Sarah Bacon Cookbook
[Library Title: Cookbook Collection, c. 1770-c. 1890, Volume 3]
Holding Library Call No.Mss. Octavo Vols. C
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#238
Place of OriginUnited States ➔ Massachusetts ➔ Boston
Date of Composition1829, with additions ca. 1850-1860
DescriptionThis 57-page cookbook is inscribed "Sarah Agnes Bacon / Boston / A Substitute for Memory / Try'd Receipts / March 1829." A 1-page alphabetized table of contents on the final leaf lists the recipes on pages 1 through 31 and on pages 55 and 56. These recipes are in the same hand as the inscription. The recipes on pages 32 through 54 may also have been written by Sarah Bacon, in a different handwriting mood, or they may have been added by one or more other individuals. In any event, these mid-book recipes are definitely later than 1829, likely of the 1850s or 1860s, for they contain references to "a box of gelatin" (page 35) and cream of tartar, as well as a recipe for Jenny Lind Cake. (Lind toured the States in 1850-1852.) Newspaper clippings of recipes pasted in on page 17 date from 1870 or later.
The book opens with five recipes for savory dishes, but as is usual for American manuscript cookbooks most of the recipes throughout the book concern desserts, cakes, and breakfast and tea breads. There is a particularly interesting recipe for the fruited cake called Composition Cake on page 6, which says to heat the [brick] oven for 1 1/4 hours and bake the cake for 3 hours. The Harrison Cake outlined on page 24 turns out to be an extremely early layer cake.
To view digital images of this manuscript, click View Online, then Volume 3.