Foodie Friday: Woman's Club Cookbooks and Pickled Shrimp

Foods that Rate at N. C. State, Woman's Club cookbook of 1954.

Foods that Rate at N. C. State, Woman's Club cookbook of 1954.

The North Carolina State University Woman's Club has produced cookbooks occasionally throughout its history.  Founded in 1919 to "unite the women connected with the college in a common interest for the promotion of welfare and advancement" of NC State, its membership primarily was comprised of faculty wives during the early decades, but it also included some women employed by the university.  (Special Collections holds a collection of Woman's Club materials, for which we have an online collection guide.)

The Woman's Club cookbook from 1954 was titled Foods that Rate at N. C. State, and it included this recipe for pickled shrimp (on page 6):

2 pounds shrimp

2 medium onions

1 package bay leaves

1 cup oil

1 cup French dressing

1 clove garlic

Prepare shrimp as for shrimp cocktail.  Slice onions.  Place a layer of sliced onion over a layer of shrimp in a deep vessel.  Place a layer of bay leaves over the sliced onion.  Build these layers as long as the shrimp last.  Over these layers pour the mixture of 1 cup oil and 1 cup French dressing.  Split clove of garlic.  Drop into vessel in the oil.  Cover.  Let stand at least 4 hours in refrigerator.  (Will keep for at least a week, refrigerated.)  Serve as hors d'oeuvre on a cracker with a bit of sliced onion.  Serve as a shrimp cocktail, or on a cold plate with congealed salad, crackers, etc.  This will serve about 6 for a cold plate, many more for hors d'oeuvre.

Extension agent Lorna Langley, ca. 1969

The above recipe was contributed by Lorna Langley, who had a long career in the NC Agricultural Extension Service (today's Cooperative Extension).  Joining Extension in 1936, she was a home demontration agent in Hoke, Sampson and Durham counties; a home management specialist; and finally a state agent.  She had grown up in Oriental, NC, near the coast, and lived there part time during her retirement in 1969.  Perhaps she had picked up the pickled shrimp recipe from there.  (I've tried it, and it is good.  A ridiculous amout of bay leaves, though!)  The recipe reappeared on page 8 of the 1983 edition of Foods that Rate at N. C. State.

The 1983 verison of Lorna Langley's Pickled Shrimp recipe.

Langley's recipe was not in the 1974 Woman's Club cookbook, Favorite Foods from Faculty Kitchens.  Instead, there was a similar recipe from Jerry Banadyga (spouse of extension horticultural specialist A. A. Banadyga), but with a few extra ingredients.

Pickled shrimp recipe from the 1974 Woman's Club cookbook, Favorite Foods from Faculty Kitchens.

If you would like to see the original print cookbooks, please request them through the Special Collections request form.  In your request, indicate collection number UA 021.509 and Box 9 (for the 1954 and 1974 cookbooks) or Box 21 (for the 1983 cookbook).  To search for other food related materials in Special Collections, go to our collection guides (for archival materials) and our rare & unique digital collections site (for digitized materials).