Mrs. Lincoln's Boston cook book : what to do and what not to do in cooking
- In Collections
Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project
- Copyright Status
- No Copyright
Boston Cooking School (Boston, Mass.)
- Material Type
- xiv, 536 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.
Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book: What To Do and What Not To Do in Cooking.
By Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln
Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1884.
In April 1946, the Grolier Club, one of the most prestigious bibliophilic societies, opened an exhibition "One Hundred American Books Printed Before 1900," books chosen on the basis of their influence on the life and culture of the people. The purpose of the exhibition was to display books that "would arouse in all who saw it a feeling of pride in the accomplishments of our country."
The selection committee explained its choices:
These books have influenced not only the life and culture of our own country but the form of government and the literature of foreign lands....Some of the wisdom, some of the imagination, and some of the spirit that stirred the minute-men and the statesmen who brought this nation to greatness are perpetuated in these American books.
One cookbook, and only one, was selected for this exhibition - this one: Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book. The committee commented on Mrs. Lincoln's ability to arrange her material in an orderly plan and to set it forth in plain, sensible language that housewives could understand. The committee continued its praise by saying that while the book instantly became the standard kitchen companion, it had still greater effect in shaping the course of early work in domestic science in grade and normal schools.
All of this praise is well deserved. The book was in print, in original and revised editions, for forty years, a twenty-third printing being recorded in 1923. The praise for the book in newspapers and journals of the day was simply superlative, if not hyperbolic.
Mrs. Lincoln published numerous other cookbooks and authored many commercial promotional pamphlets for food and cooking-equipment companies. She also served a ten-year stint as culinary editor of the 'American Kitchen Magazine' (also variously titled the 'New England Kitchen' and 'Home Science Magazine'.)
Many of the recipes in this book are written in a modern manner, with the ingredients listed at the beginning, followed by instructions. Most recipes have specific measurements. After a 35-page introduction, there are about 75 pages devoted to baked goods, including a detailed essay on flour, bread and bread-making.
All of the bounty of a New England breakfast can be found here in great variety: biscuits, breads, rolls, rusks, bunns, loaf cakes, toast, muffins, gems, shortcakes, cakes, sticks, Sally Lunns, Dodgers, Dabs, Corn Meal Puffs, Bannock, Hoe Cake, Pop-overs, Crisps, Crusts, Drop Cakes, Waffles, Wafers, Griddle-Cakes, Pancakes, Slappers, Doughnuts, Crullers, Wonders, Cheats, Cinci, Rags and Fritters. Plus mush and puddings!
There are dishes for everyday and dishes for entertaining. See the Gateau de Princess Louise or the Brown Bread Ice-Cream. And what Boston book would be complete without a suggestion for having a Clam Bake.