Castelar Crèche Cook Book. Edited and Compiled by The Board of Directors for the Benefit of The Castelar Crèche, A Home for Homeless Babies.

Los Angeles: Times-Mirror Printing and Binding House, 1922.

Octavo (23 x 15 cm.), 296, [xl] pages. Index. Advertisements. An ambitious anthology of some one thousand recipes, all but a few attributed, directed at an audience familiar with canapes, caviar, and cheese from Neufchâtel-en-Bray. A number were sent in by well-known chefs, presumably on request – for instance, Apricots With Rice and Delice Joseph Relish , both from Joseph Boggia of The Plaza in New York. The family of Secundo Guasti, at the time the largest producer of wine in California, generously contributed entries for fish, gnocchi, and ravioli, among others. Not to be outdone, Mrs. Connell stood her own Onion Soup against that of the chef of the California Club. In much of the United States, homeless children were aided by little or no public policy assistance, to say nothing of legislation. Attempts to address child welfare increased in the 1920s, notably in the form of charities such as The Cradle in Chicago, founded in 1923, which facilitated adoptions in an effort to reduce the role of orphanages. The similarly named Crèche, which opened its doors in 1921 at 818 Castelar Street (mainly single-floor adobe houses in what was then Sonora Town), took a bold approach, endeavoring to board and provide healthcare for infants until such time as their families or nearest relatives acquired the means to bring them home. Doctors, administrators, and consulting staff donated services, and mothers paid only according to their ability. The purpose was two-fold: "Our object is to help these mothers to keep their children and not to abandon them, and not to have them become institutional babies", recorded the president of the Board of Directors, Mary Agnes (Mrs. Michael) Connell (1870-1922). Originally from Boston, and the wife of an Irish-born copper mining magnate, Mrs. Connell had earned admiration as a prodigious supporter of enlisted veterans services after World War I. The Crèche story includes a tragic note, however, as she was killed in an automobile accident within months of ushering the Cook Book to the printer. Castelar Street is now Hill Street in Old China Town, and the Crèche (shown in an engraving on page [8]) disappeared sometime after the commercial development of central Los Angeles began in 1938 (it is still listed in the Los Angeles City Directory for 1942). A bit of very light foxing, in publisher's light blue paper-covered cloth with black lettering and circular logo with an image of an infant. Edges of boards bumped and lightly soiled. Near very good. [OCLC locates twenty-four copies; Brown 136; Cagle 129].

Price: $90.00