Waco: Brooks & Wallace Steam Print, 1888.
Octavo (22 x 15.5 cm.), 340 pages. Advertisements. Frontispiece. List of contributors, and in the rear a separate Appendix of the names of contributors “sent in after ‘The List of Contributors’ was in press”. ~ Evident FIRST EDITION. A church-based community cookbook. Margaret Cook records this as the second cookbook published in Texas, following The Texas Cook Book. But as The Texas Cook Book was printed in St. Louis, this is the first cookbook printed in the state of Texas. A rare collection of recipes, compiled by the Ladies of St. Paul's Guild, Waco, Texas, and issued for the elimination of $800 of the Church's debt. The list of contributors is extensive and consist of five pages; these individuals are almost all women, principally from Texas, but we see contributions from residents of California and New York; cf. the name of Henry Ward Beecher, the social reformer, whose contribution must have been added around the time of his death in 1887. A fair number of the contributions are drawn from well-known cookbooks or authors, including Miss Beecher, “Bluegrass”, “Creole”, “Manerva Cook”, New York Cooking School, Miss Catherine Owen, Miss Parloe (sic), and the St. Louis Cooking School; famous contributors include Mrs. Sam Houston, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, and Mrs. Gen Sherman. Also included are many excellent home remedies. There is significant wear to a number of leaves, with stains and edges chipped. Dog ears, closed tears and a few burns testify to kitchen use. In green, patterned cloth, gilt-titled Practical Cook Book on the front board but not on spine. Some light soiling and wear to the cloth, but externally near very good. Handwritten note to free front endpaper, “Bound by Mr. [Hae]chter”, indicates the book may have been re-bound after some years of rough use, though the binding is clearly early. In the same hand, a lengthy recipe is recorded in ink on a preliminary blank and on the frontispiece, “Belle Hilgartner’s recipe for salt-rising bread”. Despite its issues the book is complete and sound, and decidedly rare. [OCLC locates five copies (Baylor, Kansas State, SMU, TAMU, Tex Womens' University); Cook, page 246; not in Brown or Cagle. There appears to be some variation in the few copies recorded. In this copy, pages 289-340 consist entirely of advertisements from purveyors of goods and services in Waco. The number of advertisements apparently varies; the advertisements in the TAMU, Baylor, and Kansas State copies extend to page 341, but in the copy at Texas Women's University to just page 328.].