Directions for Cookery

Being a System of the Art, in Its Various Branches

Published in Philadelphia in 1837, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection by a popular and prolific cookbook writer is one of the most influential culinary works of the 19th century, with clear and specific recipes stressing quality ingredients and hard work in the kitchen.     

Written by Eliza Leslie, or Miss Leslie as she was commonly called, Directions for Cookery was undoubtedly the most popular cookbook in the 19th century. Published in 1837 in Philadelphia, this clear, concise, and elegant cookbook emphasized the nuances of good cooking, the importance of specific measurements—not always a common practice at that time—and the significance of good ingredients to prepare the best food in the kitchen. Directions for Cookery is surely an American classic. 


With recipes for Beef-Steak Pudding, Moravian Sugar Cakes, Cat-Fish Soup, Johnny Cake, Indian Pudding, Molasses Candy, New York Cookies, Pumpkin Chips, Tomato Catchup, and Election Cake, Directions for Cookery sparks your appetite and makes this classic culinary work an invaluable addition to any kitchen.


This edition of Directions for Cookery 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 lives 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 comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.


About the Author

Eliza Leslie, or Miss Leslie, was one of the most prolific and popular cookbook writers of the 19th century. Over 72 titles have been attributed to Leslie, and she prided herself on her distinctly “American” recipes. Some of her more popular titles included Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, Miss Leslie’s New Receipts for Cooking, and The Indian Meal Book along with her translation of Domestic French Cookery. Besides her culinary skills, Leslie was also known for her etiquette books, novels, and children’s books. She lived mostly in Philadelphia from 1787 to 1858. 

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