The Cook Book of Rare and Valuable Recipes
To Which Is Added. the Complete Family Doctor
This volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection, published in Philadelphia in 1850, is an exhaustive compilation of hundreds of methods, formulas, and recipes for culinary, housekeeping, agricultural, and medical issues of importance in nineteenth century households, assembled by an unknown physician.
In his introduction, the “eminent physician” cited as compiler of this fascinating volume states, “There was a time when ladies knew nothing beyond their own family concerns; but in the present day there are many who know nothing about them.” His intention was to supply every possible bit of information about housekeeping, homemaking, farming, and medical care that contemporary women seemed to lack. His work contains hundreds of procedures, advice, and recipes organized in a whimsical hodgepodge without a table of contents or index to guide the reader. For example, a recipe for “an excellent tooth power” is sandwiched in between “a method of cleaning china” and “how to stain paper.” Similarly, “pickling tomatoes” can be found between “means of stopping a runaway horse” and “grafting grapevines.” It makes an engrossing, entertaining read that provides an intriguing portrait of nineteenth century lifestyles.
This edition of The Cook Book of Rare and Valuable Recipes 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
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