Historical Cookbooks in the Study of American Religion
Keywords:cookbook, Victorian, recipe, 19th century, nineteenth century, domesticity
This study examines late Victorian era Protestant church community cookbooks as moral and cultural guides written by women for women (gendered texts), and examines the domestic roles and Christian practices of women in the years before and after the turn of the twentieth century. For this project I used a sample of eleven Protestant community cookbooks published from 1881 to 1913 to serve as case studies, illuminating the late Victorian period through the words and recipes of the women who wrote them. As domestic guides, the cookbooks employ paratexts, presenting recipes for food and life in broader terms. Artwork and advertisements from the texts offer additional information about the connections between gender, domesticity and religion during the era.
Bower, Anne, ed. 1997. Recipes for Reading: Community Cookbooks, Stories, Histories. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Cogan, Frances B. 1989. All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth- Century America. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Flint, Kate. 1993. The Woman Reader: 1837-1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frederick, John T. 1975. “Hawthorne’s ‘Scribbling Women.’” The New England Quarterly 48: 231–40.
Genette, Gérard. 1997. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Green, Harvey. 1983. The Light of the Home: An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America. New York: Pantheon.
Grubb, Alan. 1991. “House and Home in the Victorian South: The Cookbook as Guide.” In In Joy and in Sorrow: Women, Family and Marriage in the Victorian South 1830–1900, edited by Carol Bleser, 154–175. New York: Oxford University Press.
Langland, Elizabeth. 1992. “Nobody’s Angels: Domestic Ideology and Middle-Class Women in the Victorian Novel.” PMLA 107:290–304.
Longone, Janice Bluestein. 1997. “‘Tried Receipts’: An Overview of America’s Charitable Cookbooks.” In Recipes for Reading: Community Cookbooks, Stories, Histories, edited by Anne Bower, 17–28. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
McDannell, Colleen. 1994. The Christian Home in Victorian America, 1840-1900. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
McFeely, Mary Drake. 2000. Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?: American Women and the Kitchen in the Twentieth Century. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Theophano, Janet. 2003. Eat My Words: Reading Women’s Lives Through the Cookbooks They Wrote. New York: Palgrave McMillan.
Tonkovich, Nicole. 2010. Domesticity with a Difference: The Nonfiction of Catharine Beecher, Sarah J. Hale, Fanny Fern, Margaret Fuller. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Welter, Barbara. 1966. “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820–1860.” American Quarterly 18: 151–74.
“Victorianism.” Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Farmington, Mich.: Gale, 2000.
Ladies Aid Society of the Congregational Church, Howard City, Michigan. 1913. Twentieth Century Cook Book: A Feast of Good Things: A Careful Compilation of Tried and Approved Recipes. Angola, Indiana: Lillian V. Wyrick. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/b/JA11b006.pdf.
Ladies’ Aid Society of the Congregational Church, Ludington, Michigan. 1891. The Ludington Cook Book. Ludington, Michigan: The Democrat Book and Job Print. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/a/JA11a008.pdf
Ladies’ Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1887. The Jubilee Cook Book: A Collection of Tested Recipes. Ann Arbor: The Courier Steam Printing House. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/a/JA11a004.pdf.
Ladies of Pilgrim Congregational Church. 1901. The Pilgrim Cook Book, 2nd Ed. Lansing, Michigan. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/b/JA11b024.pdf .
Ladies of St. Luke’s Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan. 1906. New Crumbs of Comfort. Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo Publishing Co., Printers. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/b/JA11b004.pdf.
The Epworth League of the First M. E. Church of Barnesville, Ohio. 1907. Tried and Approved Recipes. Cincinnati: Monfort & Co.. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/digital_books/pdf/TX715.F56_1907.pdf.
Women of Grace Church, Ishpeming, Michigan. 1905. Superior Cook Book. Ishpeming, Michigan: The Peninsular Record Publishing Co., Ltd.. http://archive.lib.msu.edu/MMM/JA/11/b/JA11b003.pdf.