Friday, March 22, 2013

Mrs. Willard A. Bishop’s Cookbook

Mrs. Mary Mathews Bishop was born about 1857 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and moved to Sandusky with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Matthews. She married Sandusky photographer Willard A. Bishop in 1884. She was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Willard A. Bishop’s cookbook was given to the Sandusky Library’s historical collections in 1985, from the Estate of Ethel Herman. Most of the recipes were handwritten, but a few were clipped from printed sources and pasted in the book. Some of the names of the recipes are unfamiliar to today’s world, such as “calves head hash” and “ragged britches,” which was a combination of milk, lard, soda, and salt that was combined and then fried. Often the title of the recipe reflected the person who gave it to Mrs. Bishop, including “Em Keyes’ Cocoanut Cake” and “Fannie Melville’s Sheet Cake.”

Below is a recipe for Oyster Cocktails (top of page).


Oyster Cocktails

To ½ doz. oysters (Blue Pearls preferred) add one tablespoon of catsup, ½ teaspoon Worcestshire sauce, one dash of horseradish, lemon juice, salt and red pepper to suit taste.
(Mrs. Peterson’s Receipt)

It is interesting to read the various ingredients and cooking terms listed in Mrs. Bishop’s cookbook. In the era it was written, home cooked meals were the norm, and dining out occurred  only for special occasions. Mrs. Bishop died in 1925, and Willard A. Bishop in 1942. Both are buried in Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Willard A. Bishop’s obituary in the 1942 Obituary Notebook provides a detailed look at his sixty year career as a photographer in Sandusky.

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