Posted by: marthabernie | May 18, 2015

Dr. Price’s 1887 Cook Book

Among the things my mother inherited from her aunt and cousin was a little paper cookbook published in 1887.  It is called, “Dr. Price’s Cook Book containing Excellent Recipes for making Bread, Biscuits, Cakes, Pastry, Puddings, Etc., in which are used Dr. Price’s Delicious Flavoring Extracts and Dr. Price’s Cream Baking Powder.  All carefully tested and arranged in a simple and practical Form for use in Private Families, Hotel, Restaurants, Steamboats, The Camp,  etc., etc.”   The book was falling apart when my mother found it down in a trunk with a note that said, “Mother’s Recipe Book”.  It had belonged to my great grandmother, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus, and apparently it went to Aunt Annie when she died in 1908 along with other things my mother found.  We have Rebecca Frances’ little wire glasses, the rolling pin her husband carved for her when they were married in 1861, there were a couple of her aprons, and even a piece of fabric that was used for her black burial dress into which a lock of her hair was sewn.  (The daughters in law sat up all night making the burial dress as burials took place very quickly in those days before mortuaries in small towns). Anyway, below is the front cover, which was actually done in color at one point, and then it is followed by the first two pages, which talk about the government chemist’s who put the stamp of approval on Dr. Price’s baking powder.  This must have been an early version of the FDA.  Anyway, I made a copy of the little book before it fell completely to pieces, and I am glad that I did.

001aThe well dressed woman in the forefront of the image is setting a family table and putting what looks like a tray of desserts in glass stemmed dishes on the dining room table.  If you look behind her to the right, you can see the door into the kitchen where a woman in an apron is kneading bread.

001I will be posting some of the recipes from this little book over the next several weeks.


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