A Stroll Down (cookbook) Memory Lane: The Purity Cookbook 1945


cookbooks! And there are some that have a whole lot of special memories attached to them too.

At the top of that list for me is The Purity Cookbook (1945 edition) that my mom and grandma both used on an almost daily basis.

My mom’s copy was in tatters from so much use. It was actually just a bunch of loose pages  in a plastic bag in a kitchen drawer. 😉 We would go through the pages together, picking out recipes and oohing and ahhhing at the tempting photos.

Here’s a couple of yummy photos from the book:

I have wanted to get a copy of this cookbook for a LONG time. I still have the pages (somewhere) from my mom’s kitchen.

But it would be so nice to have an intact copy too. 😉

 I found out about a sold copy of this cookbook over at Etsy, a while back. Sandra the terrific Etsy shop owner over at SandMarg has graciously offered to notify me, if she should happen to find another copy of this cookbook, in the future. I sure hope she can. Or that a copy becomes available elsewhere.

This seems to be a vintage cookbook that most people are not willing to part with. I’ve read several blog posts/comments about this particular cookbook elsewhere.

Do you have a favorite family cookbook?  One that brings wonderful memories to mind.

When they say “nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven” that certainly can mean all the love and great memories that a treasured cookbook or recipe can bring to mind too. 🙂

PS: A big thank you to Sandra for also allowing me to share these photos from the cookbook copy she had.

28 responses

  1. This is really cool. It is nice to have special memories attached to cookbooks and other kinds of books too. Great post. I’m looking forward to seeing this cookbook, hopefully in the near future too.

  2. Such wondeful memories, or should I say tasteful ones 🙂
    That is so nice of her to help you find one.
    My husband has his Mother’s cookbook (all handwritten of course) and I love the ‘three cents of yeast’ in the recipes.

  3. Good memories here, Geraldine.
    I also like having all the old recipes from Mom, and her Mom. these are generally handwritten on small index cards and I have both of their old plastic recipe boxes.They’re actually overstuffed. 🙂
    I hope you will find a copy of this cookbook, it sounds like a reliable, tried and true book.
    That cake certainly looks yummy.

  4. Hi Joe, It’s a hard to find a copy of this particular vintage cookbook but I’m hoping too! It would mean so much to me. Even looking at these photos from the book make me smile.

    Hi Teri, Yes, Sandra is a gem. 🙂 She is hopeful she’ll be able to find another copy in the future. I love your story about your mother-in-law’s cookbook. How cool is that.

    Hi Brenda, I probably wouldn’t make a lot of the recipes now (certainly not the meat ones!!!) but I’d love a Nut Hermit Cookie right now, those I can still remember as an after-school special treat. the memories that this would conjure up would be the best part of having this cookbook.

    Happy Week, G 🙂

  5. Hi,
    In 1945 my Mum made what was then wartime food. The recipes were from the Ministry of Food in London that helped ordinary people make acceptable nourishment from the limited ingredients available. We had Ration Books with tokens that the shopkeeper would take to replenish his stock. There would be a long queques outsite the shop (in american that means standing in line). Not everyone got anthying useful so we learned how to make something out of almost nothing.

  6. Geraldine,
    Yes, we also had hermit cookies, and they were one of my favourites!

  7. That is so nice! I recognize the name, but I know we didn’t have it in the house.
    I am inspired from that third photo to make some hot rolls for supper tonight.

  8. I have my Grandmothers copy of that exact Purity Cook Book 1945

  9. Hi Tiger, Thanks for sharing that interesting info. about your mom. Hard times made for some innovative cooking I’m guessing.

    Hi Brenda, Aren’t they delish!

    Hi SandyL, I love looking at the cookie photo in this book. Such nostalgic favs and memories brought to mind. I’m making some of them again too.

    Hi Karen, So nice of you to stop by. I’m sure you treasure your copy too.

    Happy Cooking and Baking, G

  10. My mom used the 1945 edition and when I moved out of the house one of the first things I did was buy a 1970 edition. It is the only pie crust recipe my wife will use and she makes an incredible pie.

  11. There is one on eBay now for about $70. Mine was my moms, falling apart but all pages still here… Using right now to make pinwheel cookies…

  12. my grandma gave me The Purity cook book many years ago and the book is falling
    apart. I would be so happy to get another copy of of it. At one tiome I saw it in Super

  13. Hi Thom, I had the 1970 edition too but I gave it away. It just wasn’t the same as the 1945 edition. The format and updates took away from the nostalgia of the 1945 edition, IMO. Classic, family fare in both though, that’s for sure.

    Hi Lois, Ohh…how yummy, my mom made those at Christmas. She was an expert baker, everything looked like it came from a bakery. I love those cookies!

    Hi Jeannie, You might check out SandMarg’s etsy shop, link above. She had lucked out finding another copy for me and maybe she’ll find another in the future. I know I looked a long time before I got mine from her and it was in excellent condition too.

    Happy Cooking, G 🙂

  14. Hi. I have my mom’s 1945 edition. I use it all the time with loving memories of times my mom, little brother and I would bake. There are crayon marks, sticky finger marks, melted butter, flour and hand written modifications throughout the book. It’s all there but the binding is all but gone and I hold it together with two rubber bands. On a sad day it brings me great comfort as I stroll through the pages with loving memories of a childhood of long ago but only a memory, a recipe or the fragrance of one of moms best desserts just a recipe away.
    I will never give my copy up, only to my daughter who now phones to ask, “mom do you havegrandma’s butter tart recipe?”

  15. I have one as well with metal binding rings but cannot find a publishing date in it. well loved too. The front of it does say ever since first books published 50 yrs ago and mentions this as a new edition…. I wonder if anyone can tell me what year it might be. it has 215 pages not including the index. Page one is not numbered and is the intro , 2 = table of equivalents, then it starts with page 3 – 215 and ends with an index from a-z. I too would like to find a 1945 one and another of this one as well as the old five roses cookbook paper with plastic binding rings.


  16. I have a coupon from the cookbook, I’m hoping that they honour it. Five roses did, and it was free

  17. Hi Mary Anne, I can totally relate to your feelings and thoughts. When I’m sad or feel the loss of loved ones more intensely at times, it does help to reconnect with something tangible like a cookbook, some clothing that belonged to them etc…so true. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories too.

    Hi Amy, I’m guessing you have a much later edition. I had that one too but it’s not the same although some of the recipe are. The nostalgic look and feel of the book is lacking IMO. For me, I had to get this particular edition as it had so many fond memories tied to it, of my grandmother and mom too. Treasured memories I will never forget. If you get a chance, I hope you’ll be able to see this edition too and compare.

    Hi Susan, My copy has those coupons too, what fun! Just the price of postage. Purity Mills is long gone though.

    Happy Memories and thanks for stopping by, G

  18. Just looking thru my Purity Cookbook I received as a wedding present in July, 1978 from one of my moms best friends! When she gave it to me (she would be in her 90’s now) she told me she had received this cookbook (I’m sure an older edition!) as a wedding present and always cooked from this book, it was her all time favorite. Well, I must say, all my favorite recipes also come from wonderful book. It too, brings back good memories! It also looks like it is a signed copy from Anna Lee Scott, weather it is or not, I will always cherish it! Still married, two kids and two grandchildren later, my tea biscuits from page 194, are the best!! Thank you for sharing! Lizann

  19. I just came across a copy of Purity Cookbook (1945) on e-bay. Selling for $125.00 or bid on. I have a copy which was given to me by an elderly friend and I just treasure it! My mother also had this book, which she got in high school. I remember making goodies from this book as a young girl anytime I stayed home sick from school (obviously not too sick!). My sister was the lucky recipient of my mothers copy. I was elated when my friend gave me her copy and since she also has passed on, it means even more. I hope one of you ladies who are looking for a copy reads this in time to purchase the copy offered on


  20. I am going to be listing my 1945 purity cookbook (red cover) in my shop this week on ruby lane. It is in excellent condition and I will be posting pictures. I also have many older cookbooks already listed there. Mary

  21. I inherited my Mum’s Golden Wattle Cookbook when she bought the new (and very boring) edition. She bought it the year she got married, so it is the 1961 edition. Because it is a locally (Perth) published book and was sponsored, it is full of advertising from local food-orientated businesses like Lion flour mills and Metters stoves (many businesses now long gone). The book was in a sorry state, but I restored it as best I could including printing off a new cover and rebinding it, all that is missing is the cover page and one page of contents. It is a treasure for me as it represents the food so many of us West Aussies grew up with 🙂

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  24. Thanks to all of you who shared your special memories about this cookbook. I can so relate to it being a comfort on a sad day and always, a joy to once again browse through, while reminiscing.

    Here’s to all the cooks (my mom and grandma included)who made so many special treats, with help from the Purity Cookbook of 1945. 🙂

  25. I have just had my 1945 Purity cook book rebound as the spine was falling apart. My mother gave it to me for Christmas in 1950. I was 13 at the time. The rebinding cost me 160.00 but it will last another 65 years at least. Many comments on lots of pages and lots of spill stains but still a treasure. I plan to give it to my granddaughter this Christmas, she is 12.

  26. Loved finding this cookbook looking so good! One of my sisters claimed our mother’s when she passed away a decade ago…I still miss the Hermit Cookie Recipe! Saturday was my cookie-baking day growing up…. Do you have it to share???

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