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What is your oldest cookbook?

Do you cook from it?

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  1. There's a cookbook in NZ that I'd say 50% of houses have a copy of - The Edmonds Cookery Book. It's been put out by the company in some form or another since 1908. My current version is the 2008 centenary version, so the book itself is not that old, but it still has the same recipes in it as my Mother's 1955 version (plus updated 'modern' recipes).

    I tend to wheel it out when I want to make treats for the office that I can say have a NZ influence (I live in London now), but I don't tend to use it as a daily reference.

    So not that old in the grand scheme of things.

    1. The Settlement Cookbook. Came out around 1903 in NYC. I have the copy my grandmother got when she married in 1919. I still use it as a refernce from time to time. There have been many editions over the years, and my mother and aunts received them in the 1940s and my sister got one when she married in 1970.

      The cookbook was part of the instruction at a lower east side settlement house aimed at Eastern European Jewish immigrants. It had a definite German-Jewish slant to it (although it extensively deals with pork).

      4 Replies
      1. re: bagelman01

        I have my grandmother's copy, also an original. She purchased it when she emigrated to NYC, in the late 1920's. I cook several recipes from it. It's a treasure.

        1. re: nikkihwood

          I agree - it is awesome.

          I use it as a general reference and, I made my wedding challah from it (with her changes scribbled in the margins.)

          It's an incredible book.

        2. re: bagelman01

          I have a reproduction -- I love this book.

          1. re: bagelman01

            My Grandma gave my mom one in 1936 when she married my dad. Somehow it disappeared from her collection. I recently was able to purchase a 1936 edition in quite good condition. Made me very happy.

            I mostly use it for reference.

          2. My oldest cookbook is about 50 years old, and yes, I cook from it...Yankee Hill Country Cooking.

            This does not answer your question per se, but I often cook from recipe cards/notebooks (hand written) from the 1910's-1920's onward--my grandmothers' recipes jotted down after they came to America. My family weren't really "cookbook" people---I inherited all of my mom's and the whole collection is a half dozen books.

            1. Mum's Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium, dated 1954.

              No, I dont cook from it - the recipes are very old-fashioned and not at all what I want to eat, although young Harters no doubt did eat from it when it was brand new. There's lots of baking, much of it sweet pies and cakes - which makes sense as it was that year when sugar ceased to be rationed post war.

              1. Do you mean the cookbook itself or the recipes in it? I've got a copy of Archestratos cookbook, but the oldest printed cookbook is a 1900 copy of Mrs. Beetons.