Hi, I’m Sheryl Lazarus. Grab a cup of tea, and pull up a chair. I love to tell the story of A Hundred Years Ago.

On this blog, I post old recipes from a hundred years ago. The posted recipes include my updates to make them user friendly for modern cooks. I enjoy the challenge of interpreting the sparse directions in old recipes. I also do posts on related topics, such as food and healthy living in the early 1900s.

A Hundred Years Ago evolved over the years. From 2011 to 2014, it was where I posted my grandmother’s diary entries a hundred years to the day after she wrote them (see Archives—Grandma’s Diary for details). I also shared lots of contextual information and old recipes.

In the process my life changed. I started eating healthier foods made with local, seasonal ingredients. I also began to value a slower-paced life.

The last diary entry was posted in December, 2014—but A Hundred Years Ago continues.


106 thoughts on “About

  1. Very nice continuation…evolution! Nice to see you here! I admire your dedication and consistency! I have not had the time that I would love to have devoted to my blog. I hope to pick up the pace…but, meanwhile…I’ll be watching for your posts.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. You’ll know when the time is right to pick up the pace on your blog. I know that I enjoyed my blogcation–though I missed blogging and am now definitely ready to get back to it.

    1. I haven’t made any posts recently on my other blog. When I was doing it I discovered that I enjoy researching the early 1900s more than the 1940’s and 50s. So I started thinking about ways I could restart A Hundred Years Ago without the daily dairy entries. I finally settled on focusing on foods and recipes from the early 1900s–and started posting again recently. It’s good to be back.

  2. What a neat idea! I think it’s incredible that you have written posts about/from your grandma’s diary, and I’m excited to see you continue posting about the food from a century ago.

    1. I really enjoy doing this blog. I felt so fortunate to have my grandmother’s diary, and to be able to post the diary entries a hundred years to the day after she wrote them. Now that the entries have all be posted, I am having a lot of fun focusing on old recipes and foods.

  3. What a wonderful blog. I am so glad I found it. I’m very interested in what our ancestors ate and am working to modernize many of the recipes from a popular 19th century Italian cookbook. Looking forward to comparing notes with you.

    1. I’m glad you found it. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via our blogs over the years. After I’d posted all the diary entries, I tried doing another blog; and then took a blogcation for a few months. And, then I finally realized how much I enjoy writing about the early 1900s–and decided to reformat A Hundred Years Ago to focus on recipes and foods.

  4. Hi, Sheryl! I’m glad I stopped by — your blog is awesome! I love old-timey stuff. Nine times out of ten, you’ll find a movie from Turner Classic playing on my TV. Can’t wait to read your posts! 🙂

  5. My mom used to sing Never Make Love In A Buggy to us when we were little. Nobody I’ve spoken with ever heard of it!! I searched all over the internet and even spoke to people who look for songs. YAY, thanks 🙂

    1. It’s nice to hear that you found a song that you were looking for on this site. I’ve always enjoyed that song. My mother used to sing it, too.

      Note to other readers: If you’d like to see the lyrics of Never Make Love in a Buggy here’s the link:
      Never Make Love in a Buggy

    1. Thanks for sharing the link. Until I read your post, I hadn’t thought about potpie in years–but now that I’m thinking about it, lots of wonderful memories of this old-time comfort food are starting to flow. I may have to make some potpie. 🙂

  6. I love your idea for your blog. I enjoy history – and am so happy I was born in this generation and not 100 years ago. I would never have survived! it’s really interesting to read these stories and learn about our ancestors. I’ll be back for more and will be checking our your grandmother’s recipes too.

    1. Welcome! There are things I like about the slower-paced life of a hundred years ago, and things I strongly dislike about that time period. I could say similar things about today–I appreciate the modern conveniences; I don’t care much for the highly processed foods.

  7. Wow what a fabulous idea and wonderful tribute to your grandmother!! I look forward to exploring your recipes and posts and definitely to a slower-paced life!! 🙂

    1. I’m going to have to look the next time I browse through hundred-year-old cookbooks. If I find anything with radish greens, I may have to give it a try. If I do, I’ll be sure to post the recipe. 🙂

        1. Thanks for the link. The description of Five Roses as one of the oldest North American cookbooks made me curious about how long the Betty Crocker cookbooks have been around, so I googled it. Betty Crocker is a relative newby. It was first published in 1950. (“Betty Crocker” has been around since the 1920’s promoting Gold Medal flour and related products.)

            1. Hi Sheryl: I wanted to reply with more, but didn’t get a chance until now. Yes, in Canada The Lake of the Woods Milling Company first published the Five Roses Cookbook in Montreal in 1915, then five Roses was bought out by Oglive (not sure of spelling) flour in the 50’s (now Smuckers). But the cookbook continued to be published. I have 2 versions (one is the 21st edition, the other is too damaged to tell) still published by Lake of the Woods milling company, so prior to ’54
              Yes, and Betty Crocker was a fictional General Mills construct to ‘personalize’ things for the consumer – it really worked for them! I learned a lot about that history a few years ago when I visited the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis (only something a complete baking nerd that is not much a history buff, but married to one) would do! Have you ever been? Very interesting, if you haven’t!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_City_Museum

            2. I’ve actually been to the Mill City Museum several times. I love it – especially the Flour Tower. I guess that I’m a baking nerd, too. 🙂

  8. Hi Sheryl pleased you are back… I love how you join the two era’s and show us snippets of the past. I am doing an A-Z challenge and would like to feature your blog under ” A” is that ok for you? It will probably bring more traffic to your blog and maybe a few more followers as I am sure some will enjoy the peek into the past as much as I do 🙂

    1. It’s good to be back. I missed blogging when I wasn’t doing it. It would be fine if you included A Hundred Years Ago in the challenge. I’m honored that you think it is worthy of featuring. I really enjoy doing A Hundred Years Ago, and it’s wonderful to hear that you like it.

  9. What a fascinating blog and unique idea for one. I have enjoyed looking at it; I hope to be back and look at more soon when I have a little more time.
    I love all aspects of food prep, cooking, baking, freezing. . . so this blog will be a joy to return to and savor!

  10. I just found your blog (when i was googling an image for “Sour Cream Candy”) and i love it! I have an old 1947 Culinary Institute Cookbook that i refer to all the time (hence the sour cream candy) and have spent the better part of an hour skimming through your posts. don’t worry – i bookmarked your blog and will be back when i have more time!!

  11. Hi Sheryl, you don’t know me, but your blog has been in my RSS feed reader since at least 2013. I saw an announcement today about a new online collection of WWI “homefront efforts” circulars released by the Kansas State Library and it immediately made me think of you and your grandmother. It’s here if you want to look at it: https://kslib.info/Blog.aspx?IID=479#item .

    Please keep up the good work.

    1. Wow, it’s amazing how long you’ve been reading this blog. I’m humbled that you’ve found it interesting across all these years. Thank you! The link you sent is an incredible resource. It’s amazing how many circulars on a wide range of topics the Kansas State Council of Defense published. My husband and I chuckled at some of the over-the-top language in the “Silos in Wartime” circular, and I discovered a new source of hundred-year-old recipes in the “One Dish Meals” circular. (Look forward to a post within the next few weeks containing a recipe from this circular. I’m leaning towards making Chop Suey).

  12. Just discovering your blog, Sheryl. I am working on a writing project that combines family history (mostly in 1910-ish Kansas City, MO, and 1930s Arizona but not exclusively) with fiction. In the process of researching more on Sunshine Cake, I have found your site. Just beginning to explore it. Love what you’ve done!

    1. Welcome! Your writing project sounds like a lot of fun. Sunshine cake is one of my favorite cake recipes. It definitely has stood the test of time.

  13. Dear Ms. Lazarus:
    I had often wondered what black walnuts tasted like; so ordered a lb. of pieces and went looking for a recipe. Most were layer cakes w/ lots of sweet frosting and then I found your recipe for Black Walnut Cake. It is perfect. I became curious as to where Helena Muffly lived so checked Ancestry and noted someone had posted Grandma’s parent’s 28th anniversary along w/ a newspaper clipping. Included in the sidebar was a quote from you. That took me back to this website.
    I am delighted to have discovered this.
    Recipes, journals, letters etc. help connect us to our families and our history.
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this site. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this blog both during the years when I was posting my grandmother’s diary entries and, more recently as I’ve focused on food-related topics.

    1. hmm. . . There probably is variation across different devices, but I think that there generally is a “follow” button on the bottom right-hand side of the screen. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you are able to figure out how to subscribe.

            1. You are lucky to have the old pattern books. I love to look at things from that era. I’ve never tried filet crochet, but am in awe of the stunning designs that can be created using just a few simple stitches.

  14. Hi Sheryl,
    I came across your blog. Great work! Interesting content. What a unique idea to come up with such a blog theme.

    Regards, Angelika

  15. Such an interesting idea for a blog…one hundred years ago! 🙂 The recipes look good, and remind me of things my grandmother and great grandmother made. They were excellent cooks! I so enjoyed reading your blog! 🙂

  16. Sherly,
    You have an interesting blog and I hope to take some time to look around more. I remember many meals from my childhood that were influenced by my own grandmothers recipes. I think one of my aunts even put together the recipes at some point, but I have no idea what became of them.

    1. So sorry about the spelling of your name in that comment. My fingers were clearly confused and my proofreading skills missed the obvious error before I sent the comment!

  17. Interesting idea! My grandmother’s journals were lost so I am jealous! My most popular post was based on the depression era recipe I grew up with and how it has evolved – the recipe was Tuna Noodle Casserole. My grandmother’s version had four ingredients and cost under a dollar to make. My husband found one online that had 15 ingredients and cost closer to 20 dollars. Course it was a lot healthier that G-ma’s version! The intention in Gma’s day was to fill stomachs cheaply.

  18. I love your blog and the idea behind it is so powerful! Such creative and interesting posts which are so enjoyable to read. I just wanted to say thank you for supporting my blog today is the last day of it but I will continue to keep up with your amazing posts!

  19. Hello, I was exploring pictures that my grandmother saved (she knew all of the right stuff to tuck away for someone such as I, who loves family history, etc). I came across 2 large pictures of the Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Company, after making a search online. OMG, the 4 men in a very classic old car, from what years I do not know, is priceless. It is from Waterloo, Iowa, where my grandfather lived and eventually worked on a dairy farm (perhaps was a part owner)in Shreveport, LA some time later. I would love to add the pics but I don’t know how to put it on here. Is this related to you and this blog, which I just came across?

    1. It sounds like you have some wonderful photos. You are so fortunate to have had a grandmother who saved these items. This blog is not connected to the Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Company. Year’s ago I posted entries from by grandmother’s diary, and used a couple items from Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine to illustrate several posts, but is not a focus of this blog. Best wishes in finding out a blog more focused on that company.

  20. Hi Sheryl, I’m related to you as the great-granddaughter of Homer (granddaughter of Coralie)… If you are still actively compiling family history, I’d like to speak to you.

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