With the holiday season in full swing, we’ve been inspired here in the library by some of the recipes found in our Rosemary Poole Cookbook Collection. The collection includes over 200 cookbooks from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries covering a range of regions and cuisines with books on proper etiquette, table settings, and dress as well.
Browsing through the books you can get a real sense of how much cooking and recipes have changed over the years. There is a level of knowledge that was assumed in these older volumes and often the only direction offered is “cook” or “bake.” Also, most (if not all) of the books are geared towards women even when written by men and the introductions often begin with “Dear Madam” or “To the Modern Housewife.”
As part of our annual library Holiday Party we are holding a contest to see who can make the best baked good using one of these recipes.We also invite our readers to attempt this feat and let us know about the experience. Here are some of the recipes we found particularly appealing (and not too difficult) and if you are near campus, please stop by SC&A to browse selections from the many volumes.