I love looking through cookbooks printed by community or church groups.

The older the better.

These softcover, low budget books that are spiral-bound or held together with staples, even yarn, contain tried and true recipes that women were proud to share.

From a typewriter to an office mimeograph machine or a local print shop, they were usually sold for fundraising needs such as a library addition or missions work.

Here’s a gem I found in a Duluth thrift store.

Twig MN cookbook

Smorgasbords in Minnesota’a Northwoods, by the Ladies Aid of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Twig, Minnesota.

No printing date is given but I’m taking a wild guess of around the 1930’s or 40’s.

It’s the size of my hand with only 16 pages, held together by two staples.

In Minnesota's Northwoods

Twig is an unincorporated community outside of Duluth.

Several ads from local businesses are peppered (no pun intended) throughout the book.

Rey and Gen's Cabins

Recipes in these charity cookbooks reflect not just the region they come from but also the food people were eating.

60 plus years ago in Minnesota, people with Scandinavian roots ate plenty of meat and potatoes, butter and sugar.

This little booklet from the church in Twig has recipes very familiar to my own childhood.

I remember my Swedish grandma making Rice Pudding, Rosettes, Cucumber Pickles and Krumkakke, which are all in this cookbooklet.

This recipe from a Mrs. Henry Rood, Sr. for Swedish meatballs reminds me of my Grandma Esther’s.

church cookbook

Every Tuesday night my grandma made supper for family members who would stop over for a good hot meal.

We were all busy with work, after school activities and meetings so we ate in shifts at her tiny table in the warm cluttered apartment kitchen.

Many of those Tuesday suppers she made Swedish meatballs that were very much like the following recipe.


Swedish Meat Balls from MN

Meatballs made with part pork and part ground beef have a different taste and texture than the average all beef meatballs.

Grandma served them with potatoes, gravy made from the pan drippings, cabbage salad, fresh homemade buns and Swedish Krem pudding.

Now that’s comfort food to me!

I can smell the onion and allspice….

With each year that goes by, these old recipes from the homey kitchens of years back, become more of a treasure.




I would love to hear from you! Email me: beverly@renewandremember.com