Antique Recipes

Cooking and Castle Building, 1880: Yeast

Cooking and Castle Building:  Yeast.  I must confess, I didn’t have a clue about yeast.  That is, I had no idea where it came from.  Do you?  Here, from Emma P. Ewing’s 1880, 1890 cookbook-as-novel, Cooking and Castle Building, is a yeast recipe!

Cooking and Castle Building, 1890, Emma P. Ewing

Yeast Recipe from Cooking and Castle Building, 1890

Yes, of course we have the cookbook!  You can see it here:

Cooking and Castle Building, 1890:  I’ve found references to Cooking and Castle Building, by Emma P. Ewing, as having been published in 1880 by James E. Osgood & Co., Boston, and in 1883 by Fairbanks, Palmer & Co., Chicago.  As you can see from the title page here, this copy was printed in 1890 and no publisher is listed.  Only Emma P. Ewing is listed as copyright holder.  Purdue University holds Ewing’s papers, and she was teaching there in 1890.  Perhaps she had the book privately re-printed by the university press?

In any case, this is a fascinating book.  Written as a novel, the entire book is a conversation between two women and one of their daughters.  And the conversation is all about writing the perfect cookbook.  The proposed cookbook writer, Kate, spends a summer talking to the other women about the proper way to cook, for example, corn muffins.  And, Kate teaches the younger woman, Alice, to cook.  The result of the conversations is a novel filled with detailed recipes and discussions of cooking techniques, along with philosophical discussions about proper housekeeping and family life.  The first recipe is for yeast, making it from dried hops!

This book is as close to as-if-new condition as any antique cookbook I’ve had in the store.  The cover is nearly perfect, with just mildly bumped corners and some minor shelf wear at the top of the spine.   The cover boards are in good condition. The pages are spotless, the binding is in excellent condition. Both hinges are perfect.   211 pages plus index of recipes.  (These are not good scans.  The scanner is acting up.)

See information about Emma P. Ewing’s papers at Purdue, here: