Good Things To Eat. By the Ladies of the Congregational Church, Portland, Conn.

[Portland, Conn. The Church, circa 1910].

Octavo (23 x 15.5 cm.), 32 pages. Title from cover. Date of publication undetermined. Includes blank pages. Evident FIRST EDITION. A compact church cookbook, approaching two hundred brief recipes, all of them attributed; containing almost entirely baked goods, puddings, pies, and preserves. Commonplaces, to be sure, but also: Squash Biscuits, Green Tomato Pie, Huckleberry Pudding, Poached Apples, and two versions of Pear Chips (with crystallized ginger). ~ Portland, Connecticut, to whose quarries the brownstones of New York owe their existence, lies opposite the Connecticut River from Middletown, in Middlesex County. Its earliest Ecclesiastical Society (as the Congregationalists incorporated themselves in the early 1800s) encompassed nearby Chatham, East Hampton, until 1843, when the parish’s name was formally changed to First Ecclesiastical Society of Portland. The imposing church that stands today was dedicated shortly thereafter, in December of 1850, its elegant clock tower and historic pipe organ following on within the next decades. ~ Good Things To Eat contains no advertising, brand names, or topical references in its recipes, nor any other external means of establishing a date of publication, which must for the present remain a matter for conjecture. The guess of an assignment to the first decade of the last century has to do with the overall conservative nature of the contents, as well as the frequent call for lard or apposite qualifications to the word shortening (“half lard, half butter”), suggesting a time before shortening acquired its broader meaning. ~ Stapled in sepia wrappers, titled in black, with a few splatter-stains; rear panel chipped and creased. Some staining and darkening to several pages, but for the most part clean; central fold loose from staples. One handwritten recipe in pencil on final page. Unrecorded. [OCLC locates no copies; not in Brown or Cagle].

Price: $200.00