display of old-timey cookery in Leddy LibraryThe Leddy Library has issued a challenge for people to try cooking from some historic recipes.

Culinary challenge to promote archives awareness

Leddy Library’s Archives & Special Collections invites you to celebrate Archives Awareness Week (April 6-12) by participating in the Historic Home Cooking Challenge.

“Each year we put together a display to celebrate our unique collections for Archives Awareness Week,” said the library’s archivist, Sarah Glassford. “However, since you can't visit us to see it this year, we decided to bring it to you online — with the addition of an interactive challenge.”

The display features a variety of historic cookbooks from the library’s Special Collections and cooking implements that have been shared by Leddy Library staff and librarians.

In the collection is The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book (1943) by Ruth Bertolzheimer, a special Second World War edition of a popular American cookbook that was also widely used here in Windsor.

“The ‘Victory Binding’ phrase in the title indicates an attempt to boost morale on the home front during the challenging times of the war,” said Glassford. “Women, who did most of the cooking, were forced to deal with official rationing of commodities like sugar and meat.”

The library has selected five recipes from the book to share for the Historic Home Cooking Challenge and invites the community to join along by trying out the recipes each day and sharing photos or videos of their experience with Leddy Library via social media.

“Wartime rationing of sugar meant that many of the 1940s recipes are not as sweet as we are used to today,” warns Glassford. “But people often saved up their sugar rations in order to make candy or cakes for special occasions.”

While there is nothing sweeter than victory, the only prize associated with the challenge is the reward of trying something new. Visit the library website for full recipes and challenge instructions.