Skip to content
  • Open today 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission

We are updating our new website in stages. This page will be changed to the new design but is not currently optimised for mobile devices.

You are in site section: Exhibitions

The Mixing Bowl

Hello and welcome to the Mixing Bowl, our exploration of recipes from Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes. This well-loved cookbook came across our path as we purchased research material for the exhibition Glorious Days: Australia 1913.

A cookbook with a red, creased cover and black text that reads 'Home Cookery ... for ... Australia. ALL TESTED RECIPES'. The book rests on a wooden rolling pin and plate holding two small cakes is partially visible front left.
Home Cookery for Australia recipe book. Photo: Jason McCarthy

Home Cookery for Australia

Home Cookery for Australia was originally compiled by the Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union of Victoria. The fourth edition was published in Melbourne in 1913.

As we delved further into the book, some of the recipes seemed a bit different by today's methods and tastes. There are no detailed instructions. Some entries only list the ingredients and very few have temperature settings for cooking.

It includes chapters on Meat and Made Dishes (Roasting, Boiling, Stewing and Frying) and Invalid Cookery. The book also offers advice on subjects including the removal of stale cigar smoke and rendering onions digestible.

We work full-time caring for the National Museum Library and although we love books, we love cooking for our families even more. We decided to try our hand at some of the recipes in the book, and to share the results with our family and colleagues during Glorious Days.

We hope you enjoy the results and would love to hear about your interpretation of these recipes and others from this era.

Noellen Newton and Naomi Newton
National Museum of Australia Library

Two women sitting at a table eating cakes.
Noellen Newton, left, and Naomi Newton sampling some of the fare from the Mixing Bowl. Photo: Jason McCarthy.



Comments have now closed. We are happy to receive any feedback or comments by email:

Terry and Sue Ford
20 Apr 2013 4:24pm

You are looking good Naomi. It has been years since we have seen you.
I think your mum may need new glasses
as she said you were on the left in the photo.
How unusual you and Noellen both having the same last name.
Sue and terry. 

Debbie Meany
08 May 2013 4:01pm

Loved seeing this photo of the two of you on the back of 'Panorama'. Hope you don't mind - I've popped a link to it on our Symposium website :
You're now local celebrities! 

Brian and Lyndell Dobbs
13 Jun 2013 4:38pm

The Mixing Bowl, behind that scenes tour and talk was fantastic. Thanks to you both for making it so interesting and sharing from the collection. It is a resource that we had not heard of before. The 'party' bag was excellent as well! 

Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.

Return to Top