My Mother’s Cook Book (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

Published in 1875 in St. Louis, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection compiled by Ladies of St. Louis is a classic example of a “charity-community cookbook,” with recipes donated by women’s groups and church societies to raise funds for a local cause—in this case, the Women’s Christian Home.


The category of “charity cookbook” is a favorite in American culinary history. Funds raised by sales of these cookbooks, with recipes donated by women’s groups and church societies, were used to aid a wide variety of local causes and charities. My Mother’s Cook Book belongs in this category—an excellent example of regional cooking styles of the post-Civil War Midwest.


Several hundred recipes compiled by Ladies of St. Louis for the Women’s Christian Home include a complete range of dishes from soup to nuts, tending toward dishes “my mother” used, and handed down from mother to daughter.  The ladies’ droll sense of humor is captured in the preface: “The recipes gathered in this priceless volume have been sent from all parts of the known world; several even from New Jersey.” Although the ladies are unnamed, a dedication by Mrs. E. F. Richards and the Misses Glover thanks all the contributors as well as local advertisers who aided the project (ads for merchants selling a wide variety of merchandise, including the “latest gems of fashion,” are included at the front of the book).


This edition of My Mother’s 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 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.

This website contains affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you don’t pay a penny more, but we receive a small commission.