A Collection of Uncommonly Precise American Recipes, 1830 - 1895

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[Library Title: Whitney cookery collection, ca. 1400 - 1895 (Vol. 17)]

Manuscript Location
New York Public Library, Schwarzman Building - Manuscripts & Archives Division
Holding Library Call No.
MssCol 3318
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Composition
1830 - 1895
About twenty of the recipes in this manuscript of 30 leaves are dated, most in the 1830s and 1840s, but a few in the 1860s and 1890s. The volume is primarily given over to recipes for desserts, cakes, and tea breads, although it also contains some interesting savory recipes, including fried parsnip balls, fried eggplant, veal cutlets, and clam chowder. There are also instructions for "canning" fruits and pineapple marmalade, dated 1867, which was at the dawn of the canning era. Though authored by a number of individuals, the recipes are uniformly clear in style and specific with regard to weights and measures of ingredients. Helpfully, the manuscript tells us that 1 1/2 pounds of flour made four pies in the small pie pans commonly used in the 19th century (the same amount of flour would make only two covered pies in today's standard 9-inch pans) and that ten pounds of "dry squash" made four baked squash puddings in pastry crusts (obviously very large ones).