy and Food Bureau, Chicago.

This little sliver of a cookbook has it all! The “choicest” recipes that would usually cost “dollars.” Solutions for weight loss and weight gain (go figure!). From etiquette to wild game cookery. It even “solves” the “lunch box problem.” And most importantly, of course, “the most helpful information on whipping cream and the care of milk in the home.”

PD -- 02a

First things first. Each child must get one quart of milk a day and each adult a pint! For every dollar you spend at the store, 44 cents should be on dairy! So if I spend a $100 at the store, I need to be buying $44 worth of milk! Are they NUTS? Meat is only 12%. Are they buying gold milk in diamond cartons?

PD -- 02b

Just so you know where you stand, the final page of the cookbook includes this handy little weight chart. So you can see what that 44% of milk you’re buying should create pound-for-pound. No one exists taller than 6′. And, of course, only women read charts. Things officially changed in 1959 and 1983. Science is always at work to bewilder us into trusting them more.

PD -- 31a

5 Responses to “People’s Dairy”

  1. Emma (emmalouise) says:

    I wonder if people grew a lot of their own food then, and had chickens of their own, so their only real spending on food was for things they didn’t produce themselves, like dairy?

    I know here in New Zealand that would have been the case – and it would have been true to say here too, that we were encouraged (and still are encouraged) to drink a ton of milk because we’re a dairying nation – whether not it actually did us any good!

  2. Camille says:

    Maybe you’re right, Emma. I know that my inlaws used a LOT of wild game (still do) and fish. So maybe the meat budger could be that low. I wouldn’t think those living in urban areas (like my Mom’s family) would have had such luck. I know my dad’s family raised chickens. You could be right.

    But as I was buying food today, I still wondered about 44% being spent on MILK! Wow.

  3. mollie says:

    that’s so unreal! unless you’re buying really really good cheese. 😉 it’s funny that your weight is supposed to go up with every few years, kind of like it does . . .

  4. Monica says:

    With recipes like these, how in the world was I supposed to get up to 125 lbs?!? I’m not even there now, and I sure wouldn’t get there on Perfection Salad. 😉

  5. Mona Faye says:

    Jefferson County in the last century was a farming/small town county. My relatives were mostly farmers, so naturally had big gardens. In fact my Great Uncle Jesse and Aunt Katie used to “put up” fruit and vegetables in cans, using some kind of contraption to seal them, and then peddled them in town.

    Robert’s family were hunters and they had a large family. So besides the large garden, their table was supplied with wild game most of the time.

    Daddy liked to hunt and fish, but not as much as my husband Robert did–next generation. We still enjoy deer, fish, squirrel. Not so much rabbit. I never did cook and eat raccoon, but some folks did.

    As the county grows–becoming St. Louis bedroom communities–the places to hunt and fish have diminished, and we are reduced to shopping the local supermarket more and more.

    You know what? People really didn’t eat as much meat then as now. Meat once a day was the rule, and then not in the quantities that we have become used to.