The Cook Not Mad
Or, Rational Cookery
Published in 1830 in Watertown, New York, and then in 1831 in Canada (where it became Canada’s first cookbook), this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection stresses American cooking and ingredients, and urges fellow countrymen to avoid the foreign influence of English, French, and Italian cooking.
Within a year of its publication in the United States, The Cook Not Mad was also published in Canada and thus became Canada’s first printed cookbook. Ironically, the only difference between the editions was a single word: “Canadian” was substituted for “American” in the subtitle. In contrast to some of the larger encyclopedic cookbook collections of the day, The Cook Not Mad provides 310 recipes and household information designed to be a quick and easy reference guide to household organization for the contemporary housewife. The author describes the content as “Good Republican dishes” and includes typical American ingredients such as turkey, pumpkin, codfish, and cranberries. There are classic recipes for Tasty Indian Pudding, Federal Pancakes, Good Rye and Indian Bread (cornmeal), Johnnycake, Indian Slapjack, Washington Cake, and Jackson Jumbles. In spite of the author’s American “intentions,” the book does include foreign influences such as traditional English recipes, and it also contains one of the earliest known recipes for shish-kebab in American cookbooks (No. 298, A Moorish Method of Cooking Beef, as Described by Captain Riley, the Ship-Wrecked Mariner).
This edition of The Cook Not Mad, or Rational 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 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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