The Baptist Church Cook Book. Published by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Baptist Church, San Francisco, Cal.

San Francisco: Matthews, 1910.

Octavo (20.5 x 15.5 cm.), 165 pages. Advertisements (some illustrated). “Table of contents” is actually an index. Subtitle on cover: Containing 600 Recipes Tried and Proved. Illustration of the Church on the title page. ~ Evident first edition. A compact but generous church cookbook with six hundred attributed recipes, entirely addressed to an anglophone readership expecting fritters and puddings. Potential stand-outs among them: Cream of Onion Soup, Panned Oysters with Green Peppers, Mutton Turnover, Stewed Tripe, Chicken Alabama, Mushroom Patties, Fruit Fritters, Brussel Sprouts in White Sauce, Baked Beets, Graham Raisin Bread, Tomatoes Stuffed with Pineapple, Strawberry Cottage Pudding, Prune Souffle, Fluff Fluff Custard, Potato Cake, Walnut Wafers (four versions), Apple Chutney, Date Sandwiches, Pickled Figs. ~ A curious counterpoint emerges between the Anglo-European standard fare, on the one hand, and the prominence of the advertising for Chinese-American businesses on the other – for instance, the Sing Fat Company (a full-page notice trumpeting its “Famous Oriental Bazaar”), the Sing Chong Company (another general wholesaler), Kong Nam Low (“first class Chinese restaurant, clean and respectable”), and Quan Yick & Co. (green grocers). The explanation, as one might predict, has to do with First Baptist’s location at the city’s heart, just north of the Market Street bisector (on the corner of what is today Octavia Boulevard and Waller Street), within easy reach of the Mission District to the southwest as well as to the Financial District and China Town a few blocks northeast. ~ From the time of its founding in 1849, the congregation of First Baptist had grown into three churches when the last of them was lost in the devastion of 1906. Expenses would have been considerable, not only for the erection of new quarters but also for the purchase of a city lot during the effective redrawing of San Francisco’s map. The Ladies’ Aid instigated The Baptist Church Cook Book “to assist in furnishing the new church,” whose grandeur still impresses. The building was to be responsive to the dawning age, with a broad dome to shield its sanctuary, the architectural style a lightly assimilated art nouveau – tellingly echoed, in fact, in the book’s cover design. ~ In publisher’s fallow textured wrappers with black decoration. A bit of light staining, otherwise very good. Three pages with recipes handwritten in ink. Scarce. [OCLC locates three copies; in neither Cook, Brown, Glozer, nor Cagle].

Price: $500.00