Subject: Bramson Toast
Date: 10/1/2020, 7:59 AM
On 9/30/2020 8:41 PM, missie wrote:
Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
Recently I came across a reference to an item called "Bramson Toast"
listed under Luncheon Dishes in my 1904 cookbook, "Consolidated Library
of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes" by Christine Terhune Herrick.
Unfortunately, the cookbook does not include a recipe for said item.
A Google search yielded only one mention of "Bramson Toast" from
"The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes" by Lily Haxworth Wallace, 1912.
Once again though.. no actual recipe.
What do you say? Ever heard of it? Can you help?
I spent several hours immersed in this, and I had no more success than you with a recipe or a
description. I found nothing at all associating the name "Bramson" with toast or bread or jam
or jelly or marmalade or any luncheon dish of any kind.
All I can give you are my thoughts on "Bramson Toast".
It seems odd that two cookbook authors from the same small time period would mention this as a
"luncheon dish" but would give no explanation of what it was. However, if you look closely at
"Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes" by Christine Terhune Herrick,
you will note that she is the editor, not the author, and she is consolidating text from other
cookbooks. The title page of this book says "including a list of contributors", but I was unable
to find such a list in any of the five volumes. See: Herrick book
Likewise with "The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes" by Lily Haxworth Wallace. Note that
the original copyright date on both books is 1904(1912 is the second copyright date for Wallace's book).
See: Wallace book
So, we may not really be looking at two sources, but only one source that quotes from, or derives
from, the other source or even two sources that derive from a single third source. Those two lists
of "luncheon dishes" are very similar.
Here are my speculations:
Ms Wallace had recently emigrated from England to the USA. If her reference was the source
reference, then perhaps "Bramson Toast" was something particularly British.
I could not find much biographical information about Ms Wallace, but she had strong connections
with New Jersey (She was associated with Rumsford Baking Powder), and Ms Herrick resided in New
Jersey. Perhaps "Bramson toast" was something particular to New Jersey. Ms Wallace and Ms Herrick
might have even been acquaintances.
Perhaps there's no recipe given because there was no recipe? Perhaps "Bramson" refers to a bakery
rather than a recipe. Perhaps "Bramson Toast" just refers to toasted "Bramson Bread" - a commercial
brand of bread or a bread from "Bramson Bakery". However, I found nothing about a bakery or a
commercial bread called "Bramson."
There are a lot of odd things about this.
Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful. I'll post this for reader input.
Subject: Bramson Toast
Date: 10/1/2020, 6:24 PM
Wow! That is some serious deep digging! How odd that those books came out the
same year and seem to be the only reference to Bramson Toast. I had noted that
in the breakfast listings they mentioned a number of items I had never heard
of before such as "Force" and "Pettyjohns" which a search revealed were brand
names of cereals. So I thought perhaps it was the same with Bramson.. maybe it
was a kind of meat spread or something, but I was unable to come up with anything.
So, of course, I turned to you.
I never thought to check into biographical information about the two ladies and
whether there could be a connection. It seems like there must be something there.
Unfortunately, it looks like it will remain a mystery. Alas.
Thank you for your time and effort. It is truly appreciated.