Recipes from Anna Kulp Bean

Written by Forrest Moyer on October 4, 2018

This article was first published in the MHEP Newsletter in June 1978. Photos are from Willoughby Moyer’s booklet on the Bean family (1975), unless otherwise noted.


Anna W. Kulp was born October 7, 1865 near Harmony Square, later known as Creamery, in Skippack Township. Her parents were Isaac K. Kulp (1822-1892) and Susanna H. Williams (1823-1871). When she was six years old, her mother died, and young “Annie” went to live with Isaac K. Gottshall and his wife, Sarah B. Kulp, at a nearby farm on Evansburg Road. She attended Cassel’s School at Evansburg and Mill Roads. It was through the Gottshall Freindschaft that Anna met her future husband, Warren G. Bean.

Warren, born February 7, 1866, was the son of William J. Bean (1835-1909) and Mary G. Gottshall (1835-1911)—a cousin of Isaac Gottshall. The Bean Homestead was on Green Hill Road (now North Grange Avenue), partly in Skippack and partly in Worcester Townships, along the Skippack Creek. Warren and Anna were married June 4, 1887. She probably began her recipe book shortly before or after that date. There is an index that covers only the first 16 pages, and these pages are in the same style and color of handwriting. Perhaps she copied some recipes from friends and relatives in preparation for going into housekeeping.

Warren and Anna as they appeared before marriage.

The Bean’s had six children: William (1888-1971), Elizabeth “Lizzie” (1890-1964), Warren Roscoe (1894-1964), Sara (1896-1975), Mary (1899) and Marthe (1905). They lived on the Bean homestead and farmed 57 acres. In 1897, Warren was ordained a minister at Upper Skippack Mennonite Church and in 1909 became a bishop of the Franconia Conference. [The couple’s dress became conservative and uniform as they aged, came into leadership, and the Conference enforced strict standards.]


In his capacity as a minister, Warren occasionally traveled on church business, and many times Anna went with him. Both of them kept diaries every year. During the period from 1898 to about 1920, they record details of a number of trips of one to two weeks duration, to such places as Maryland, Lancaster County, and Ontario. It is possible that Anna added recipes to her collection from people they visited on these trips. Their diaries include detailed lists of people they visited.

In 1930, they retired from farming and moved to a smaller place in Creamery. Here, with their daughters Sara and Mary, they lived until they died—Anna in 1944 and Warren in 1949.

Personal recollections of grandson Willoughby Moyer

As the only child of their youngest daughter, Marthe, I didn’t get to know my grandparents until they were in their mid-60’s. Although I lived with my parents in Souderton, I spent most of the summers here in Creamery with my grandparents. Although they had “retired” to a smaller place (1 acre), growing and preserving food was still an important part of their lives. Warren tilled almost every square foot of the small place, and Anna, Sara and Mary preserved the fruits and vegetables.

I recall Fridays as days of wonderful baking aromas, in preparation for Sunday dinners. Warren remained very active in the church just up the road from their home. Many Sundays the dining room was filled to capacity with visitors who stayed after church for dinner.

My mother tells me that in earlier years, on the farm, the typical Friday baking was about 30 pies and cakes. There was a breakfast cake for each day, fruit pies for supper each day, and the rest were for “company.”

I bought the home in Creamery in 1950, after Warren died, and have lived here ever since. Wann ebber frogt mich, “Hoscht du do gewohnt all die Leebdaag?” ich andwadde, “Noch net!” [Whenever anyone asks me, “Have you lived here your whole life?” I answer “Not yet!”]
–Willoughby Moyer (1927-1995)

Three daughters of Anna Kulp Bean–(left to right) Lizzie Bean Guntz, Mary and Sara Bean–photographed in 1959 by Lizzie’s daughter Anna. Image courtesy of Allen H. Guntz.


In Annie Kulp’s school copy book are several pages of recipes, which probably date from approximately 1880 or earlier (when she was 15 years or younger). We do not know whether these recipes constituted a writing exercise or whether Annie was thinking ahead. Of the twenty-five recipes in the copy book, nineteen are for cake, one for tea puffs, one for lady fingers, one for waffles, one for crullers, and two for pudding. Recipes from both her copy book and her other cookbook have been transcribed as they were written in the original. Please note that these recipes have not been tested. Try them and send in your comments.

Rice Waffles (from Annie Kulp’s copy book)

take a tea cupful and a half of boiled rice warm it with a pint of milk mix it smooth then take it from the fire stir in a pint of cold milk and a teaspoon of salt beat 4 eggs and stir this in to¬gether with sufficient flour to make a thick batter.

Railroad Cake (from Annie Kulp’s copy book)

1 lb of sugar 3 eggs ½ cup of butter 1 cup of thick milk 2½ cups of flour 1 teaspoon of creamatartar 1 teaspoon of soda.

In the ledger book that became her “cookbook” as a married adult, Annie includes other foods besides cakes and desserts. She has recipes for sausage, leftovers, pickled vegetables and fruits, juices, soap, and bread, as well as many different recipes for cakes and pies.

Funny Cake

Lower Part.
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of cocoa
¾ cup of warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Upper Part.
2 eggs
2 cups of brown sugar
½ cup of butter and lard
1 cup of milk
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 teaspoons of baking powder

[It is debated whether the lower or upper part should go first into the pie shell. Many people assert that the “upper part” should go in first and the “lower part” on top, and it will sink to the bottom during baking, making the cake “funny”. Others put the “lower part” on the bottom to start. See this article from the Morning Call, which includes another local funny cake recipe from Edna Gross Fretz.]

In a 1908 copy of a grocery bill found among Annie Bean’s things, “G Sugar” (white, granulated) was 6¢ a pound, and “B Sugar” was 5¢ a pound; perhaps Annie used brown sugar in her funny cake to save money and because it made no difference in the outcome of the cake. On this same grocery bill we see that the Bean’s bartered their eggs for 22¢ a dozen and bunches of herbs for 1¢ a bunch at the store in exchange for their groceries. The store was C. R. Hunsicker’s in Creamery, which had continued in business until approximately five years ago.

Molasses Cake

4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup lard
Knead this together.
1 teaspoon of baking soda.
Put it in a cup, pour it full of Boiling water
1 cup Molasses
Mix all together this gives 3 cakes
Put a little of the knead flour on top.

Shellbark Kisses

6 whites of eggs beaten to a stiff froth.
1 lb. pulverized or granulated sugar
vanilla to taste
2 cupful Shellbark kernels
this makes 50.
A good supply of noodles can be made of the yokes of eggs.
(Ed. Joyce Munro’s note: this recipe for candy, certainly not a necessity, is a good example of Pennsylvania Dutch thrift, don’t you think?)

Elderberry Drinks

4 qt. elderberries, cover it with Vinegar let it stand 24 hr. then squeeze well through a cloth, boil 20 minutes flavor with wintergreen to 1 qt. of juice put 1 pint of sugar then boil and bottle up tight.

Beef Sausage

25 lbs beef
8 lbs pork
Then salt and pepper a little Cayenne then put in strong pickle that will bare an egg, let in this pickle for 9 days. Then take it out and press it with a good weight one day and night then smoke it.

Mustard Beans

1 galIen cucumbers or Beans cut Boil in salt water till tender then pour water off 3 tablespoon flour 2 tablespoon mustard 1/2 teaspoone tumeric This I mix with water and pour over beans when the vinegar and water is in
1 cup sugar Vinegar and water enough to cover beans then add the mustard and beans on stove till they boil then they are ready for the Jars.

Layer cake from John T. Landis [Landes]

Put in mixing boil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar (scant)
2 level teaspoon Baking Powder
Mix well
½ cup melted butter break in butter
2 eggs (not beaten) fill cup with milk add
½ cup milk flavor with Vanilla Beat well Then
Bake I often bake in a loaf also Just as you like