Sunday, 21 October 2012

American Cookery

American Cookery
American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection
Amelia Simmons

Hardcover, 113 pages

Okay - you know I love to share new and wonderful cookbooks with you - almost as soon as they hit the shelves. But how about an ancient cookbook? Okay, as ancient as America gets, originally published just 20 years after the American Revolution of 1776.

Until then all available cookbooks in the new America were British. Amelia Simmons, a simple but bright woman who describes herself as "an American Orphan", was likely a domestic servant and a "good plain cook".

What we are treated to in American Cookery is the first batch of recipes that are truly American in their adaptation to the foods and attitudes of the new colonials.

According to the Historic American Cookbook Project of Michigan State University, "The importance of this work cannot be overestimated. Its initial publication was, in its own way, a second Declaration of American Independence."

In the small volume you will find the facsimile of the original pages on the the right hand page, with an up-to-date interpretation of some of the wording and ingredients on the left.

The book is a treasure and an important part of American history, and was named by the Library of Congress as one of the 88 "Books That Shaped America".