Comments Off on Cookbooks | November 27, 2015

This section is focused on providing information on the cookbooks from which we have chosen recipes for this site. For more information about the historical context of the cookbook please click the link below with that book’s title:

Lydia Maria Child – The Frugal Housewife, Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy (1829)

Fernando & Marlene Divina – Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions (2004)


Hannah Keen’s Recipes – Philadelphia, PA (Ms. Codex 633)

Hannah Keen wrote her cookbook in the 1870s. She was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lived in a household shared by her brother and his wife along with quite a few other family members, which may have contributed to the need to develop a collaborative cookbook. Keen was involved in philanthropy through the Sisters of Charity group in Philadelphia.


Mary Mason’s Recipes – Baltimore, Maryland (Ms. Codex 797)

Mary Mason’s cookbook was developed by multiple people as it was passed along from 1800-1843. She and the other authors lived in or near Baltimore, Maryland and were all likely upper class. The Mason family line traces back to George Mason I, a founding father, who arrived in Norfolk, Virginia in 1652. The coastal geography leads to plenty of seafood recipes contained in this book, but there are southern recipes as well.



Ms. Paige’s Recipes – Charleston, SC (Ms. Coll 392)

The mysterious Ms. Paige compiled her cookbook near Charleston, South Carolina around the 1850s, but the contents could have originated from England a decade sooner. While Ms. Paige’s identity is uncertain, she was likely a British servant who acted as the primary cook for an affluent British immigrant family. Many of the meals appear to be extravagant five course dinners. A number of the ingredients mentioned are indigenous to Britain and there are French influences present in the book as well.

Mary Randolph – The Virginia Housewife Or, Methodical Cook (1824)

Amelia Simmons – American Cookery (1796)