Monday, April 19, 2010

Lowney's Cook Book: Chocolate City!

This a new edition of a classic Vintage Cookbook, published by the Lowney (Chocolate) Company first in 1907, and authored by an employee. The new edition is from Pelican Publishing Co. and has a great foreword of the history of the author and the company from culinary historian Jeri Quiznio. I was contacted by the company asking if I wanted to read the new edition. I was thrilled - I knew about the 1907 and 1912 editions and how author Maria Willett Howard became head of the culinary dept. of the Boston Cooking School.

What I really remember about this book was that Maria came up with the brownie recipe by which most ones today descend! Maria studied with Fannie Farmer, who is credited with the original brownie recipe. BUT - the FF version was made in individual cakes. Maria added an egg, put it in one pan, and therefore made it accessible and easy for home cooks.

This version has the history of the famous Boston chocolate company - I was amazed to read that they were selling 8 million chocolates in 1901 as well as all the original copy. I was greatly amused by the "Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent," but may try the ones for stomach aches! The Creole Dishes and Ecomonical Dishes are a treat to read as well.  This cookbook was one of the first to have color pictures, and while this version has them in black and white they are wonderful. I'll scan some in for tomorrow. There are chapters and chapters on lucious desserts - many easy enough for even me to make without incident! Cakes and Fillings, Frozen Dishes and 'Fruits and Nuts and Candy' are my favorite sections except for possibly the Sandwiches. I can't believe this was written in 1907 originally. 

For example, there are three Chocolate Sandwiches:
Chocolate Sandwich No. 1:  Melt two ounces Lowney's Premium Chocolate.  Add two tablespoons hot cream (or hot milk) , two tablespoons wine (or one tsp. vanilla), and enough confectioner's sugar to make of the consistency to spread.  Use for a filling between crackers, or thin slices of bread or cake.  Finely chopped nuts slightly salted may be added to the chocolate mixture. 

This book is such a gem. I've never been lucky enough to score a copy of one of the original editions in my searches but I'm so glad I have this new edition. I plan on getting one for my MIL too - she'd love reading this one. Photos of the original Lowney's ads in the back add to the charm.

Tomorrow I'll show a couple photos and outline some of the sample menus.   Wednesday this week we have a special guest author blogger, too...

1 comment:

Molly MacRae said...

Very cool! Now I have a mission - I'll keep my eyes out for an original Lowney's. How did Pelican come to reprint it? Do they have plans to reprint other hard-to-find old cookbooks?