Autographs for the Dinner Table. Collected and arranged by The Home Beautiful of Central Baptist Church, Hartford, Conn.

Hartford, Conn. The Church, [1928].

Small octavo (20.25 x 12.75 cm.), [iv], 60 pages. Advertisements. "Index" is a table of contents. Includes blank pages. FIRST EDITION. Two hundred seventy-five brief attributed recipes, some of them evidently solicited from households of public officials (among them an ambassador in Paris, the wives of sitting governors in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington, and the President-General of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution). A recipe for Cinnamon Buns ought to be noted for its pedigree in "Mrs. Pike's family since early Colonial days." It was Mrs. Pike, too, who contributed a State of Maine Johnny Cake and Maine State Baked Beans. Fried Beets "must be watched, as they burn quHartford 1928xickly." Alexandra Parfait Ice, appearing under the name of Ambassador Myron Herrick, is given "as prepared by the chef at [the] American Embassy in France.” There was once a fashion for nostalgic projects called "The Home [or House] Beautiful" involving the transformation of a hall or other fellowship space into a replica of a sitting room from Colonial times. The foreword to Autographs for the Dinner Table is signed "E. W. C. Class"–the conjecture here is that the letters stand for Esther Woman's Circle"–who assure readers that the "proceeds from the sale of this book" will go to support efforts "that we might have The Home Beautiful." The date of publication is derived, on one hand, from a handwritten recipe reproduced in facsimile (page [ii]) dated December 5, 1927 and, on the other hand, from the presumption that two of the submissions from governor's wives (Mrs. Ralph Brewster of Maine, page 26) and Mrs. Edward Jackson of Indiana, page 46), would not have been signed as they were after January 2, 1929, when their husbands left office. Central Baptist traces its Hartford lineage to 1790. The imposing modern edifice on Maine Street, with its six signature pillars, would have been new, having been completed in 1926. The gift presentation is to Audrey (Smith) Casstevens (b. 1933), the wife of Reverend Robert Clifton Casstevens (1934-2000), who served at Central Baptist in the 1960s, and later as president of American Baptist Churches of Connecticut. In stapled, textured and brown-lettered, tan wrappers with image of a cottage and garden; brown oilcloth tape to spine. Near fine. Gift inscription in ink on front flyleaf, "Mrs. Robert Casstevens, Greetings and Best Wishes from E. W. C. Class at Central, 1963". Unrecorded. [OCLC reports no copies; not in Brown or Cagle].

Price: $200.00