same three words that described the trends in kitchens of the new
century -- sanitary, convenient, and economical -- were also applied
to the practical aspects of the "science of housewifery."
Young brides and housewives previously unacquainted with carrying
out the multitude of laborious tasks in the kitchen could turn to
household manuals, magazines and recipe books for guidance. They
were instructed that cooking, the emphasis on careful thought and
variety in meal planning would help prepare wholesome, body-building
foods that fight off everything from disease to nervousness. The
conscientious housekeeper had one or more trusted cookbooks toward
this end.1 -- Ellen Plante
such cookbook was the 200 recipe The Enterprising
Housekeeper, 3rd edition (Philadelphia, PA: The Enterprise Manufacturing
Company of Pa., 1900) by Helen Louise Johnson. It was designed to encourage
the use of the company's meat grinders, general-purpose shredders, and
coffee mills. It offered housewives helpful advice and argued that consistently
good cooking was a systematic, not a hit-and-miss adventure. The ice-box
encouraged the saving of left-overs and this cookbook was dedicated to
using them. The third edition was specifically "packaged' for the
may be -- in fact, evidence proves that there are -- good cooks
who seemingly never measure anything, but by 'about so much of
this,'and 'a pinch of that,' bring about results so delicious
that the would-be follower at once determines to throw rules to
the winds and try the same way. Good cooks always measure -- one
by the cup and spoon, because she must; another by the judgement
and experience long years of doing the same thing over and over
again have given her; and the chances are that, unless you have
the rare gift of cooking straight from the gods, you had better
cling to the exact measures and weights if you want the best results
every time, instead of once in a while."2
Pan-American Cook Book, 1901
1899, the Ladies' Aid Society of Buffalo's Riverside Methodist Church
published a cookbook to commemorate the Pan-American Exposition. Recipes
were often compiled by philanthropic women's organizations and published
in cookbooks that would contain preparation instructions for all of
the meals necessary in the well-managed home. The publication and sale
of these cookbooks enabled organizations to not only raise money, but
also to fulfill a "duty" to promote the "desireable qualities"
of a good housewife. Below is the "introduction":
It is universally admitted that the way to a man's heart is through
his stomach, or, as the poet has it
We may live without poetry, music, and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends.; we may live without books;
But the civilized man cannot live without cooks.
may live without books-What is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope-What is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love-What is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?"
Hence the desirability of properly cooked and invitingly prepared food
for the family. In order to accomplish this result, several things are
1stThe selection of the best and most nutritious food. 2ndChoice,
true and tried recipes for cooking it. and3rdand equally
importantThe best utensils for preparing and cooking the food
in an appetising form.
No good housekeeper needs any suggestions regarding the necessity of
selecting only good, fresh food, as well as food suited to the taste
of her household, and length of her purse.
So with Recipes for baking, boiling stewing and toasting, frying, broiling,
smoking and roasting we present the PAN-AMERICAN RECIPE BOOK.
Cookbook3 included printed recipes for meals
and instructions for the preparation of various medicinal tonics. Most
cookbooks of the day included "home remedies"--salves, tonics,
cleaning solvents, etc. Included in each book were an ample number of
blank pages for recording personal recipes and notes. In one instance,
a recipe was recorded, only to be crossed out and marked "no good."
See the entire contents of the Pan-American
Ellen M. Plante. The American Kitchen, 1700 to the Present: From
Hearth to Highrise (New York: Facts on File, 1995), p. 175.
The Enterprising Housekeeper: Suggestions for Breakfast, Luncheon
and Supper. 3rd edition. Philadelphia, Pa.: Enterprise Manufacturing
Co. of Pennsylvania, 1900. p. 39.
Pan-American Recipe Book, (Pan-American Cook Book) compiled
by the Ladies Aid Society of the Riverside Methodist Episcopal Church.
Buffalo, N.Y. : Charles A. Folger, 1899. Courtesy of Ken Kerber. Special
thanks to Mr. Kerber for allowing us to reproduce the Pan-American Cookbook
for use in this online exhibit.
to Food and Drink at the Pan-American Exposition