Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
A 48 page booklet containing various recipes attributed to the cooking traditions of the American South. The front cover bears the title [SOUTHERN / COOK BOOK / Of / Fine Old Dixie Recipes] and the text [322 Fine Tested Recipes / 40 Characteristic Illustrations / 50 Poems and Spirituals]. The cover illustration is of two women and a child standing in a kitchen around a table. The older woman wears a blue dress and white apron and headscarf. She stands behind the table and stirs a mixing bowl. A younger woman in a floral patterned blue and orange dress with matching headscarf stands in front of the table with her hand resting on it, facing the older woman. A young girl with pigtails and an orange quilted dress stands with her back to the viewer and her hands up on the table. A plaque hangs on the wall between the two women and reads [A Good Dinner / Sharpens the Wits / and / Softens the Heart]. The artist's signature is in the lower lefthand corner.
The book itself is divided into 22 different categories: Appetizers, Beverages, Bread and Biscuits, Cakes, Candies, Eggs, Fritters Pancakes Waffles and Mush, Fruit and Vegetables, Icings, Jellies and Jams, Meat, Meat and Poultry Stuffing, Misc. Items, Pies, Potatoes, Poultry, Puddings, Salads and Relishes, Sauces and Dressings, Sea Food, Small Cakes and Cookies, and Soups.
Most pages in the book contain a charcoal pencil illustration in the bottom left or right hand corner. These illustrations are predominantly of men, women, and children performing labors and eating or preparing food with a few landscape vignettes. Often the drawing seems in part to be an illustration of a few lines of song or poem that accompanies it.
Two sections of verse, "De Cote House In De Sky" and "Oh, Elephant, You Shall Be Free!" are printed on the inside of the front and back covers, respectively.
Caricature and cartoons
Cooking and dining
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Adolph Goronsky