One of the major figures of cooking in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sarah Tyson Rorer (1849-1937) was instrumental in the development of domestic science in America. She began to teach cooking while still in her thirties and went on to establish the Philadelphia Cooking School. She travelled extensively around the country, drawing huge crowds for her Chatauqua lectures and her classes. In 1904 she conducted a number of immensely popular cooking demonstrations at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Also active in the magazine world, she wrote regular columns and served for many years as food editor at the Ladies’ Home Journal, later occupying a similar post at Good Housekeeping. Above all, however, she was a prolific producer of cookbooks, many of them dealing with single subjects such as oysters or chafing dish cookery.
Chafing dish cookery was as popular in its time as fondue and grilling became in theirs. Dozens of titles on this tableside method of preparation were published, and the boundlessly energetic Mrs. Rorer of Philadelphia added her work to the cookbook shelf. The original edition of How to Use a Chafing Dish was published in 1894 as part of a series of small special-subject books. This is a 1903 revised edition, substantially expanded. From a simple welsh rarebit or calf’s liver with bacon to fricassee of dried beef and terrapin Maryland style, this collection of 47 recipes reveals much about both food and lifestyle in late Victorian America. The 3”x5” hardcover is bound in dark green cloth and stamped in silver on the front cover.
The copy on offer is superior. Its interior, clean and unmarked and printed on high-quality paper, has a never-used look. The binding is strong and tight and the case is very well preserved, showing only slight rubbing and a bit of softening at the head and foot of the spine. Over-all, Very Good.