A Practical Cook Book, Compiled From the Choicest Recipes of Many Good Housewives for St. Aloysius’ Church Fair, May, 1887

Washington, D.C. Rufus H. Darby, Printer & Publisher, 1887.

Small octavo (18.25 x 10.5 cm.), 70 pages. Advertisements. Cover title: A Friend in Need. Table of contents. Evident FIRST EDITION. A fair-related charitable cookbook with nearly two hundred recipes, many of them attributed, some quaintly (“An Old Housekeeper”; “An English Cook”). Includes several attributions tying A Practical Cook Book to a community whose memory of the War of Rebellion was still vivid, for instance: Lieut.-Com. [Thomas] Perry (page 21) and Surgeon-General [Joseph] Barnes (page 55). Warranting a look: Bedford Corn Bread, Okra Stew, Codfish and Cream, Salade de[s] Œufs Farcies, Chopped Lemon Pie, Conscience Meringue, Mount Vernon Cake, Olikoeks – and Canadian Milk Punch (made with Jamaican Rum; but note: “reaches perfection in two years”). ~ Some of the District’s most esteemed institutions are Jesuit (Georgetown University and Gonzaga College – named for the same Aloysius Gonzaga – spring immediately to mind). Administered by the Society of Jesus since its founding just before the Civil War, St. Aloysius played a valuable role by constructing and staffing a hospital north of the Church, in September 1862, just after the Second Battle of Bull Run, part of the fateful campaign that emboldened the Confederate Army. The offer, of course, prevented the Church from being requisitioned outright, but the service was critical nonetheless, and the hospital provided quartermasters barracks until after the War’s cessation. As for the fair of 1887, it may be supposed that the rectory built in that year may have inspired the parish’s “many good housewives” to come to the aid of “a friend in need.” ~ In 2012 Jesuits of the Maryland Province dissolved the parish of St. Aloysius, and its congregation merged with that of the Holy Redeemer Church several blocks away. ~ Front fly-leaf scored and chipped; rear endpapers stained and with child's scribble. Hinges separated but text block holding. In age-worn brown pebbled cloth, with blind-stamped title to front panel. Good only. Previous owner's inscription to front fly: “From Beall Ewing, Nov. ‘93”. Scarce. [OCLC locates two copies; Cook, page 49; in neither Brown nor Cagle].

Price: $350.00