The cook's own book : being a complete culinary encyclopedia... With numerous original receipts and a complete system of confectionery
- In Collections
Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project
- Copyright Status
- No Copyright
Lee, N. K. M., Mrs.
- Material Type
- xxxv, 1 unnumbered page, 300 pages
The introductory texts reproduced here were written by the original Feeding America team to contextualize the books that were selected for inclusion as part of the 2001 digitization project.
The Cook's Own Book: Being A Complete Culinary Encyclopedia: Comprehending All Valuable Receipts For Cooking Meat, Fish, And Fowl, And Composing Every Kind Of Soup, Gravy, Pastry, Preserves, Essences, &c. That Have Been Published Or Invented During The Last Twenty Years. Particularly The Very Best Of Those In The Cook's Oracle, Cook's Dictionary, And Other Systems Of Domestic Economy. With Numerous Original Receipts, And A Complete System of Confectionery. / By A Boston Housekeeper.
By Mrs. N. K. M. Lee
Boston, Munroe and Francis; New York, Charles E. Francis, and David Felt [etc.] 1832.
This book is generally considered the first alphabetically arranged culinary encyclopedia in America. Its sources were mostly British, including Dr. William Kitchiner's Cook's Oracle, Dolby's Cook's Dictionary and probably the works of Mrs. Rundell and Mrs. Raffald. The author acknowledges her borrowings but claims that she has added numerous original recipes. There is, for example, a recipe for the cornmeal-using Indian Pudding.
This book has about three dozen introductory pages containing a brief preface, short articles on the management of families, cooking utensils, diet, techniques of cooking (including boiling, baking, roasting, and frying), a discussion on broths and soups, and observations on specific foodstuffs, from butter to olives, a marketing table for beef, veal, pork, and poultry. It also has directions for curing and cooking pickled fish, and a table of weights and measures.
This is followed by an alphabetical listing beginning with Aberdeen Crulla and Alamode Beef and ending with Yeast, Potato and Zests. A second part follows with Receipts for Making All Kinds of Confectionery. Also alphabetically arranged, this begins with Almonds, Blown and ends with Wormwood Creme Liqueur. And finally, there is a note instructing the reader that "Many receipts for Confectionery may be found in the first part of this book."
This was one of the most popular cookbooks of 19th century America. It went through at least a dozen printings before 1865. In its later printings, it was often paired with Leslie's Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cake and Sweetmeats.