A community cookbook compiled by the Bedford Garden Club, Bedford, New York. 1953. Later than most of the charitable cookbooks we deal with, but from an interesting –and highly affluent–town in Westchester County. Its first settlement is dated to 1680 and within twenty-five years it had become a bustling, full-fledged agriculture-based village.
Once the railroads arrived in in the mid-nineteenth century, Bedford proved an attraction for affluent families, and before long it reflected the change in demography with the establishment of cultural and public institutions, including the Bedford Garden Club (1911).
The club’s fund-raising book, with contributions by a host of prominent residents is, for its time, a fairly sophisticated collection. There are, to be sure, cole slaws, spaghetti sauces, and oatmeal cookies, but there may also be found a potage crecy from Mrs. Charles Pinkerton, a Russian fish pie from Mrs. Bayard S. Litchfield, a rich crème de menthe mousse from Mrs. H Bregy Van Cleve, and a compote de framboises offered by Mrs. L. Hollingsworth Wood. Most of the recipes are quite nice, although twenty-first century cooks may prefer from-scratch ingredients to some of the packaged food suggestions that turn up now and again.
This is a good looking comb-bound book with blue-green covers, somewhat worn around the edges but giving a good appearance. The comb is intact and the pages securely in place. The interior of the book is unmarked and clean, and an appealing feature is that every recipe carries the signature of its contributor. The copyright page states, “First Printing, 1953.”