A community cookbook “compiled by the Woman’s Club of Westport” in 1943. This cookbook from what was one of the most affluent communities in America, carries the subtitle, “A collection of recipes from Connecticut kitchens, equally adapted for wartime and peacetime.”
Assembled at a low point in the national effort to stem Fascism, it notes in its introduction that “the food we are relinquishing to build the strength of our army, our navy, and our Allies is the bread of survival.” A sturdy compilation, with recipes contributed by the rich and the powerful and illustrated by some of the many artists who lived and worked in Westport, it was published, apparently, without the need for any advertising.
The recipes range from austere to lavish but are identifiably American and mostly down to earth. Not many community cookbooks were published during World War II, and this example clearly displays the resolve to maintain the good life, even in a nation under great stress.
The book is clean and strong, set in a typewriter face but lightened in appearance by the ample drawings contributed by the “guest artists,” ranging from Helen Hokinson, well-known for her many New Yorker covers, to Harold Gray, the creator of Little Orphan Annie. The book was originally bound in two sections, each with its own meal spiral, and then joined. That design caused many binding failures, which sometimes left the volume unusable. In this case it was rebound as a hardcover, with the original cover panel laid on the front, making a quite attractive package. All in all, a Very Good copy.