Margaret Button: Cookbook mystery partially solved

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A few months ago, I wrote about a friend, Shana Shippee finding a hand-written recipe book at a flea market in Pownal, Vt. She purchased it and shared it with me. An old-fashioned composition book, it is very old. The recipes on its pages were written in black ink in what would have been called "a fine hand. The ink has faded to brown. The pages are stained and the cover is cracked in several places.

I had hoped that by writing about it, maybe a family member would come along and fill in the blanks about the book's creator, Elizabeth C.G. Hudson, whose signature and "1920" were on the fly leaf, and maybe reunite the heirloom with her family.

Despite being in the print and online editions of the Berkshire Eagle, the Brattleboro Reformer, the Bennington Banner and the Manchester Journal and opened to the world via a posting on Facebook, no one from her family has appeared. A kind reader did however, take the time to do some genealogical research and came up with some information. The reader noted all the information from was found on Ancestry.com and Find-a-grave.

Elizabeth Clark Gillespie Hudson was born April 6, 1905, in Holyoke, and was the daughter of Sarah (Winterbottom) and John Gillespie. She married Henry Richardson Hudson and lived in Providence, R.I., in the mid-1950s. Mr. Hudson died in 1974 and is buried in Oakland, Calif. Elizabeth died Oct. 26, 1992, and is also buried in the Oakland cemetery. The couple had a son, Henry Richardson Hudson Jr., who was born Nov. 19, 1930, and died in May 1991. And there the trail goes cold and the questions remain.

How did Elizabeth's recipe book come to be in the Pownal flea market? If she died in California, did their son pack the recipe book and bring it back to Rhode Island? Was he married and are any of his children or grandchildren around? It looks like some research on a cold winter day may be in my future.

One of the recipes from the book that I've tried is for Oatmeal Macaroons. When I think macaroons, I automatically think coconut, but there is none in the recipe. I had no idea what a moderate oven was but most of the cooking sites on the Internet put it at 350 degrees.

The result is a soft chewy cookie that goes great with coffee or milk.

Oatmeal Macaroons

Ingredients:

1 cup quick Quaker Oats

1 cup sugar

½ cup melted butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract

1 egg

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Beat egg thoroughly. Mix all ingredients together. Drop from teaspoons on well-greased and floured pan, leaving about 3 inches between each macaroon. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan while warm.

Margaret Button can be reaching at mbutton@berkshireeagle.com.


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