Saturday, July 9, 2011

The New American Cook Book: Greatest of All References on the Art of Proper Feeding

Time for a new cook book! Yay!

This one is a real beauty. It is The New American Cook Book, published in 1942 by the American Publisher's Alliance.

Check out a closeup of the pretty, happy little homemaker on the front cover.

Also the tempting photo inside the front cover:

The lobster photo opposite the title page is somewhat less appetizing. Not to mention sideways.

The Introduction to the book reads (in part):
Good meals, attractively served, go a long way toward keeping the family together. Those with a tendency to stray will spend more time in homes where every meal is an event to look forward to. Fine family dinners, where exquisite aroma and savor bring a general feeling of content and good humor, provide exactly the right background for the younger members of the family who are at the age when they are seeking partners with whom to make new homes. And, when those homes are made, the new homemakers will naturally emulate, as far as possible, the finest things in the homes they left. It is unquestionably true that the manner of living of many persons today has been directly influenced by the well-prepared and properly served meals in the homes of ancestors, long forgotten. And, traveling with time in the other direction, it is highly probably that the lives of children, whose grandparents may be yet unborn, will be influenced by the meals being served in many homes today.

Thus the modern cook must learn about or take guidance upon The Art of Modern Feeding and Cooking; must know how to prepare food more than ever inviting, palatable, and beyond question conducive to health and efficiency.


There is pleasure and profit in the achievement of good cooking and right feeding. The pleasure comes in the form of the good-fellowship at table in the enjoyment of tasty food; the profit in the exuberance and energy manifested through normal or robust health; the escape from illness, with its cost of medical treatment; the enthusiasm of living, that results from proper feeding.

The cost of all this potential success and satisfaction in pursuance of one of the most important duties of life, need not exceed the employment of a few minutes a day in exploration of the contents of this greatest of all Cook Books.
I'm thinking about employing this technique myself some day. To heck with hubris. I'll call my first children's book "The Greatest of All Picture Books".

The cook book is modeled after a catechism, with each recipe numbered, and the sections divided by indented tabs:

I love the black line drawings that open each section, such as this one:

and this:

And particularly the three that follow.

This one looks more like a drawing from the 1920s or 1930s to me:

And this one is just plain funny. If only my cheese monger looked like these guys:

If only I HAD a cheese monger.

Stay tuned for recipes which can help you too master the Art of Proper Feeding.

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