Food Conservation in the Home and Recipes in the Archives

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Cover of 'A Collection of War-Time Recipes'
Armwood, Blanche, “A Collection of War-Time Recipes by Blanche Armwood Perkins” (1918). Armwood Family – Records. 16.

Food is a way to understand a place and a culture. Sharing a meal is a bonding ritual that transcends many cultural boundaries. The recipes of the past can also teach us about history, with useful tips for today’s challenges. That is the case for Blanche Armwood Perkins’ Food Conservation in the Home:  A Collection of War-Time Recipes

Food Conservation in the Home was written when Blanche Armwood was working for the New Orleans School of Domestic Science in April 1918. Established by the New Orleans Gas Company, the school, and the cooking pamphlet, served multiple purposes, including educating a new generation on the use of gas appliances and teaching home economy during a time of great economic pressure.

Pertinent to today’s concerns about excessive food waste, there is an entire section on the reuse of left-overs to reduce food waste. In addition to advice on food thrift, economical home management, home gardens, vegetable substitutes for meat dishes, reducing sugar and animal fats, the recipes included capture southern and regional food dishes of the time.

Perhaps, pamphlets like these could help document the vanishing regional food ways of Florida’s history that Dr. Roberta Baer discussed with Bill Dudley on his program “Florida Foods – Old and New” in the Florida Humanities Audio Archive, also available in USF Digital Collections.

If you finish Food Conservation in the Home and have a hankering for a recipe somewhat less austere, there are other recipes and cookbooks scattered throughout Digital Collections.  The Weekly Challenger newspaper, documenting the history of St. Petersburg Florida’s African American community since 1967, often has recipe submissions like this “Perfect Pumpkin Pie.”

Newspaper clipping from the Weekly Challenger with recipe for Pumpkin Pie.
The Weekly Challenger, et al, “The Weekly Challenger : 2000 : 11 : 23” (2000). Newspaper collection. 685.

Learn More


Creolegen. (2012).  New Orleans Gas Co. Inaugurates School for Training Cooks.

Go Back