Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cook Book, 1961, First Edition, First Printing with Thumb Index



Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cook Book, 1961: Comprehensive cookbook written by the daughter/granddaughter of one of the richest men in America, a woman who grew up with servants, cooks and housekeepers. In her early teens she was sent to the Institute Heubi in Lausanne, Switzerland. Interestingly, first she published an etiquette book, Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, in 1952. Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cook Book was published in 1961 by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York. Hard cover with dust jacket. 811 pages. This cookbook is a first edition, first printing copy. The dust jacket has issues. The book is in mint condition. One of the best things about this cookbook is the incredibly detailed table of contents.  But the actual best thing is the thumb index–little cutout semi-circles with gold paper labels saying, “Desserts” or “Soups” or “Menus.”

The most interesting odd fact about this cookbook is that Andy Warhol did the illustrations. They are just quirky little drawings, but now you know where he got the idea for the soup can stuff.

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At we try to provide you with your mother’s cookbook! I know lots of current recipe bloggers write proudly that their recipes are “not from your mother’s cookbook.” We think the recipes in your mother’s cookbook provided food that was nutritious and warm and colorful and just plain yummy! We know that just looking at the cover of your mother’s Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book makes you feel good. Holding her Betty Crocker Cookbook, or her Better Homes and Gardens, or Good Housekeeping Cookbook in your hands is better than nostalgic. And cooking some of those dishes for your children will pass on a great tradition.

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