On a recent visit to the Albany Institute library, I discovered a small treasure: a typescript St. Paul’s cookbook compiled in 1940 and titled “Culinary Pets of The Women of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.” The title is curious for its use of pet to mean a things of which one is particularly fond. This usage must have seemed a little old-fashioned even in 1941.
The compiler was Ruth Maria Pugliese (1918-2006), whose McCammon ancestors (including William McCammon, founder of the McCammon Piano-Forte Company) had been communicants at St. Paul’s for four generations. Many current members will remember her by her married name, Ruth McDowell. We have one photograph of her, taken 26 years later, when, as president of Women’s of St. Paul’s, she organized the decoration of the new building on Hackett Boulevard.
In addition to the recipes contributed by a list of many of the prominent women of the parish, the booklet contains a selection from its 1891 predecessor, “Favorite Recipes of the Ladies of St. Paul’s Church.” I share one example from that group, hoping that we can revive “St. Paul’s Pudding” at our next church potluck.