Several weeks ago, I saw the Julie and Julia movie with a group of moms and our college age daughters. We all really enjoyed it and thought the film extremely well done. Meryl Streep did an excellent portrayal of Julia Child, whom I grew up watching on PBS, and Amy Adams was an appealing Julia wanna be/blogger.

The concept for the movie was particularly intriguing. And it got me to thinking about my old cookbooks. Julia Child was into French cuisine and pursued that culinary art, while my collection is more reflective of the melting pot that is America, in particular, the old South. One vintage cookbook that comes to mind is Charleston Receipts, an antiquated volume my mom bought years ago on a family trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Our impoverished family camped at the beach on that particular outing amid one of the worst mosquito infestations and heat waves ever. For my father’s birthday during our stay, we gifted him with a fly swatter, another indication of the plagues with which we were visited.

However, we were highly impressed with historic Charleston–the shining light in our otherwise horrific trip and part of the inspiration behind my historical romance, ENEMY OF THE KING. For more on my work please visit

Published in 1950 by the (women’s) Junior League, Charleston Receipts is reflective of that time and place and not the least bit politically correct, a recent term. Right or very wrong, History wasn’t enacted with political correctness in mind. It was, what it was.

The Scots’ heritage of many Southerners (including me) is the inspiration behind the inclusion of this recipe for scones. The intro says, “Among the rich and crumbly delights to serve with jams and marmalade are Scones, those our Grandmothers loved to make; not too sweet, not too hearty, but just right as a morsel of goodness to go with the hospitable gesture of a cup of tea and a good gossip.”


2 cups flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup cream

4 tabs butter

1 tsp salt

5 tsps sugar

3 tsps baking powder

Sift dry ingredients, rub in the butter with fingertips. Beat eggs, add cream and mix gently with flour mixture. Roll out to one half an inch in thickness; cut in shapes. Brush with white of an egg. Bake 15 minutes in moderate over at 375. Yield 2 dozen.

Contributed by Mrs. Louis Y. Dawson, Jr. (Virginia Walker)



  1. Mona Risk // September 19, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

    Beth, you are lucky to have that old book of recipes. It's a fantastic heirloom. I wish my grandmother could have wriiten down her recipes. I have my own notebook that I started as newly wed. I still use it but it's a mess as my son drew pictures in it right over my writing.

  2. Beth Trissel // September 19, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

    Thanks Mona. I love these old cookbooks. I have one with a heirloom cookie recipe from Colonial America.

  3. Mary Marvella // September 19, 2009 at 4:27 PM  

    Beth, thanks for the comments about the movie and the recipe, sounds yummy! It would taste good on a rainy fall day. My cookbooks are old, but I don't considered them vintage.

  4. Hywela Lyn // September 19, 2009 at 5:12 PM  

    Hi Beth

    Thanks for the recipe, I'll have to try that one out. Sounds a bit liek Welshcakes, only they have currents in. Can I ask - is 1 tab a tablespoon? Sorry to sound dim but often US measurements are quite different to British ones, and can make for weird result!

  5. Mary Ricksen // September 19, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

    I gotta see that movie, I'll bet I love it!
    I wish I had my relatives old recipes. Lost forever.

  6. Mary Ricksen // September 19, 2009 at 5:34 PM  

    Sorry clicked on submit too soon!

    I love scones, this is a simple recipe anyone can do and the scones are just great. thanks Beth!

  7. Beth Trissel // September 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

    Yes, One Tab is one Tablespoon. :)
    Let us know how your recipe turns out.

  8. Beth Trissel // September 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

    I'm gonna make them, Mary, soon myself. The movie is delightful.

  9. Joanne // September 19, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

    Delicious recipe, Beth. I'm hoping to see "Julie and Julia" soon with my daughter. I heard Meryl Streep was fantastic.

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 19, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

    Beth, I can't wait to try the recipe, it sounds really good. I love cookbooks and have been collecting them forever! I have one that belonged to my mother that is called "The household Searchlight Cookbook" it has some great recipes. Have one from my grandmother that has all the old church recipes in it from about 60 or 70 years ago! Great blog!

  11. Beth Trissel // September 20, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

    Very kewl! Old cookbooks and the memories that go with them are great.

  12. Judy // September 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

    Thanks, Beth! We have a couple of old cookbooks and just returned from visiting Monticello where a cookbook was on display. The recipe began with "Take 10 eggs..."
    We had a good laugh over it.