YOUR BOOK-STACK, on the counter . . .
Compton, Margaret [pseud. of Mrs. Amelia Williams Harrison], ed. Grand Union cook book. Brooklyn, NY: Grand Union Tea Co., 1902. 8vo (19.6 cm, 7.71"). Frontis., 322 pp.; 4 plts., illus. $25.00
First edition: A celebrated early–20th century cookbook from a company that proudly proclaimed "You See Our Wagons Everywhere." The Grand Union Tea Company was founded in 1872 in Scranton, PA, and eventually morphed into a chain of grocery stores that survived until 2012; here, they sponsor "reliable recipes for hundreds of tempting dishes." These recipes for the most part embody straightforward American home cookery as it stood at the time — but do reflect a certain level of New York cosmopolitan influence, with items ranging from vegetable soup ("the staple soup in American households") to onion and tomato tortilla, kedgeree (and the classic mulligatawny, along with other Indian-derived dishes featuring curry and tamarind), Italian macaroni dishes, and kromeskies. A French fry–like preparation dubbed "Boston chips" includes the variant "Saratoga chips," better known as potato chips, and coleslaw is present under the title "cold-slaw"; in addition, the "Fulton Market style" clam chowder recipe marks an early example of tomato-based clam chowder in print.
All recipes are given in paragraph form, without specific quantities, cooking times, or temperatures provided; a few are attributed to other cookbooks or to periodicals including the Philadelphia Ledger, New York Sun, and Washington Star.
The recipes are illustrated with a frontispiece and four photographic plates, plus in-text trussing diagrams and a depiction of a willow pattern dish. Following the recipes are sections of household tips, laundry instructions, and miscellanea including histories of coffee and tea, and a paragraph attributing the invention of ice cream to "a negro by the name of Jackson [who] in the early part of the present century kept a small confectionary store" (p. 291); the volume closes with a series of Grand Union Tea Company advertisements interspersed with the index, and a list of Grand Union stores.
This is the first edition of the Compton-edited cookbook, following a Grand Union–branded version of Jane Warren's Young Wife's Own Cook Book issued under the Grand Union Cook Book title.
Bitting, 96; Brown, Culinary Americana, 2573. Not in Cagle & Stafford. Publisher's pebbled cream-colored cloth, spine with black-stamped title and front cover pictorially stamped in black and red; cloth soiled and stained, spine cracked but holding, hinges (inside) cracked. Front free endpaper with early pencilled inscription ("Audrey"); back free endpaper lacking; frontispiece with a bit of caption pulled away and adhered to title-page. Pages browned due to the nature of the paper, with occasional edge chips of varying sizes and a few short edge tears not touching text. Interestingly, while the binding's condition suggests hard kitchen use, the interior is clean and unmarked. (40900) Please RESHELVE This.
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