As the American nation spread west, women began compiling cookbooks based on their lifestyles and experiences with new ingredients and living conditions. These regional cookbooks provide valuable insights into early American family lifestyles and culture. About the quality and value of this regional cookbook, the California Recipe Book states that "the merit of the work consists in its reliability; no recipe having been inserted without the endorsement of some responsible person. Believing it to be a valuable aid to housekeepers we offer it to the public with confidence increased by the reputation it has already attained." This concise little tome published in California is 1875 by a ladies' society group contains over 165 recipes covering a wide range of home cook favorites from Parker House rolls, soda biscuits, hot cakes, and omelets to oyster pies, corn pudding, apple pie, and summer squash. Besides the value of the recipes themselves, California Recipe Book also showcases the 19th century version of a modern-day church or group cookbook collection, providing a portrait of contemporary lifestyles and significant historical information. This edition of California Recipe Book 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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Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
April 15, 2013
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