A Practical Explanation of the Principles of Healthful Cookery
August 5, 2005 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project "...an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century." Includes scanned, searchable, and downloadable copies of such titles as "The Virginia Housewife, Or, Methodical Cook," "Practical Sanitary and Economic Cooking Adapted to Persons of Moderate and Small Means," and "Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent."
posted by tpl1212 (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wow...I really want to make some of these now.
posted by piratebowling at 10:56 AM on August 5, 2005

This is truly awesome. A great post that will take weeks to unravel. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 11:37 AM on August 5, 2005

This is great! I only wish they would take the time to put the contents of each book listed as hyperlinks or something. (Though I guess it's easy enough to key in the page number into the url, taking into account that the table of contents doesn't count the cover and the blank pages in the front of each book.)
posted by crunchland at 11:44 AM on August 5, 2005

d'oh, I take it back. I didn't notice that they have transcripts of each book in xml as well as scanned in and pdf versions.
posted by crunchland at 11:45 AM on August 5, 2005

This book, Mary At The Farm, is fabulous, it's about "Mary's" extended stay with the Amish in Pennsylvania. There are recipes, but it's more a kind of loose ethnography. There's stuff about the underground railroad, even.

There's this advice that could apply throughout MeFi (myself, of course, included):

Aunt Sarah, speaking one day to Mary, said: "Your Uncle John is an unusually silent man. I have heard him remark that when people talk continuously they are either very intelligent or tell untruths." He, happening to overhear her remark, quickly retorted:

"The man who speaks a dozen tongues,
When all is said and done,
Don't hold a match to him who knows
How to keep still in one."

posted by OmieWise at 11:46 AM on August 5, 2005

Some of my favorites:
Fresh Neats, Tongue and Udder, Cow Heels (same page) and Lobster Catchup (requires 3 pound lobster). Talk about good eaten.
posted by Meaney at 12:38 PM on August 5, 2005

Many of the early cookbooks contained herbal medicines as well as recipes for good eatin'. My aunt had an antique cookbook and I was able to point out to her where it had a "recipe" for an herbal abortifacient.
posted by jonp72 at 12:50 AM on August 6, 2005

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