Happy late Valentine’s Day, readers!

This week, the yield of combing through recipe collections this week is a selection of beverages — some boozy, some not — to tempt you with.  As faithful Hi readers, you surely wonder what dinner date is complete without the perfect historic drink? 

From the City Market Cookbook, Jim Peachy provides this spiced tea recipe. Perfect for this cold that just won’t quit. Add a splash of rum if you choose!

Dig this description from the forward:

“Like a decorous old lady suddenly coming into affluence, the City Market, discreetly shaking dust from its 100 years old skirts, moves into the future as the Indianapolis City Market Internationale. As a Federal Landmark, the City Market, dating back to 1821 when it first was platted as an open market, looks back at early Indianapolis as its neighboring glass-fronted City-County Building points the way to the future. Signs of regained stability are visible in the market’s clean, sand blasted exterior with the twin towers newly covered in copper; its windows reappearing from behind green metal covers. Restoration will date from 1867 when the central section, or meat building, was erected. The high vaulted dome of this building is one of the first iron casted structures in the United States. Though there is no written history of the market, records show that a group of interested citizens rededicated the market property in i832 when the first building was erected. Its original site was part of the territory returned to the State of Indiana by the Federal government. The state in turn designated four sections as the site of a new state capitol. It has been owned only by a unit of government since it was given to the Federal government by the Indians.”


Jerry, you scamp! Try this sweet and fruity punch for brunch, perhaps. Add the powdered sugar last — you may find it’s sweet enough already. This one comes from What’s Cookin’, Doc?, a collection of recipes from the Indianapolis Medical Society’s Women’s Auxiliary.

A beautiful illustration of the Second Presbyterian Church.


The Punch with a Punch from the Second Presbyterian Church’s cookbook calls for TWO fifths of rum! Use for a party or … a very boozy date. 

The Farmer’s Guide New Cook Book (pub. 1945) brings us this interesting recipe. I’m personally not too keen on eggs in my beverages (but I’m all about an egg cream, which incidentally contains no eggs at all), but you’ve got to admit, it’s intriguing.

Here’s a selection from the forward:

“If the Farmers Guide Cook Book could speak today it would say to the women of the middlewest: “You made me what I am today.” The Farmers Guide Cook Books of the past have been the standard for women everywhere. Thousands of copies have been distributed. And now the time comes for a complete revision. Herein are scores of new and tested recipes and formulas. This book is dedicated to the housewives and the women readers of the Farmers Guide and especially those who have sent their favorite recipes for publication in the Farmers Guide and this book.”

Now, off to the grocery to buy on-sale chocolate and champagne to try Jerry Miller’s recipe…

3 responses to “Vintage Vittles: A bevy of beverages”

  1. DavidE says:

    It has been owned only by a unit of government since it was given to the Federal government by the Indians.”

    Given tto or taken by? Not sure the natives in Indiana gave their land freely to the federal government.

    Actually the egg lemonade is interesting, not that I would do it today. When I was growing up I remember mixing a raw egg in my youngest sister’s baby cereal was often done by my mother, a home ec teacher and a nurse. At one school she had to run the school lunch program as part of her job. She managed to get a navy cookbook, not an easy task in the 40’s. It is interesting reading. Oh and I have reduced quanities and tried a couple.

  2. d m shea says:

    It may have been my dearest old friend Jim Peachey who helped me when I bid on and won a huge silver punch bowl at an estate auction–which I hauled out each December for a non-traditional caroling party that indeed did become a tradition. We couldn’t sing, one could play a trumpet and over the years it grew from a dozen or so tipsy carolers trooping our neighborhood on Rosslyn Ave. to the point that we eventually had to hire a Greyhound bus. Unlike traditional carolers, our mission was to gather in the yard of unsuspecting friends with the threat that we would keep singing until our victims handed out liquid ransom “we won’t go until we get some” (meaning booze) was our closer. In later years when the party grew by leaps and bounds (the previous caroled became part of the party as the best way of avoiding being caroled!) And each year out came the silver punch bowl–we eventually took it on the bus with us–and as I remember Peach’s recipe started with just that–fresh if possible or canned peaches!

    This is from memory–but it involved marinating the peaches 24 hrs before in brandy–also 24 hrs. ahead filling a couple balloons with sparkling water and freezing them into balls (to keep the punch cool without diluting it with ice.) At party time, mix several bottles of champagne, white wine, sparkling water and then add the brandied peaches (and the juice) and float the ice balls. It was light but lethal. Eventually our party included at least 2 former mayors and spouses, VIP’s from Chicago’s then-famous Gas Light Club, even a Jesuit priest along with local media friends and neighbors. Our last hurrah (year 1961 perhaps, the centerpiece was a roasted pig with an apple in its mouth (too big for home oven so late Chef Ray Trotta did half in King Cole oven, half in 500 club and auto dealer Paul Sicanoff and late RK Shull had to transport it on a sheet of plywood in an open convertible–too big for auto. That was the year we rented the then trendy city street cars (they were fun) and at an early on stop at a friends we found a group of boys from Brebeuf (who could actually sing!) and we asked to “borrow” them for our next stop-the home of then-Mayor John Barton (a good friend from my police reporter and his State Police days–who had suffered previous carolings..) On arrival we positioned our group–all holding candles–and “hid” the real singers in the shrubbery—and with a trumpet flare the caroling began. (But, we were merely lip-synching as the Brebeuf group ‘s wonderful voices rang out in the crisp night air.)

    The front door opened slowly, the genial mayor opened the screen, listened with amazement and called back to his wife saying something like “My gawd come here and listen-=THEY’VE ACTUALLY LEARNED HOW TO SING!)

    Just shows the right liquid can “punch up” any gathering.

  3. d m shea says:

    Your mention of Jim Peachey –both he and his wife Sarah were wonderful cooks—last I heard she was not well and her son also Jim and she were living in Cicero–other sons Steve and John in Noblesville area. Another daughter Carolyn is the reigning queen of elite social events in DC-so somewhere there there are some great vintage recipes from his long ago Business & Professional Men’s Club downtown Illinois St., his later catering business with Jug and the great meals in their home.Carolyn pioneered the Kennedy Center Honors event and is often mentioned in columns there as keeper of the a-list for DC parties.

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