YOUR BOOK-STACK, on the counter . . .
Aunt Babette [pseud. of Bertha F. Kramer]. "Aunt Babette's" cook book. Foreign and domestic receipts for the household. Cincinnati: Bloch Pub. & Print. Co., (copyright 1889, but printed after 1893 and long beofre 1901). 8vo (19.3 cm, 7.59"). , xxvi, –11, , 13–105, , 107–11, , 113–33, , 135–57, , 159–85, , 187–213, , 215–39, , 241–337, , 339–43, , 345–63, , 365–419, , 421–73, , 475–89, , 491–99, , 501–505, , 507–20, , –38, [2 (adv.)] pp. $250.00
One of the earliest Jewish-American cookbooks, printed by the oldest Jewish publishing company in the country. The target audience was culturally assimilated German-American Reform Jews (the publisher's sister was married to one of the most eminent rabbis of the Reform movement) who were not at all strict about kashrut, with the recipes in this cookbook incorporating oysters, lobster, shrimp, and crabs as well as rabbit — even ham. While Kramer had in earlier printings been explicit about her more philosophical than literal approach to keeping kosher, this edition mostly glosses over the issue, with lines such as "nothing is 'Trefa' that is healthy and clean" having been edited out of the text.
Despite the above, this cookbook proudly displays a Jewish star on the title-page and includes classics like potato pancakes, brisket, and tongue; the section called "Easter Dishes" is subtitled "How to set the table for the service of the 'Sedar' on the eve of Pesach or Passover," and offers recipes for matzo kugel, raisin wine, and macaroons. Many of the dishes have German titles and show clear Ashkenazic roots.
This bestselling, oft-reprinted cookbook appears here in a revised and enlarged edition, following the first of 1889. The present undated 14th edition must have been printed between 1893 (when the 9th edition appeared) and 1901 (when the company moved to New York). Blank leaves have been provided between sections for cooks to record their own notes. Towards the back of the volume, Kramer's Aunt Babette's" Home Confectionery (first published in 1893) has been appended. Two pages of publisher's advertisements close out the work, the first being for "Bridal Bibles" to carry instead of a bouquet; in very small print at the bottom of the page it notes that this daintily bound bible is "a special edition of 'the thora.'"
Bitting, 265 (for earlier eds.). Not in Cagle & Stafford. Much later plain brown cloth with printed paper spine label; binding slightly cocked, otherwise clean and virtually unworn. Title-page with small paper adhesion to front fly-leaf, affecting a few letters of title. Pages faintly age-toned with occasional small edge chips or short edge tears, not touching text; some corners dog-eared. Two pages with offsetting from small laid-in newspaper recipe clipping; scattered spots of staining, particularly in the dessert section. => Now uncommon in any edition, this cookbook offers intriguing documentation of the changing nature of American Jewish culture and cuisine at the turn of the century. (40912) Please RESHELVE This.
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