19 August 2014

The Green Mountain Cook Book

My favorite Sports Night is titled "A Girl Named Pixley."  I never knew anyone named "Pixley" until I ran across a copy of The Green Mountain Cook Book by Aristene Pixley.  Picking a cookbook based on an obscure character in Sports Night is probably not the best way, but then television happens.

As one might have guessed, this cookbook is a collection of Vermont recipes published in 1934.  It is dedicated to our most glamorous First Lady, Grace Coolidge. (Don't be fooled by all that "Jackie" hype, Grace was a knockout and she hailed from Vermont.) 

There are several maple sauces and a lot of cheese featured on the pages.  In the back are several purveyors of Vermont goods including maple syrup, Chicken in Glass Jars, and turnips shipped right to your door. 

The recipes are short, succinct, and offer little advice on how to actually cook a recipe.  It is a Vermont cookbook, so they expect you to know such things.

Now we have a soft spot in out heart or should I say on our palate for unusual sodas, weird drinks and other strange concoctions.  So we just can't get this recipe out of our mind.

Flax Seed Lemonade
into one pint hot water put two teaspoons sugar and three tablespoons whole flax seed.  Steep for one hour, then strain.  Add the juice of one lemon and set aside until required.
We were fascinated with this recipe and set out to do more research.  It seems that Flax Seed Lemonade as a long history.  It was featured in several 19th century cookbooks such as Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book in 1884,  The Every-Day Cook-Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes in 1892 and in  1896  Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer. It continued to appear in the 1930's and 1940's.  Even Dr. Oz recommended a rather medicinal lemon and flax seed drink. 

In Texas, nine-year-old Mikaila Ulmer's has a thriving lemonade stand -- and a product now available at Whole Foods.  Mikaila’s ninety-year-old paternal great-grandmother sent her dog-eared cookbook from the 1940's and Makaila refined the flax seed lemonade into her own brand, BeeSweet Lemonade, with mint and flax.  Check out her Facebook page to see Mikaila and her great-grandmother.

We knew there was a reason to read old cookbooks.


  1. Fascinating! As soon as I read "flax seed lemonade" I thought, isn't that a thing now? There is no such thing as a 'new' recipe, is there?

    1. Becky, Not only did I not know it was a "thing" I didn't realize that the very next day was National Lemonade Day. I was so behind. You are right, everything old is new again. When I read the recipe, I thought, wouldn't that just make the lemonade cloudy? Evidently not.I t seems Flax Lemonade is all the rage. I was being "trendy" and didn't even know!


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