Cooking the booksMettre les livres à sa sauce

The Guaranteed Pure Milk Co., Limited Cook Book, 1920’s, 39 pages[Notice]

  • Marcella Walton
On the cover of The Guaranteed Pure Milk Co., Limited Cook Book a 1920’s style ornate cornucopia of fruits and leaves frames a sitting, smiling cherubesque little girl cradling a full bottle of milk. The recipes in the small 39 page book are divided into 12 sections. The first one, makes up 28 pages of the book, including chapters like: “Soups; Fish, Oysters, etc.”, “Chicken, etc.” “Vegetables; Salads; Salad Dressings and Sauces”, “Dessert, Drinks and Confections” and “Bread, Muffins, etc.” The second section is comprised only of cottage cheese recipes. A smaller section, it contains a scant four pages divided into: “Cottage Cheese Meat Substitutions”, “Cottage Cheese Vegetable Dishes and Sandwiches” and “Cottage Cheese Desserts. All the recipes are very brief. Some have no ingredient lists or measurements and only a few vague sentences of instructions. Reading the recipes, I feel like this cookbook is meant for readers who have made recipes similar to these many times before, and this cookbook is offering small variations on classic recipes. Even though I am a seasoned home cook, I sometimes felt ill equipped to attempt some of the recipes. With the exception of the cover, only three pages of the cookbook are not recipe related. Two of these pages have quotes and images directed at the health and welfare of children. The last of these pages is more of a statement about the health benefits of milk and milk products in relation to cost and being a good housekeeper. The only indication of a place of publication is included in the notice of copyright for United States and Canada, and there is no indication of date of publication. Artwork and pictures in the cookbook lead me to believe the publication was printed in the 1920s or early 1930s. But, where, when and why was this promotional publication created? The curious section on cottage cheese stands out as a clue. Why is there a section on cottage cheese recipes alone? Since this cookbook contained evidence of being a promotional publication, I looked into the title, The Guaranteed Pure Milk Co., Limited Cook Book. The sponsoring company, The Guaranteed Milk Co. Ltd. was a small milk distribution company that ran out of Montreal. As the history of the company goes, a young man by the name of George Hogg, from a dairy farming family, conceived of the idea of a Montreal dairy delivery business to help his family in hard financial times. He began as a small dairy farmer, and only two years later in 1883, began distributing milk to Montrealers. Hogg began his company with a few bottles, a ladle, some cans and a horse and carriage. In 1901, Hogg and his brother in law, M.W.H. Trenholme, purchased the first milk plant in Quebec, The Guaranteed Milk Company. They worked on raising sales, and built a larger plant in 1910. Eventually, the Guaranteed Milk Co. underwent modernization to equip the plant for pasteurization in accordance with city law and continued producing and distributing milk until 1990, ultimately became a part of Parmalat Canada. After researching the history of the sponsoring company of the cookbook, I wanted to understand the reasons for its publication. Why, for example, were three ads and the cover of the cookbook all directed at children’s health? Prior to the development of pasteurization methods in the nineteenth century, the widespread adoption of its practices in Canada in the 1930s as well as regulation of the dairy industry, it was a known that milk distributors tampered with their milk products to increase the amount they had ...

Parties annexes

Parties annexes