Cooking in America, 1840-1945

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$38.70
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.62
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $2.62   
  • New (3) from $3.08   
  • Used (9) from $2.62   

Overview

This cookbook covers the years 1840 through 1945, a time during which American cookery underwent a full-scale revolution. Gas and electric stoves replaced hearth cookery. Milk products came from commercial dairy farms rather than the family cow. Daily meals were no longer bound by seasons and regions, as canned, bottled, and eventually frozen products flooded the market and trains began to transport produce and meat from one end of the country to the other. During two World Wars and the Great Depression women entered the work force in unprecedented numbers and household servants abandoned low-paying domestic jobs to work in factories. As a result of these monumental changes, American home cooking became irrevocably simplified and cookery skills geared more toward juggling time to comb grocery store shelves for the best and most economical products than toward butchering and preserving an entire animal carcass or pickling fruits and vegetables.

This cookbook reflects these changes, with each of the three chapters capturing the home cooking that typified the era. The first chapter covers the pre-industrial period 1840 to 1875; during this time, home cooks knew how to broil, roast, grill, fry, and boil on an open hearth flame and its embers without getting severely injured. They also handled whole sheep carcasses, made gelatin from boiled pigs trotters, grew their own yeast, and prepared their own preserves. The second chapter covers 1876 through 1910, a time when rapid urbanization transformed the United States from an agrarian society into an industrial giant, giving rise to food corporations such as Armour, Swift, Campbell's, Heinz, and Pillsbury. The mass production and mass marketing of commercial foods began to transform home cooking; meat could be purchased from a local butcher or grocery store and commercial gelatin became widely available. While many cooks still made their own pickles and preserves, commercial varieties multiplied. From 1910 to 1945, the period covered by Chapter 3, the home cook became a full-fledged consumer and the national food supply became standardized to a large extent. As the industrialization of the American food supply progressed, commercially produced breads, pastries, sauces, pickles, and preserves began to take over kitchen cupboards and undermine the home cooks' ability to produce their own meals from scratch. The recipes have been culled from some of the most popular commercial and community cookbooks of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taken together, the more than 300 recipes reflect the major cookbook trends of the era. Suggested menus are provided for replicating entire meals.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an engaging and useful resource for students from middle school through college. School, public, and academic libraries will want to consider it."

-

American Reference Books Annual

"In this fascinating book, McLean examines cookbooks as a primary source, showing the enormous changes that occurred on the tables of Americans from the preindustrial period to the onset of World War II. Divided into three chronological sections, the book kicks off with a brief overview of the cooking and preservation methods, major foodstuffs, cooking equipment, cultural influences, and dining customs of the time. The first section includes recipes from three early American cookbooks; the second section demonstrates the rise in popularity of community cookbooks and includes recipes from the first known cookbooks written by an African American and a Hispanic; and the third section shows the rise of male-authored cookbooks and reflects the changes in cooking habits as a result of two world wars and the Great Depression. Each section also includes popular recipes-over 300 in all-taken from cookbooks of the time, ladies' magazines, newspapers, and family collections. The majority of recipes found in this perusable book, including peach ice cream, baked crab, and corn relish, can be made today, although only the most adventurous cooks might try the recipes for squirrel, squab, possum, and pickled pigs' ears. Recommended for the circulating collections of academic and large public libraries."

-

Library Journal

"This interesting collection of old recipes, sample meals, and food trends and tips for the 100-year period from 1840 to 1945 offers insight into life and constraints placed by food--its availability, its preservation, and its processing. How the changes in equipment for food and the marketing of food affected cookery and everyday life is chronicled in this well-researched book. McLean discusses how gas and electric stoves replaced hearth cookery; how changes from local dairy sources of milk products to commercial farms changed foodways; and how canning, bottling, and eventually freezing would alter food preparation forever. The book also comments on how home cooks' duties changed--from processing whole animal carcasses, growing their own yeast, and making gelatin from hooves, to preparing their own preserves. A book useful to food historians, cooks, and others studying family life patterns during this period. Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates; faculty and researchers; professionals; two-year technical program students."

-

Choice

Library Journal
In this fascinating book, McLean (honors postdoctoral fellow at Sweet Briar Coll.) examines cookbooks as a primary source, showing the enormous changes that occurred on the tables of Americans from the preindustrial period to the onset of World War II. Divided into three chronological sections, the book kicks off with a brief overview of the cooking and preservation methods, major foodstuffs, cooking equipment, cultural influences, and dining customs of the time. The first section includes recipes from three early American cookbooks; the second section demonstrates the rise in popularity of community cookbooks and includes recipes from the first known cookbooks written by an African American and a Hispanic; and the third section shows the rise of male-authored cookbooks and reflects the changes in cooking habits as a result of two world wars and the Great Depression. Each section also includes popular recipes—over 300 in all—taken from cookbooks of the time, ladies' magazines, newspapers, and family collections.
—Pauline Baughman
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
These well-organized titles provide historical overviews, discussing changes in recipes brought about by changes in ways of life, e.g., agrarian to industrialized economy, the Depression, and limitation of ingredients due to wars. Both books include commentary and recipes. However, neither book states amounts of ingredients, the exception being the third chapter in America, but, even then, not all of the recipes include measurements. Many of the recipes make large batches of a particular dish without stating the number of servings. Text boxes range from "14th-Century Advice to a Young Bride" (Europe ) to "To Dress a Chicken" (America ), and glossaries explain terms not commonly in use today. The black-and-white illustrations of equipment and foods are excellent. Back matter includes extensive bibliographies of cookbooks and good indexes. The series foreword states that the recipes are meant to appeal to "novice" cooks. However, only very experienced or adventurous cooks would try to re-create these dishes.
—Marilyn FairbanksCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

ALICE L. McLEAN is Honors Postdoctoral Fellow at Sweet Briar College.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)