The Great Western Cook Book

Or, Table Receipts, Adapted to Western Housewifery

 When this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection was published in 1857, the American “West” was in Indiana, making this cookbook the first to be published in Indiana. 

 This first cookbook published in Indiana was originally titled in its first edition Mrs. Collins’ Table Receipts: Adapted to Western Housewifery. It became so popular that in 1857 it was republished in New York City under the name The Great Western Cook Book. Collins noted in her preface that the book was intended for “Ladies of the West,” and thus there are recipes such as Sausage-Hoosier Fashion and Veal-Western Fashion included for pioneer women in the “West” of its time. Noting that “Our generous and prolific clime affords a bountiful supply of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and our forests and hill sides abound in excellent Game,” Collins included many recipes that used local produce and ingredients. The first recipe in the book for California Soup provides a method for homemade bouillon cubes, named for travelers heading further west during the gold rush years.


This edition of The Great Western Cook Book by Angelina Maria Collins 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

 Born in Virginia in 1805, Angelina Maria Lorraine Collins married James Collins in 1830. After moving to New Albany, Indiana, their home for the next thirty years, James served in the Indiana General Assembly, had a thriving law practice, and published the family owned newspaper. Angelina was a society hostess known as a very skilled cook. In 1851 she published Mrs. Collins' Table Receipts, which was later published in New York City as The Great Western Cook Book. Mrs. Collins was well-educated, possessing strong personal beliefs, and she was a dedicated abolitionist. She was also a temperance advocate, and her novel Mrs. Ben Darby: Or the Weal and Woe of a Social Life, is a melodramatic story about the sins of alcohol. She also wrote poetry and was highly regarded by her New Albany peers.

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