Artichokes a I’Italienne from To The Queen’s Taste, 1937: One great recipe from a terrific 1930s cookbook.
Yes, we have the cookbook. See it here: To the Queen’s Taste
To the Queen’s Taste: A Cook Book for Moderns, 1937: Hilles was a novelist who wrote this cookbook in a witty, conversational style, with conventional and unconventional recipes and methods suitable for 1937’s “modern” woman, a woman who doesn’t have a housekeeper, maybe has a part-time cook, and definitely has a laundress who comes in on Mondays. (It is more than a decade later, but think of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.) To me, the highlight of this cookbook is the 49 page chapter with menus. Hilles makes up plausible scenarios as far as the guest, their numbers, the occasion, and whether or not they “dress” (get dressed up.) She then provides menus appropriate for these guests and the occasion. These are fun and funny. An example:
“Dinner for two for a man who is suddenly worried about his waistline and tells you firmly that he will not eat desserts and potatoes. You know, however, that this is a passing mood, that he loves rich things and that his temper suffers if he feels unfed. You compromise.” (I skimmed most of the book, but I didn’t find out who the Queen is.)
To the Queen’s Taste was published by Random House, New York, in 1937. It is a first edition, first printing copy. Hard cover with dust jacket. 306 pages. Dust jacket has lots of dings, and it is now safely encased in Mylar. The book itself is in as-if-new condition. Definitely gift quality.