Mrs. Hale’s New Cook Book

A Practical System for Private Families in Town and Country

 Published in Philadelphia in 1857, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection by the editor of the most influential American magazine of the 19th century, Godey’s Lady’s Book, provides information about preserving health through a frugal mind-set with recipes that focus on both taste and health.

Mrs. Hale’s New Cook Book was written by one of the most well-known and prolific authors of the day. Sarah Josepha Hale sought to combine two of the most important trends in mid-19th century American culture: healthy living through a simple, hearty diet and frugality. 


Throughout the extensive work, Hale also promotes the importance of the role of housekeeping as the way “to make people love home and feel happy there.” With chapters such as Cookery for Children, Dinner Parties and Carving, and The Dairy, Mrs. Hale’s New Cook Book filled a void to provide middle class housekeepers a resource for healthy, simple, and inexpensive recipes. Some of the recipes included in this treasured tome include: almond sponge cake, pickled salmon, beef stew, sweet potato pudding, and Kringles. Besides recipes for wholesome food, the cookbook also contains tips for washing carpets, treating common ailments, smoking meats, cleaning household items, working with the helping, and more essential information for housekeepers of the mid-19th century.


This edition of Mrs. Hale’s New Cook Book 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

 Sarah Josepha Hale was the editor of Godey's Lady's Book, the most influential American magazine published in the 19th century, for forty years. With this role, Hale became the final and definitive resource on national taste for decades, and she wrote over fifty books. Among her numerous significant contributions to American culture, Hale is credited with making Thanksgiving a national holiday, helping to found Vassar College, penning "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and encouraging the higher education of women. She died in 1879 at the age of 91.

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