De Witt’s Connecticut Cook Book, and Housekeeper’s Assistant

Published in New York in 1871, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection provides “simple rules and directions, with the intention of assisting the intelligent housekeeper” through an extensive list of recipes and housekeeping tips that highlight the jobs and responsibilities of housewives in the late 19th century, with a strong New England regional emphasis.


Published in New York in 1871 and covering an extensive range of practical and wholesome recipes, De Witt’s Connecticut Cook Book, and Housekeeper’s Assistant includes recipes for everything from soups, roasting, broiling, and stewing meats, and coffees to vegetables, pickling, breads, preserving jellies and fruits, cakes, and cheese. However, it contains more than recipes. Emphasizing local culture and conditions, his regional collection also provides a wide range of information about housekeeping such as removing stains from tablecloths, washing flannel, cleaning sheepskin rugs, and greasing cowhide boots. Orr also includes “useful sanitary rules” for bathing, eating, ventilation, escaping a fire, nosebleeds, and snake bites. With all of the recipes, housekeeping tips, and health guidelines, De Witt’s Connecticut Cook Book, and Housekeeper’s Assistant was truly an indispensable tome for 19th century women as well as an incredibly informative historical work for modern times.


This edition of De Witt’s Connecticut Cook Book, and Housekeeper’s Assistant was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the Society is a research library documenting the life of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The Society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection includes approximately 1,100 volumes.

About the Author

 Mrs. N. Orr, or Elizabeth Holmes Orr, authored of several books, most notably The Belle Heiress, poems, stories, and newspaper and journal articles and was the wife of artist Nathaniel Orr. Orr was the mother of seven children and the family resided in New Jersey. She was born in 1825 and lived until the age of 83 in 1908.

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