Cookbook Score: Bella Coola PTA

It’s been too long since my last post, and I’m sorry for that; I’ve been dealing with a calcification in my rotator cuff, and a “frozen” shoulder that makes it difficult to write. It’s been a slow haul back to the keyboard, but shockwave & other physical therapy is starting to work a little magic. Enough of that business, on to the topic of the day.
Regular readers know I’m a sucker for a cookbook, and especially the oldies. While rooting around a fabulous used furniture store, I spied a small pile of cookbooks tucked into a corner, and unearthed this delight:


Bella Coola is about 1000km north of Vancouver, and after checking out the region online, I’ve just added it to our list of places to see while we’re posted out here. The pictures on the website are breathtaking, you really should have a look here.
Back to the book: this one was put together by the local PTA in 1963, and assures me that I can please the family using their favourite recipes (love those old-school sentiments). It’s interesting to me because while I have several of these community type cookbooks, this is the first one in which the pages are photocopies of handwritten recipes, adding a different dimension of character. (Incidentally, this one was printed by Alex Wilson Publications out of Dryden, Ontario, still in business!)

Note the recipe for a happy home, which at first glance induces eye-rolling in its folksy earnestness, then upon second reading, mostly rings true.
I love the household and cooking tips, (a lump of sugar in the water can force a rose to bloom! Before cleaning fish, sprinkle salt on the breadboard for easier cleanup!)
and can just imagine the women as they neatly scribed their favourites, in careful handwriting, for inclusion. So much community culinary history here, I wonder about their families, if they and their families still live in the valley, and how many of these books would be around with addition recipes written on the blank pages in the back.
I’m notorious for adding cookbooks to my collection without ever cooking from them, but in this case I’m not sure I can resist trying Granny Plommer’s Blackcurrant Jam, or something I’ve not seen before, Salmon Egg Stew. And if I do actually get around to making them, I’ll let you know how they go!


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