[1950s60s] · U.S.
A remarkable culinary florilegium compiled by prominent cookbook collector Eloise Schofield. Recorded mostly by hand on => 122 well-filled pages of a ledger book, these 19th- and 20th-century recipes cover a very wide range, opening with an "Orange Pie" recipe given in verse and including local specialties such as fried eel from Provincetown, "State of Maine Mincemeat," and Nantucket corn pudding; quirky historical dishes and home remedies (for earache, weeping eyes, burns, etc.), often with their sources and dates attributed; and more general everyday items, passed on by family members and friends ("My mother's Harlequin Cake"). Annotations offer Schofield's thoughts and recollections: "This isn't at all bad"; "Bob's grandmother always had it [lemon conserve] on hand"; "Here is a very old recipe — waste not want not"; "My father loved to eat; he always lifted each cover off the pots every evening to see what was cooking").
Interspersed among the recipes are clippings and artwork affixed to the pages, including an advertisement for the "Anna Held" carnation petticoat for sale by John Wanamaker, as well as a number of other color-printed or black and white advertisements; several cat photos taken from periodicals or other sources; "Hints for Housekeepers," from an 1865 magazine; a recipe for "Gertie's Christmas Cake," written in Schofield's hand on an old-fashioned holiday greeting card; a color reproduction of a portion of a 1799 embroidery sampler; a recipe for "Spong Cake" in an older hand, labelled by Schofield "Found in an 1887 Cook Book"; ETC.
Schofield's delight in culinary history is clear on every page — for instance, "Tripe was a favorite around 1900 and the Parker House became famous for its tripe besides the rolls. Here is a Tripe Batter highly recommended by an old lady" (p. 114). Contemporary half roan and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title; binding cocked, worn and scuffed overall, spine leather split and chipping. Pp. 1–58 excised, very likely having been the ledger's contents before repurposing; gutter of first signature present reinforced some time ago. Pages age-toned with scattered smudging and offsetting. A gift of densely packed pleasure in terms of both aesthetics and domestic content, this is => the most endearing example of such a book that we have ever seen. (Inventory #: 41503)