About Cookbook Maven

Collector-quality vintage cookbooks, Betty Crocker cookbooks, Pet Milk cookbooks, advertising cookbooks, appliance cookbooks, baking cookbooks, food advertising ephemera and other vintage goodies. Yup, we LOVE vintage cookbooks, the men and women who created them and the fascinating stories they tell! Old cookery books are about more than food – for generations, women relied on them for advice on how to run their households, care for sick babies, please their husbands, get their clothes cleaner, and squeeze more meals out of a pound of meat. Sometimes the books seemed to come alive, providing comfort during times of war and economic hardship, such as when Betty Crocker proclaimed “Hail to the women of America!” in a pep talk about stretching wartime food rations in her 1943 “Your Share” cookbook. Whether you crave the social commentary, retro advertising images  or the homey comfort foods, The Cookbook Maven has a vintage cookbook to satisfy your appetite!

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2 Responses to About Cookbook Maven

  1. Hi there, I am a culinary historian (focused on early 19th century Southern slave cooks) but as part of another strand of research I’m looking for late 19th and early 20th century cookbooks in which the narrative is written in ‘black’ dialect; usually in the voice of the faithful black cook teaches the white mistress how to cook. Of course these books were written by elite white southern women. I have a few examples in my collection but am always interested in finding more. I’m writing a history of this kind of culinary authorship. Any help welcome. You can visit me at my site http://www.indigohousehistory.com
    Thank you,

    • Hi Leni, Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m familiar with the kind of cookbooks you’re looking for – the example I’ve sold in the past (and which you probably already have) is the Southern Cook Book (of Fine Old Dixie Recipes) published by the Culinary Arts Institute. The original was published in the 1930s, but there have been many reprints. The “slave dialect” and stereotypes are pretty over the top, but collectors seem to go nuts for this one, especially if it’s in the original dust jacket or special wooden cover. I’ve sold so a few copies and gave one to a friend who collects Black Americana. Other than that one, I can’t think of any titles off the top of my head, but I’m sure a search of eBay will turn up others now and then. Following your blog via Networked Blogs!

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