The Presidential Cook Book: Adapted from the White House Cook Book, Later Reprint, 1910

Presidential Cook Book: Adapted from the White House Cook Book. Akron, Ohio: The Saalfield Publishing Company, 1910. Later Reprint. Original Boards, housed in matching slipcase.

Presented is a later edition of the Presidential Cook Book: Adapted from the White House Cook Book. This edition was first published by the Saalfield Publishing Company in 1901 and before that, by the Werner Company in 1895 out of New York and Chicago simultaneously. Retaining its original decorative boards, this edition was printed in 1910. This book is adapted from the original White House Cook Book, fully entitled: White House Cook Book: A Selection of Choice Recipes Original and Selected During a Period of Forty Years’ Practical Housekeeping. By F.L. Gillette. As stated in the publisher’s preface, this newly revised version was produced as a condensed and more affordable option for the public.

This fascinating cookbook, originally written by F. L. Gillette after her many years spent cooking in the White House is not only a wonderful insight into 19th century cuisine but is still useful today. The instructional cookbook is divided into numerous sections including Poultry and Game, Soups, Breads, Cakes, and much more. Written during a time of relative peace in the country and a thriving railroad industry, the quality and variety of cuisine improved greatly from the 18th century. Gillette wrote her cookbook during the Cleveland administration and a depiction of Frances Cleveland is still displayed opposite the title page. Despite the origin of the publication, many of the recipes are traced back to several former First Ladies. Each recipe has a bolded title just above a brief paragraph instructing the reader on how to prepare the dish. Familiar recipes such as “Maccaroni and Cheese,” “Puff-Ball Doughnuts,” and “Cold Slaw” can be found throughout the book while other recipes may not seem so common today. For example, Gillette includes recipes for “Green Turtle Soup,” “Scrapple,” and “Raisin Wine.”

Towards the end of the Presidential Cook Book, one will find various housekeeping tips and “For the Sick.” Such facts include helpful information on serving dinners, proper table etiquette, and treatments for coughs, fevers, and teething infants. This book was meant to be not just an instructional cookbook, but also an insight into how the 19th century Americans ate, hosted, maintained a household, and cured common illnesses.

CONDITION:

Overall good condition. Internally, the pages are toned as expected with age. Marbled edges are mildly faded. Otherwise, no notable damage to the pages. The original boards feature decorative images of a chef and a turkey embossed in green. The boards are worn along the edges with some chips. The book is housed in a protective, matching archival slipcase featuring an image of the cover.

Dimensions (with slipcase): 9” H x 6 ⅝” W x 2” D




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