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“The Economy Administration Cook Book”

A recent find, at an estate sale, was a ragged little book titled “The Economy Administration Cook Book” which was published in the early 1900s. At the beginning of each page is the name of a prominent American woman, with a brief bio, and then several recipes credited to her.

Some of our favorites are from two Texas women (of course). 

—— from Jordan Kestner Atkins

Listed under “MRS. RUFUS HARDY -- Wife of the Congressman, Corsicana, Texas”

Mrs. Hardy was Miss Felicia E. Peck of Fairfield, Texas, a beautiful girl and a splendid woman – one whom the Lone Star State is justly proud to have represent its women in Washington. When they were married, in 1881, Mr. Hardy was serving his first term as attorney for Navarro County. Two years later he was elected attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District, then judge of the same district, in Texas. He was elected to the Sixtieth Congress of the United States and has been re-elected ever since, with an increasing majority at each election, due in no small measure to the tact and popularity of his wife, whose influence radiates from the home which she manages on the principle that by carefully maintaining her own standards there the community life generally is uplifted. She is not, strictly speaking, a club woman, though keenly interested in the Congressional Club, and is a member of the Woman’s National Democratic League. She excels as a homemaker, dispenses a generous hospitality both in Washington and in Texas, and is famous for the cakes served on her table, all of which are made by herself.

(It’s interesting to note that there were no temperatures given for the recipes, I’m assuming it’s because there wasn’t a way to regulate it.)

One cup butter (one-half pint cup) Two cups sugar
Whites of 10 eggs Three cups flour
One quart shelled pecans One cup brandy

Cream sugar and butter, add beaten eggs, then flour in which is sifted one teaspoon baking powder, add brandy; when all is mixed, add pecans; bake in loaf.

One cup butter Two cups sugar

Whites of four eggs

Two cups flour
One-half cup milk One teaspoon baking powder
One cup chopped walnut meats

 (Follow directions from Texas Cake)

Whites of four eggs One cup sugar
Half-cup butter Two cups flour
Two teaspoons of baking powder Half-cup sweet milk

(Same directions as above, I suppose, none other provided)

One quart milk One heaping tablespoon of butter
One can corn One heaping tablespoon of flour

Boil corn in milk 25 minutes. Melt butter and smother flour in it; add to soup; stir until creamy; add pinch cayenne and salt to taste.

Under “MRS. OSCAR CALLAWAY -- Wife of the Congressman, Comanche, Texas”

Mrs. Callaway (Stella) was born at “Red Oaks” the Couch family home, in Ellis County, Texas. Her parents were William Sloan and Hallie (McCleary) Couch, both descended from the founders of Tennessee. She was educated in the public schools of LaGrange, Texas, and at the State University, graduating with the B. Lit. degree. Her parents died about that time, and she became the guardian of her younger brothers and sisters, besides teaching for several years. Married Dec. 29, 1904, her former college mate, Oscar Callaway, then Comanche County Attorney, now a member of the Congress of the United States. Being without children of her own she has aided in the up-bringing of eight little orphaned relatives, and is rarely without a child of school age in her household. She is well versed in current events and history, and is credited with being almost as clever as her husband in politics. Certainly she is one of his most loyal supporters, and though she has not the right of suffrage, nor wishes to have it, wins votes for him at every election and rarely loses a friend. She is a member of the Congressional Club of Washington and the Woman’s National Democratic League. Here are recipes for a few of the things served on her table:

One chicken, boiled until tender One cup of broken pecans
Four bunches of celery, chopped Juice of six lemons

Mix the chopped chicken, celery and pecans; add lemon juice; just before serving pour over and stir in the following dressing:


Four eggs beaten light, one-half cup of sugar, four tablespoons of flour, one cup of vinegar, butter the size of an egg, one teaspoon each of salt and mustard, and a dash of red pepper. Cook in double boiler until thick, stirring constantly.


Cream one-half cup of sugar with a scant cup of butter; add one egg, one-half cup of water, one teaspoon of baking powder and flour enough to knead. Divide into two equal parts, and bake as two cakes. When baked, split each cake, put strawberries between them and serve with whipped cream.


Separate one egg; beat the yolk slightly; add one cup of sweet milk and one-half teaspoon of salt. Sift together one and one-half cups of flour, and three level teaspoons of baking powder; add to mixture and beat thoroughly; then fold in the well-beaten white of egg. Bake in greased gem pans for 20 minutes in quick ovens.