A community cookbook “prepared by the Ladies of the Presbyterian Church, Afton, N.Y.” n.d. [ca. 1895-1899.] This is a novel collection of recipes, introduced with twenty-odd pages of verse written by the church ladies—poems recounting what each of them had done to earn a dollar that they contributed to help meet the needs of the congregation. It might be fairly observed that their recipes—an assortment of good sturdy dishes for the family—far exceeded their poetic skills.
We see here codfish balls, stuffed cabbage, baked beans, veal croquettes, succotash, caramel cake, currant pie. The recipes are brief and highly condensed, sometimes consisting merely of a list of ingredients and perhaps a single instruction, such as “Mix” or “Boil Vigorously.”
The book is softcover, with a gray paper cover wrapped around sewn signatures. It contains many advertisements, some illustrated with engravings and nearly all of them typographically exuberant.
This copy is clean and well bound. The cover is minimally soiled and over-all good looking. It was, however, printed on an inferior stock, which has unfortunately grown brittle, leading to loss of the upper and lower corners of the front, creasing along the back (archivally repaired to prevent further cracking) and loss of the top inch and bottom half-inch of the spine. The basic soundness of the binding is not affected, and the volume may be safely browsed. We grade it as Very Good-minus.