Total Abstinence Cookery

Being a Collection of Receipts for Cooking, from Which All Intoxicating Liquids Are Excluded

 Published in Philadelphia in 1841, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection provides information about the temperance social movement during the mid-19th century along with 300 recipes based on abstaining from alcoholic beverages.

Published in 1841 in Philadelphia, the Total Abstinence Cookery is an appealing example of a mid-19th century temperance cookbook. During this period of growth in the American middle class, the importance of abstinence from alcohol emerged from the sober, moral beliefs of the new social class. Several cookbooks such as Total Abstinence Cookery were published as part of the movement. As stated in the preface by the author, merely known as “A Lady,” “[t]he error of mixing intoxicating liquors in almost every article of cookery, has too long been countenanced by those who have the charge of families and every friend of temperance must most sincerely deplore the fact.” 


As a guide for temperance, Total Abstinence Cookery provides alcohol-free recipes such as Beef-steak Broiled, Honey Cake, Raspberry Cream, Ham Dumplings, Macaroons, Peach Pot-Pie, and Sweet Breads. While the temperance movement might not be prevalent today, Total Abstinence Cookery is still significant within the historical context of its time period, and it provides an authentic example of a contemporary social trend reflected in a cookbook.


This edition of Total Abstinence 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 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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