Purefoy Hotel Cookbook ~ True and Tried Recipes of Real Southern Cooking
The Purefoy Hotel found its beginning in MonAlabamaAlababama in 1916, the hotel quickly outgrew the location and moved to Talladega in 1920. Located between Atlanta and Birmingham, I’m sure the Purefoy Hotel saw more than its share of traveling salesmen. The hotel is known for being more than just a place to stay; the Purefoy became famous because of its dining room. Travelers from near and far, as well as writers from well-known magazines, come to the Purefoy dining room to enjoy the dishes prepared by Eva Purefoy and her staff.
Eva Purefoy tells us that as many as 525 people would come to the Purefoy for Sunday dinner, so many that her husband had to turn away customers. At $2.10 for Sunday dinner or $1.65, if you were a hotel guest, I would think there would be more than 525 trying to find a seat at the table. According to a patron, Sunday dinners were served family-style, with a lazy-susan in the middle of the table.
Mr. Purefoy’s health began to fail in the late 1930s so Edward Hyde, Mrs. Purefoy’s brother-in-law was brought in to help run the hotel. Mr. Hyde eventually purchased the hotel in 1944 and ran it until 1961 when he closed the hotel. It was immediately sold and torn down for a bank building.
Eva Purefoy originally wrote the Purefoy cookbook in 1937 which was copyrighted in 1941. The volume is more than a cookbook as the last 60 pages of the cookbook are actual “A Collection of Household Hints” by Eva Purefoy. As of 1971, the cookbook had been revised and reprinted six times – 1941, 1946, 1949, 1953, 1960 and finally in 1961 – with more than 125,000 copies printed and sold. Additionally, a history of the Purefoy Hotel was published in 1971.
Included in the cookbook is a sample menu of a Sunday Dinner:
- Baked Chicken or Roasted Turkey
- Rice, Dressing, Giblet Gravy
- Peas, No. 2 Small Potatoes, Served Whole
- Creamed Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups or Candied Yams
- Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Our Special Mushrooms
- Peach Salad, Large Stuffed Prunes
- Stuffed Celery, Beets in Lemon Juice
- Our Famous Raw Cranberry Sauce or Candied Cranberries
- Our Home Baked Ham or Our Special Lamb Roast
- Our Famous Macaroni and Cheese, Escalloped Oysters
- Cheese Straws, Rolls, and Muffins
- Choice of Homemade Ice Cream or Our Famous Date Pudding
- Coffee, Tea, or Milk
We have featured the Purefoy Hotel’s Thanksgiving Buffet Menu in our Cookery article featuring Traditional Thanksgiving Menus, we feature the Purefoy Hotel’s French Bean Casserole, Candied Yams, and Escalloped Oyster recipes in this post. Follow the link above to see more Thanksgiving menus and recipes.
Sections of the cookbook include:
- Facts to have at your fingertips
- Purefoy Menus
- Appetizers, Canapes, and Cocktails
- Poultry and Meats
- Eggs and Cheese
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Salad Dressings
- Sauces and Relishes
- Pickles, Preserves, and Jellies
- Cakes and Icings
- Facts and Nutrition
- Culinary Secrets
- Household Hints
Topics covered in the “A Collection of Household Hints” include:
- Cooking Secrets
- Eggs – Cheese
- Meat – Fish – Poultry
- Vegetables – Potatoes
- Rice – Macaroni – Spaghetti
- Salads – Dressing
- Cake – Cookies
- Box Lunches
- Food Preservation
- Food Storage
- Child Care
- Child Care Suggestions
- Housekeeping Maintenance
- Cleaning Tricks
- Care and Repair
- Sewing Hints and Cautions
- Tips on Care of Clothing
- Stain Removal
- Knitted clothes and Gloves
- Safety Precautions
- First Aid
- First Aid Suggestions
The “Mrs. R. Collection” from Rhode Island included a copy of the Purefoy Hotel’s Raw Cranberry Sauce.
Although Mrs. R gives credit for Talladega being in Florida rather than Alabama, the recipe is almost as it appears on page 100 of the 1971 edition.
Raw Cranberry Sauce – This is one of my most famous recipes
2 large oranges
2 cups sugar
1/2 orange peel
2 delicious apples
Put cranberries, apples, and orange peel through a food chopper (coarse knife). Cut oranges into small sections with scissors. Add sugar to fruits. Stir well and set in the icebox. Will keep for several days.
This is nice to serve as a sauce or congealed as a salad adding 2 cups of pecans or served in little parfait glasses as a dessert. Serves 8. Half the recipe for a small family.
Purefoy Hotel Famous Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe appears on page 77 of the cookbook.
Enough cooked macaroni (about 1 cup) to till a medium-sized casserole or baking pan one-third full
2 eggs well beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound to 1 1/4 pounds grated cheese (a good Wisconsin or a mild New York State cheese, use a very coarse grater)
Mix cheese, macaroni, eggs, and milk. Be sure to have enough cheese to cover the top well. Bake in an oven (about 300-degrees) for about 30 minutes, until cheese milk, etc. is well set. then on 400-degrees till brown on top.