A research enquiry for a good old fashioned scone recipe meant an opportunity to delve into the Tauranga Heritage Collection’s cookbook collection. Amongst the more than one hundred cookbooks, The “Peace” Recipe Book caught my eye.
Also part of Te Papa and Auckland Museum’s collections, they record the date of publication as circa 1919, noting that the cover ‘depicts a WW1 soldier with his right hand outstretched towards a dove who is holding a peace banner in its beak’. However according to Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, on closer inspection the cookbook features ‘references to Second World War rationing and the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936’. This assertion is reinforced by the titling of some of the recipes including ‘Princess Elizabeth’s Pudding’ on p.37 - Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926.
Produced by Auckland woman Elsie Harvey - the wife of an ‘African war veteran’ - the book contains a number of recipes that may either delight or horrify today’s foodie. The ‘Oyster Spaghetti Flapjacks’ recipe below is a good example. However, if this recipe doesn’t put you off then you will be pleased to know that the entire cookbook can be viewed on the Te Papa website.