The Kitchen Directory, and American Housewife

Published in New York in 1841, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection emphasizes practical recipes with specific directions for American kitchens of the day, including over 350 recipes for a complete range of dishes, cookery for the sick, advice to housewives, and directions for carving.

The first edition of this very popular nineteenth century cookbook was published in 1839 as The American Housewife, later expanded to The Kitchen Directory and American Housewife and often republished as The American Housewife and Kitchen Directory. Author Anne Howe’s name did not appear on the title page until later editions published after this 1841 version. Her preface states that although she is not an Ude (French chef) or a Kitchiner (popular British cookbook author), she knows the culinary arts as “practiced by good American cooks.” Bemoaning the inadequate instructions and limited practical knowledge expressed in other cookbooks, she presents over 350 recipes from the simplest broths to the most delicate cakes and sweetmeats with efficient instructions and practical economy.

In addition to her recipe collection, the book includes recipes on cookery for the sick and making perfumes, as well as sections on housewifery and carving that appear to be simply lifted from earlier works.

This edition of The Kitchen Directory and American Housewife 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.

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.