Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Inglenook Cookbook

The Inglenook Cookbook was an outgrowth of The Inglenook. The good sisters of the Church of the Brethren and their friends were encouraged to contribute their favorite recipes of its "Home Department." These recipes were gathered together to form the text of the Inglenook Cook Book published in 1901. It was offered as a bonus to subscribers of the magazine.

The book was revised and enlarged in 1911. It containing 1,000 recipes, was an immediate success and sold more than 100,000 copies and continued to be used in Brethren and other kitchens for more than forty years. In 1970 the cookbook was reprinted from the original plates.

By 1940 the granddaughters of those who provided and used the original recipes were ready for their own cookbook, one that would again reflect their practical experience with recipes but that would also utilize up-to-date nutritional information. In 1941 they were invited to offer their best recipes for the new volume, and from the 5,000 that were received, the recipes in this book were selected by committees of homemakers.

One of the interesting features of the turn-of-the-century publication was its cover art, because it featured an attractive young lady who was properly adorned with a prayer covering and seemed acceptable to conservative readers. In the February 1985 issue of Messenger, editor Kermon Thomasson explains how he sought the identity of the cover girl. Readers responded, identifying the young woman as Anna Evans Wilson, the daughter of a Brethren family in Missouri.

Tomorrow: Inglenook Doctor Book

Sources: The Brethren Encyclopedia
Preaching in a Tavern, Morse
"The Inglenook: A Journal for a Gentler Time," by Jeanne Donovan