Culinary History Collection


Current Editor: Cynthia D. Bertelsen

Issue 6 Summer 2004

Additions to the Collection

by Sandy Bosworth

Using monies designated to purchase materials for the culinary collection; members of the advisory board identified and acquired several titles. These purchases, which are listed below, have been cataloged and are housed in Special Collections.

The Language of Cookery
An Informal Dictionary by Betty Wason
Illustrated by Ruth Feibelman: First Edition 1968
(Call number: TX 349 W35 1968)

Following are two examples where the author has traced the origin of cooking terms used in food names.
Barbecue: Originally a "barbacoa" - a frame of green sticks on which the Mayas of Central America grilled their fish.
Chowder - "The chowders of New England owe their name to the French chaudiere, a large iron pot in which shipwrecked French sailors on the coast of Maine made a stew of clams."

Modern Domestic Cookery and Useful Receipt Book
Adapted for Families by W.A. Henderson
Enlarged and Improved by D. Hughson, M.D. New York 1857
(Call number: TX 717 h56 1857)

This book includes general directions for the management of a family and receipts for many things: including soups and broths, boiling meats, fish sauces, meat, vegetables, poultry, pancakes and fritters, jellies, fruits, candying, pickling, gruels, wines and more.

A Guide to Wealth Over One Hundred Valuable Recipes for Saloons, Inn-Keepers, Grocers, Druggists, Merchants, and for Families Generally.
By A.W. (Alvin Wood) Chase
Ann Arbor, Michigan, Friends of the Ann Arbor Public Library
Reproduction. Originially published 1858
(Call number: TX 151 C3 1858)

"These recipes are collected from practical sources only, and are of such a nature as to enter into our daily use and sales." There are recipes for lemon beer, ginger pop, yeast, and mineral water as well as ice cream (very cheap), cream soda, syrups and wines.
The following recipe provides a glimpse of this unique book.

"Oil to make hair grow and curl-olive oil, 1/2 pint, oils of rosemary and origanum, of each 1/8 oz and applied rather freely."

The Dinner Kitchen Cookbook
(including report for 1928-1929 of the Smith College Community Kitchen)
By Ethel P. Howes and Doris M. Sanborn.
Institute for the Co-Ordination of Women's Interests. Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts 1930
(Call number: TX 946 H63 1930)
Some recipes were modified for the special requirements of the kitchen from the Boston School Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer

The purpose of this publication was to make available to neighborhood groups the results of the satisfactory operation of a community dinner kitchen in a college town. The book contains information about the size of a kitchen, the cook, procedure, packing, transportation, and monthly menus. For example on November 23, 1928 the menu included baked sliced ham, creamed lima beans, rice and celery croquettes, apple crisp, and sauce.

A Treatise of All Sorts of Foods, both animal and vegetable: also of drinkables: giving an account how to chuse the best sort of all kinds: of the good and bad effects they produce; the principles they abound with; the time, age and constitution they are adapted to. Wherin their nature and use is explain'd according to the sentiments of the most eminent physicians and naturalists ancient and modern.

Written originally in French, by the learned M.L. Lemery,
Physician to the King and member of the Royal Academy
Translated by D. Hay. To which is added an introduction treating foods in general:
London: Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray-Inn MDCCXLV
(Call number: TX 351 L57 1745)

One can see immediately the unique appeal of this new acquisition to the collection. The spelling of many of the words is foreign to our eyes but if you pronounce each word as you read it all becomes clear. The passages below are quoted from the book and are excellent examples of the information found in this culinary treasure.

Chapter XXXV - Of Eggs
"Eggs differ very much, according to the birds that lay them, according to their colour, to their form, bigness, age, and lastly the different way of dressing them. Those most us'd in food and hens eggs. You ought to chuse those that are new laid. Some authors do also requirae, that they should be very white and long...they contain much oil and volatile salt"

Chapter LXI - Of Thyme, or time
"Time is an herb...You ought to chuse that which is new, of a strong and agreeable smell, and aromatic taste. Time: strengthens the creates an appetite, helps digestion, expels wind, and resists is good in cold weather for old people, contains very near the same principles as marjoram...thyme is in Latin call'd thumus because this herb is very odoriferous..."

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Last modified on: 10.04.10 by ck
herb background from Old Thyme Inn