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Published in 1846 in New York, Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book was written by Catharine Esther Beecher, one of the most influential women writers and social activists of her time. This best-selling cookbook had over 25 printings, and it included detailed recipes that were created to make life easier and improved for the average housewife, simultaneously celebrating women’s work as an art form. The “original” recipes have all been tested by respected housewives and include directions for royal crumpets, sassafras jelly, rice griddle cakes, codfish relish, mutton hash, and mock turtle soup, as well as practical advice for setting the table, butchering a pig, handling the issue of alcohol in the home, and basting techniques. Throughout the book, Beecher emphasizes that a variety of healthy, nutritious foods should be provided for optimal family well-being. With the original receipts and useful and practical information provided in Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book, it is no surprise that Beecher became one of the most influential writers and social activists of her time. She continues to be studied and valued today.

This edition of Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.

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