Unabridged Dover (1996) republication of Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking, published by Roberts Brothers, Boston, 1887 (originally published 1884). New introduction by Janice (Jan) Bluestein Longone. 50 text figures. Preface. Indexes. 560pp. 5.375 x 8 inches. Paperbound. ISBN 0-486-29196-0.
In 1946 the Grolier Club — a distinguished bibliophilic society — mounted an exhibition of the 100 most influential American books published before 1900. Only one cookbook was selected for display: Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book. Originally published in 1884, this immensely informative guide immediately became the standard kitchen companion for countless housewives in America and abroad and was also widely used in school cooking classes.
A pioneer of household economics, Mrs. Lincoln produced a ground-breaking text written in an orderly fashion and in easy-to-understand language. Unlike a number of earlier cookbooks, hers was also a culinary encyclopedia, with contents thoughtfully arranged and well illustrated. Within its pages, cooking and related activities were elevated to an art form that could be practiced by even the most inexperienced homemaker.
Clearly written, detailed and extremely thorough, Mrs. Lincoln's book provided “lessons” for preparing food in a fashion that would be “intelligible to a child and interesting to the mature mind” — from baked goods, soups, salads, cakes and sauces to pastries, pies, poultry, fish and meat. Readers also found a wealth of information on nutrition, the arrangement of the dining room and even suggestions and possible examination questions for teachers of cooking.
One of the great American cookbooks, this practical guide not only dispenses a wealth of useful advice but also gives a wonderful glimpse into the kitchens of a century and more ago. It will delight cooks, lovers of Americana and anyone who enjoys using and looking at cookbooks from a bygone era.
(The above commentary is provided by Dover Publications, Inc.)
Copyright © 2002–2008 Patricia B. Mitchell.