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A Society of Gentlemen in New-York [Alsop, Richard]. The universal receipt book, or, complete family directory; being a repository of useful knowledge in the several branches of domestic economy; containing scarce, curious, and valuable receipts, and choice secrets. New York: I. Riley (Pr. by Van Winkle & Wiley), 1814. 12mo (17.3 cm, 6.8"). , 284 pp. $300.00
First edition. Generally attributed to the poet, translator, satirist, and "Hartford wit" Richard Alsop, who allegedly solicited the recipes from the gentlemen of his New York City club, this all-encompassing volume offers a remarkable jumble of recipes or preparation instructions for bologna sausage, a cure for jaundice, varnish for drawings, catsup "which will keep good more than twenty years," usquebaugh "as made at Paris," a method for giving "a beautiful brown colour to gun barrels," broiling beef steaks, a remedy for the staggers in horses, "delicate little Caraway Puddings," "the true Daffy's Elixir," and pink pancakes (made with beetroot), not to mention a variety of inks, salves, dentrifices, dyes, wines, beers, gins, etc., etc., etc.
Also here, for those interested in the history of tomato usage, is the => first known tomato sauce recipe published by an American (Alsop was born in Middletown, CT): "Tomato, or Love Apple Sauce" (p. 45). Likewise of interest is the "Art of manufacturing genuine Chocolate" from raw cocoa nuts (p. 68), although, somewhat surprisingly, nothing related to coffee or tea is to be found in the volume.
Bitting, p. 612; Cagle & Stafford 770; Lowenstein 66; Shaw & Shoemaker 33515. See also Smith, The Tomato in America, p. 178. Contemporary mottled sheep, spine with gilt-ruled bands; sprung and much rubbed, front joint reinforced inside and out long ago, spine chipped and cracked with loss of leather at head. Free endpapers excised. Front pastedown with upside-down affixed color-printed "Cologne" promotional image and early inked inscription of Thomas Brown; back pastedown with pencilled ownership inscription. Pages age-toned and waterstained, with sewing loosening and some leaves creased or corners dog-eared; last few leaves of index tattered and final index leaf with loss from inner margin taking several words. Worn, but a reasonably sturdy survivor, and => jam-packed with delightful content. (38443) Please RESHELVE This.
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