LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK BY THE LUND FAMILY CENTER

It’s always gratifying when a cookbook comes along and serves to meet several needs—the need of cooks, chefs, and cookbook collectors, like myself, to acquire a special cookbook that has something unique to offer in the way of recipes…and the need of a special organization to raise funds to continue their worthy projects.

Such were my thoughts when I first opened the pages of “LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK”, compiled and published by the
Lund Family Center in Burlington, Vermont.

Not only does it offer a special collection of recipes from the kitchens of famous Vermonters—including senators and governors as well as chefs from the Trapp Family Lodge—“LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK” also features recipes of Elizabeth Lund herself, reprinted from an early 1900s published by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

And just who was Elizabeth Lund?

Perhaps I should quote directly from the Introduction in “LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK” which explains the history of the Lund Family Center.

“Many histories concerning the last decade of the nineteenth century, generally spoken as the ‘Gay Nineties’ document in detail the apparently unlimited power of wealth and its extravagances. Few histories have paid specific attention to the plight of the poverty-stricken, let alone the desperate needs of unmarried pregnant women made homeless and friendless by the harsh judgment of a less understanding society than now exists in this last decade of the twentieth century.

In the fall of 1890, ten compassionate, resourceful women, all prominent community leaders and members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) met in Burlington, Vermont to determine a means of helping socially abused and rejected women…”

As a result of that gathering, the women drew up a charter, proposing a residential agency to provide aid, and a home, for such destitute women. The charter was approved by the Vermont General Assembly and by the time the organization held its second meeting, over $13,000 had been raised –without the assistance of the State Legislature, which had refused their request for $10,000, and on April 12, 1893, the “Home for Friendless Women” was opened.

Given today’s laidback attitude towards unmarried pregnant women, it may be difficult for us to realize what a stigma it once was to be in this condition, and without family or friends to lend assistance, although I remember that in the 1950s, it was still considered scandalous and one of the worse predicaments a teenage girl could find herself in.

At the “Home for Friendless Women” not all of the friendless were unmarried girls—records show that one of the earliest applicants was a married woman deserted by her husband.

Doctor Lund and his wife were involved and committed to the home from its onset and some years later, when Mrs. Lund died, her husband bequeathed a large sum, nearly $100,000 in real estate and property, to the home. On March 9, 1928, its name was changed to the Elizabeth Lund Home.

Today, the Lund Family Center (A United Way Agency) is the only licensed statewide maternity residence in Vermont, and although there are no age limitations for admission, their program is designed primarily for pregnant adolescents. They have a child care center for children, ages 1-5, and for over one hundred years have provided a comprehensive adoption program. Services at the Center are geared then towards pregnant teens, families with young children and adoptive families.

Now that you know your money for Lizzie’s Cookbook will go towards a worthy cause, what can you expect from the cookbook? Lots! There are over one hundred kitchen-tested recipes in this soft cover book (with, I might add, a nice size print for those of us whose vision isn’t what it used to be—the first thing I check for in a cookbook nowadays is the size of the print!)

There are some great recipes in LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK, starting right off with Hot Crab Cocktail Spread. There are some New England regional favorites, such as Quahog Chowder (and we learn that chowder comes from the word ‘cauldron’ and has been served in New England for over two hundred years) and Vermont Country Baked Ham (Oh, when will I ever have the opportunity to visit the New England states—antique stores! Bookstores! Lighthouses! – and RESTAURANTS! – and speaking of restaurants, (I know an entrance line when I hear one)
some of Vermont’s finest eating establishments contributed a recipe to Lizzie’s Cookbook. Be sure to check out Sneakers’ French onion Soup (this Sneakers is Sneakers’ Bistro and Grill, not a shoe) and the Trapp family Lodge’s Linzertorte offered by the Trapp family Lodge’ Executive Pastry Chef, Marshall Faye.

I was especially delighted to find (at last!) a good recipe for Cucumber dip, but you will find a wide assortment of recipes sure to please everyone. I really like the format of “LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK”, of one recipe to a page, and the informal tidbits of background information relating to the recipes and the straightforward directions for preparing them. I think you will agree.

“LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK” might be considered scarce – I’ve only found a few copies online at Amazon.com or Alibris.com. Price is right; there are several pre owned copies for $6/46 and one collectible copy for 48.99.
In my original review for the Cookbook Collectors Exchange, I provided a box number (PO Box 4009) Burlington, VT 05406, or by calling 1-800-864-7467 but I have no idea if these numbers are still valid. Then I found a website, UVM (University of Vermont which lists the book, new, for $12.95. You can reach them at 1-800-331-7305.

–Review by Sandra Lee Smith

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4 responses to “LIZZIE’S COOKBOOK BY THE LUND FAMILY CENTER

  1. Hi. Thanks for posting this great review of Lizzie’s Cook Book. The Lund Family Center (now named Lund) is still going strong with almost 125 years of helping children and families thrive. Food is still an important part of our residential program and in fact, I was just called up to the education program for parenting and pregnant young women (New Horizons) yesterday to do a taste test of cookies that the students had baked in a science lab. My conclusion? Both delicious!

    I’m glad that you found this cookbook fun and informative and appreciate your review.

    • Thanks for writing, Charlotte – my readers will know that Lund is still operating and providing much needed services to those in need. – Sandy @ sandychatter

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