Penn Library

HOUSEHOLD WORDS: Women Write from and for the Kitchen

Image from:
The Skillful Housewife's Book;
or Complete Guide to Domestic Cookery Taste, Comfort and Economy

by Mrs. L. G. Abell (copyright to R. T. Young)
New York: O. Judd, c1852


One of the ways in which women converted printed cookery books into a facsimile of manuscript receipt books was by clipping and pasting recipes from other sources to the front and back covers. Often straight pins were used to affix a recipe to a page. At times, the holdings were kept according to category or type of food in the fashion of the day. At other times, placements of these appended recipes appeared to be random; however, they reflect, in some measure, the organization of a woman's work. Marginal commentary or bolder strikings in the text itself indicate the women's editorial changes as they rendered books their own.

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