Cooking With Betty: Clothing, Food, and Cold Drinks

Cooking with Betty is a new limited-run blog series showcasing transcriptions from the Betty Welter Fonds. Each week, we will be sharing Betty’s recipes and her thoughts on raising children in Grande Prairie during the 1950’s. Each blog post will feature recipes from her handwritten recipe book and excerpts from her reflection piece Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s. This blog series is made possible by volunteer Suzanne Dunn, who transcribed the records, and practicum student Alec Moreau, who compiled the posts. We will try to keep things short, simple, and sweet!


Food and clothing are big expense items for growing children. Here’s how Betty dealt with them in this week’s Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s:

I sewed and knitted nearly all the clothing save underwear, socks, shoes and boots. Used made-overs a lot.


Big garden, canned about 500 jars every year. Picked wild berries. Jack a hunter and we used a lot of wild meat (usually moose) every winter and birds (prairie-chickens, partridge and wild geese.) Vagts butcher shop started a frozen locker business and we rented a locker for several years and then got our own freezer. This eliminated a lot of vegetable canning.

With the temperatures rising, these homemade cold drinks could be just what you need to cool down:

Ginger Beer (Mother’s recipe)


1 oz. ground ginger
2 lemons
2 # wh. sugar
1 oz. cream of tartar
1 yeast cake


Put first 3 ingred. In 1 gal H2O & boil 10 min. Add cold H2O till luke warm. Let stand till cool add yeast & cr. of tartar. Stir well & bottle.

Lemon Cordial


Rind & juice of 3 lemons
1 1/2 lbs of white sugar
1 pt boiling H2O
1 oz tartaric acid
Pour H2O over rind & juice of lemon
Let come to boil.
+ sugar when cold + tartaric acid strain & bottle.

Join us next week as we continue Cooking with Betty!

Image: A page from Betty’s handwritten cookbook (From SPRA 0129.07.01)

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