The First Cookbook in TexasThe Texas Cook Book. A Thorough Treatise on the Art of Cookery. Edited by the Ladies' Association of the First Presbyterian Church. Houston, 1883. First edition. 8vo, 186 pages. Blank leaves follow each section for owner's notes or additional recipes. Pencil notations are found throughout and contain additional recipes (including those for homemade wine and beer) by a previous owner as well as poems, song lyrics, and medicinal concoctions such as a "sure cure for dropsy," a hair tonic, "for burns by coal oil or by other things besides fire," et al. Period ads in rear and on endpapers.
Publisher's binding is heavily worn with the cloth detaching from the boards. The textblock has become detached from the covers. Evidence of burning on the first six leaves of the book affecting the title page, preface, and pages containing a "List of Contributors." Pages 65-66 detached. Front free endpaper is missing and the front fly leaf, title page, and rear fly leaves are heavily damaged along the right edge. Evidence of waterstaining and soiling is found on most of the pages. Spots of foxing scattered throughout. This copy of The Texas Cook Book has been estimated based on the condition.
From the Southwestern Historical Quarterly: "The first such work published in Texas, the remarkable book also reveals Houston during the first two of the three decades [of Reconstruction]." In the section of "miscellaneous receipts" toward the back, there are instructions on making your own cough syrup out of licorice balls, honey, and twenty grains of opium.
Reference: Southwest Historic Quarterly, Vol. 71, p. 228.
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