1953 PHS grad finds treasure of old cookbooks

PARKERSBURG – A Florida man in town for his 60th high school class reunion discovered a cache of local cookbooks from the 1920s and earlier.

The Rev. Charles Trembly only recently went through an old trunk that belonged to his parents and found the books and fliers, many from Parkersburg companies no longer in business, like the Parkersburg Creamery Co.

“I can remember as a child they had the horse-drawn carts where they delivered milk from house to house,” Trembly said.

His parents are the late Clyde and Helen Trembly. Trembly’s father retired from the former A.B. Chance and his mother was a housewife.

She kept the books and was an excellent cook, Trembly said.

“Oh my yes,” he said.

Among the articles is a cookbook from the Parkersburg Creamery about its new modern plant. The undated book talks about the plant, safeguarding Parkersburg’s milk supply, describes Pasteurization and has photos of inside the operation.

Milk was its forte, so the recipes include cottage cheese, peanut butter soup, cottage cheese loaf, nut custard pie and honey rice pudding.

Trembly found fliers from The Parkersburg Sentinel’s fourth annual cooking school featuring Mrs. Geo. O. Thurn as lecturer in 1927 and 1928.

The program for March 13-16, 1928, was held at the Camden Theatre, which is no longer in business.

Mexican Hash was a recipe.

“Run left over meat through meat chopper. Grease a pan well; sprinkle bottom with a layer of bread crumbs, layer of gravy, layer of meat, bread crumbs, then a layer of canned corn and so on until used up. Season with salt, pepper and onion juice. Put buttered bread crumbs on top and bake about one-half hour.”

The 1927 school was titled The Parkersburg Sentinel Cooking School and Style Show and was held Feb. 8-11. The Tuesday lecture was “The Business of Housekeeping.”

“Dainties” was published by the Patton, Neal Co. just after 1900, circa 1905-1907. Companies advertising included Taft’s, the Citizens National Bank, which boasted capital of $100,000, the Parkersburg National Bank, Bryan and Speece men’s wear, R.B. Taylor grocer, J.W. Dudley and Son florists, Kerr’s Art Studio, J.S. Speece, Parkersburg Steam Laundry, John W. Mather jeweler, The Hub clothing store, O.J. Stout and Co. and Standard Grocery.

It included recipes for egg foo young, cheese toast and meginty. Meginty is “one pound of crackers rolled fine, one cup grated cheese, two pints sweet milk, one teaspoon salt, a generous piece of butter, dash of paprika, heat in a granite pan. Nice lunch or supper.”

After graduation from high school and college, Trembly moved to Florida where he was a United Methodist minister. He retired from the United Methodist Church in Winter Haven in 2011.

Accompanied by his wife, Ann, they have been touring various venues where the Parkersburg High class of 1953 will hold reunion activities. Sites include Dils Park in Vienna and Fort Boreman Park on Fort Boreman Hill, which was difficult to find, he said.

Amazed by the changes in the area, the last time Trembly was in Parkersburg was 10 years ago.

“They told me this would probably be the last reunion,” Trembly said.