Mrs. Owen’s Illinois Cook Book
Mrs. Owens of Springfield had the enthusiastic support of her neighbors in compiling her cookbook—it includes a list of their names endorsing her recipes at the beginning of the book. The ladies note that the recipes are original and “choice,” but most important, “the materials called for are within the reach of all, and can be had in any of our western towns.” Because of the still-primitive 19th century transportation system, regional cookbooks like this one began to spring up, created by local cooks frustrated by the lack of availability of ingredients in some national cookbooks.
This edition of Mrs. Owens Illlinois 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.
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