Ruth's Recipe Archive

Treats from the Bancroft Kitchen


Below are scanned copies of the original recipes and PDFs formatted to print 3" x 5" for convenience. The recipes are in their original format, with no edits or modern substitutions added.



Sweet Recipes:

Toffee Cookies

Silver and Gold Tea Squares

Orange Blossom Bars

Oatmeal Butterscotch Wafers

Butter Chews

From Ruth's Celebration of Life:

Carnival Squares

Raspberry Thimbles

Savory Recipes:

Turkey Tetrazzini

Sweet Potatoes with Cashews

Beef Pot Roast

Deviled Turkey

Chicken Bengal

Celery and Avocado Green Salad


Turkey Tetrazzini - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Instead of using heavy cream, this tetrazzini recipe gets its richness from turkey fat - save what you don't use in the gravy!

Toffee CookiesToffee Cookies - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Ruth was ahead of her time with her love of succulents, and also with her recipes - these cookies are made with bacon fat!

For a milder flavor, try substituting leaf lard, available in the freezer section of many butcher shops.


Sweet Potatoes with CashewsSweet Potatoes with Cashews - Scanned Recipe | Text File

This recipe is especially interesting because it has so many hand written notations from when Ruth cooked it - including in 1971 and 1972, when she was busy designing the Garden-- a testament to how easy this recipe is to make! Make sure to take a look at the scanned recipe for the full effect, though all the notes have been transcribed in the text file for easy reading.

silver and gold tea squaresSilver and Gold Tea Squares - Scanned Recipe | Text File

This tender little tea cake has a baked-on meringue icing that makes it look like a lot more work than it actually is. The recipe doesn't specify what size pan to use, but it was tested successfully in a quarter sheet pan, also known as a jelly roll pan. It would likely also work well in a 9" x 13" pan.

Beef Pot Roast

Beef Pot Roast - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Some ingredients may not be familiar to you. "Claret" is the British term for a red wine from Burgundy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or a similar blend are good choices. A No. 2 can of tomatoes is 20 oz. or about 2 1/2 cups.

Since she had a large herb garden, it's likely that Ruth would have used fresh herbs, not dried as called for in the recipe.

Orange blossom BarsOrange Blossom Bars - Scanned Recipe | Text Fie

This simple snack cake doesn't seem like much until it gets frosted with the delicious honey-orange icing. It was a hit at our Lover's Day Aloe Tour in February 2013.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Wafers - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Another hit at our Lover's Day Aloe Tour, these crisp, lacy wafers disappeared before we could snap a photograph! They might work well if made with butter or coconut oil, if you're shortening-averse. Thick rolled oats will result in the best spread, as opposed to quick or instant oats.

Butter ChewsButter Chews - Scanned Recipe | Text File

These cookie bars have a wonderfully tender shortbread crust and a texture a little softer than pecan pie. No corn syrup necessary! They've quite sugary, so use unsweetened coconut. Try substituting macadamia nuts for a really unique treat.

The recipe claims to make 35 1" squares, but when baked in an 8" square cake pan, the bars were quite thick. Ruth noted that she turned the temperature down for the second half of baking, which keeps the bars from getting too brown. Don't underbake, or they'll be gooey.

deviled turkeyDeviled Turkey - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Quick and easy to make and very mild in flavor, this recipe can accommodate other proteins besides turkey, including chicken and (Ruth's suggestion) tuna. Feel free to increase the quantity of spices for a more vibrantly colored and flavored dish.

Chicken BengalChicken Bengal - Scanned Recipe | Text File

Treat the grape jelly in this recipe as an optional novelty. It sweetens the delicately spiced sauce unnecessarily and turns the dish an unappetizing lavender color. It is still tasty, and you will not hear anyone complaining, but you may not want to rush out to by a jar of preserves just for this recipe.

Celery and Avocado Green SaladCelery and Avocado Green Salad - Scanned Recipe | Text File

This is a lovely, bright salad that is green through and through (the pimento strips will add a nice color contrast, if you choose to use them). The dressing is basically a sauce gribiche without the egg.


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Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.  
Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects

The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy