Los Angeles: [The League]; Privately Printed, 1930.
Octavo (24 x 16 cm.), [viii], 215, [i] pages. Illustrated chapter heads. Advertisements. Cover title: Los Angeles Junior League Recipes. Editorial attribution from page . ~ Evident FIRST EDITION. One of the earliest documented Junior League community cookbooks in a tradition that would not be firmly established until two decades later. Unusual in the context of charitable books, too, in that an outside consultant oversaw the selection of accepted contributions (Charlotte Moody was a nutritionist and home economics instructor for the San Francisco public schools system). With seven hundred attributed recipes running the culinary gamut from pancakes to caviar; selected items of interest: Water Cress Soup, Cream of Artichoke Soup , Litchi Nut Salad, Celery Root Ring, Wild Rice, Baked Oranges, Kaldomar, Polpetti, Apple Rings, Creamed Chestnuts, Zucchini with Dill, Chili con Queso, Frijoles, Spinach Fritatta, Blueberry Pudding, Grape Juice Souffle, Marshmallow Gingerbread, Zabaione, Peppermint Sherbet, Almond Cake, Pappets, Cinnamon Coffee Bread, Red Pepper Jam, Brandy Snaps. ~ Junior Leagues began as charitable women’s associations in support of Settlement Movement work at the dawn of the last century. At the core of their success was a dynamic training leadership program that educated and empowered volunteers. News of the first Junior League’s successes in New York City inspired others, and by 1921 a group of thirty such urban Leagues formed to provide mutual support under the banner of a national organization. In 1912 a League formed in Montreal; in 1926 another was established in Toronto; and in 1930, when the Los Angeles Junior League Recipe Book appeared, a League had formed in Mexico City, and the Association of Junior Leagues International had more than one hundred constituent organizations in North America. Mirroring Toronto, the Los Angeles League also formed in 1926. Its cookbook may well be the first of its kind, although caution is in order until dates can be established for compilations issued by the Leagues of Dallas, Santa Barbara, and perhaps others yet unknown. More than two hundred books are known in all, but surveys of them usually claim that the tradition originated in 1940, the year League fundraising cookbooks appeared in Augusta (Georgia) and Omaha. Los Angeles revises the timeline, at least, and if it is not the first, it is surely one of the earliest. ~ In 1930 the principal recipient of the Los Angeles Junior League’s charitable outreach was the Home for Convalescent Children at 1923 Ingraham Street – in fact the prior name of the charity, founded in 1925, had been The Convalescent Children’s League. A few years hence, however, the League would donate the Home to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, and turn its attention to children’s theater, producing and publishing a series called Junior League Plays – which diversion may account for the absence of further editions of the Junior League Recipe Book. ~ A striking aspect of this book is the striking yet uncredited Art Deco design of both chapter layout and covers. In publisher’s cream cloth, titled in black. Some rubbing to edges and boards; a bit of sun fading to spine; otherwise very good. [OCLC locates fourteen copies].