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Holy Trinity Guild Cookery Book

From the Collection

Holy Trinity Guild Cookery Book

In January 1909 a fierce storm blew down the 59 year old Holy Trinity iron church. The church Ladies Working Guild went into action to help with the fund raising for a new church.  They published a cookery book with well-tested recipes collected by Mrs H. H. Hayman, which they sold for one shilling each.

PMHPS catalogue no 442

As well as the recipes most double page spreads have a page of advertising of Port Melbourne and Melbourne companies. This was the way the Ladies Guild paid for the printing.

This is a practical book of recipes for women who probably used wood stoves and only needed oven temperature instructions like a Slow or Quick Oven.

There are sections for Soups, Fish, Meat and Vegetable dishes, Puddings, Cakes and Biscuits, Sauces and Salads, Sandwiches, Sweets and Invalid cookery. It includes recipes for everyday meals, special recipes for entertaining, economical recipes and gives an interesting picture of the meals and food of the time. Not much in the way of vegetables but lots of recipes for meat and puddings, cakes and biscuits.

There are recipes for Mulligatawny Soup, Fish Fritters, Mock Hare, Sheep’s Tongues, Lamb Fritters, Veal Brawn, Stewed Rabbits, Picnic Pie (with Sheep Heads), Potatoes baked in milk, Cabbage au Gratin, Tomatoes on toast, Treacle Pudding, Lemon Tart, Date Pudding, Coffee Jelly, Apple Custard, Melon and Quince Jam, Horseradish Sauce, Pickled Cauliflower, Cheese Straws, Raspberry Vinegar, Chelsea Buns, Potato Cakes, Scripture Cake (giving bible references for the ingredients) Rock Cakes, Tea Kisses and Cocoanut Macaroons.

One very interesting recipe is for Lamington cakes, which appears to be a whole cake covered in chocolate icing. Adding to the controversy about the origin of the Lamington the May 1999 issue of Ozwords, published by the Australian National Dictionary Centre, records the earliest citation for the lamington being in the Guild Cookery Book.

And on the opposite page is the Christmas Cake Recipe.

The Holy Trinity Christmas cake
Recipe for the Holy Trinity Christmas cake

How fascinating it would be to go back to 1909 to go behind the scenes to see the preparation of the book and to hear the discussions of the Guild members about what to include, the testing of the recipes and  how the members felt about having their recipe included.

And to know who contributed the recipe for


Take 2 shady trees, 1 small seat, 2 loving hearts, 2 well clasped hands,

4 well pressed lips. Mix together and serve after dark.

The PMHPS has one complete copy and one well used copy without a cover of this very rare book, which in its day would have been in the kitchens of many Port Melbourne homes.


Ozwords May 1999 Vol 5 No 1 p 7



  • Colin Johnson
    Posted June 6, 2017 10.33 pm 0Likes

    Have just had a look at some of recipes
    And saw one that brought a big smile
    To my face and it made me think of
    My Mother and father, in winter time
    My mother would buy sheep heads
    Bring them home clean what wool that
    Was still on them,she would split them
    In half clean them, And made the best soup
    we had over the weekend.I still tell people
    about it and they shudder.

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.