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I pulled this 1878 edition of the Appledore Cook Book at an estate sale today. There were probably 400 cookbooks in the collection, and I skimmed off all of the old ones, probably 70 in total. Most of the cookbooks were from the 1930s to 1960s, with lots of book club editions that still have very nice dust jackets (Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, et al).
The Appledore Cook Book was by far the oldest of the bunch, a relic that immediately stood out, despite being relatively petite. The book shows its age, but it’s all there and the binding has held its own for almost 140 years.
The two or three blank pages in the book are filled with writing, mostly in fountain pen, featuring additional recipes (naturally). A couple newspaper recipes (one showing the date 1927) are also affixed in the book, along with several more whose glue had given out (but I’ve kept them in there on principle).
The Appledore Cook Book was author Maria Parloa’s very first work, and it’s probably the most interesting book I’ve found all year. A book this old has fallen into the public domain, and the full Appledore Cook Book can be found in PDF form here. But be warned, Victorian cookbooks are notoriously vague compared to our cookbooks of today.
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