The Old Colony Club has always been free of eleemosynary pretension. The Reverend Peter Gomes intoned “the men of the club do nothing and do it well”. While it’s whispered that some of us may have done good secretly or even in plain sight, our purpose for belonging to this venerable institution is to have a fine time.
Although our founding members gathered for a friendly drink, we have since their first Forefather’s Day dinner, eaten well. Our food has varied according to the fashions of the times, but has always been hearty as a lasting friendship. The fellowship of the table is central to the enjoyment we seek, and when dinner is served we fall upon it with gusto.
Club cookbooks have long been a women’s domain. The Plymouth Woman’s Club Cookbook has become a classic in the kitchens of the town, and its version of succotash has helped standardize the dish, simply by the fact of its being written down.
During much of our long history, the members of the Old Colony Club have been eaters, rather than cooks, but by the beginning of the twenty-first century, we felt at home in the kitchen and ready to produce a cookbook of our own. We sought to do more than present a collection of recipes, no matter how beloved. We wanted our book to reflect the region, the town, and ourselves.
Beginning with our membership and reaching out into the community, we have collected recipes, menus, and food history we hope will present a picture of what eating has been like during the existence of the club. Starting with old New England fish shack and farmhouse cookery, we have spiced our collection with foods brought by immigrants from foreign shores, which have enhanced our eating pleasure even as their sons have enriched our club.
We present this book not merely to add to the myriad of recipe collections that crowd bookstores, libraries, and cyberspace, but as a document of what we in the Plymouth area have been and are today. Still we hope that when you have read and perceived the picture we paint, you will rattle some pots, fire up the stove, and discover it with your palate as well as your mind.
Richmond Talbot, 2001