Over 120 years ago, a cook in Vancouver might have boiled a "half noggin" of water on their way to making "spunge cacke."
During WWI locals were encouraged by officials to make appetizing and nourishing dishes out of vegetables to help save essential food for soldiers and allies.
In the 1940s the Vancouver Sun published its own cookbook called the $100 Cook Book which took its name from "the hundred prize recipes included in its contents."
These are just a few of the factoids in the City of Vancouver Archives' collection of recipes they've built over the years. The assemblage of cooking instructions gives a glimpse into the city's past and what people enjoyed making over the years, from chicken stew to gravlax.
Perhaps over-represented are desserts, thanks to one of the pillars of Vancouver's food industry back in the day: the B.C. Sugar Refining Company. They put out lots of recipes over the years, and they all featured products like Rogers' Golden Syrup or B.C. Cane Sugar.
On the upside, they do have lots of ideas for cakes in the Great West Cook Book. There's a "common cake," a "rice cake" (which includes flour), and even "a nice cake for children" (featuring B.C. Cane Yellow Sugar).
There's also the Pooley family recipe book from 1906. In a couple of pages posted online, there are recipes for cakes, again, along with life advice, like "Fortune makes folly her peculiar care" from Charles Churchill.
To see more of what the City of Vancouver Archives has in its vast collection, check out their website.