Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Mary Frances Cook Book

With the help of the Kitchen People, a young girl named Mary Frances learns to cook in the most up-to-date and scientific fashion. At least for 1912, when a juvenile cookbook that didn’t feature a single vegetable recipe wouldn’t have been considered unusual. Here is a nice breakfast that Mary Frances prepared for her father (she also made toast but that was covered in a different chapter).

No. 9.—Boiled Eggs.
1. Put eggs in sauce pan.

2. Cover with boiling Water.

3. Place where the water will keep hot 6 to 10 minutes. A quicker method is to boil eggs very gently 3 or 4 minutes.

No. 11.—Coffee.
1. Put into coffee pot 1 rounded tablespoon ground coffee for each cup needed.

2. Pour on boiling water, allowing 1 cup to every tablespoon coffee used.

3. Let come to a boil three times, stirring down each time.

4. Draw off the fire. Pour in 1 tablespoon cold water for each cup.

5. Let stand in a warm place 3 minutes to settle grounds. Serve.

Lots of fun, and an interesting glimpse into domestic technology, 100 years ago. On Project Gutenberg.


Packrat said...

How fun! Thanks for sharing. I have wanted a copy of this for a long time. I guess I'll make do with the online version.

Sort of random, but I have a reprint of Mary Frances Sewing. (I can't remember the exact title.) It is so cute and very informative.

Shay said...

I bought that reprint, too (gosh, wonder where it is now!). The sewing book is online at

And it has the patterns to trace.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of this book before but it sure catches my attention.. going to look for the online versions.. thanks for sharing

Sharon-The OKI StampQueen said...

Dear God in heaven---I'd never make it in the morning if I had to make coffee that way! I remember when I wanted an automatic coffee maker with a timer so it would be all ready in the AM-my mother said I needed a husband instead! I got the coffee maker myself! lol!
Blessings, Sharon

Kristen said...

I love the Mary Frances books - I think I read a housekeeping one about Mary Frances and the Doll People? Thanks for sharing this! :)

Anonymous said...

So cute. Including vegetable recipes is just political correctness. The only way I know to get kids to enjoy real vegetables is to grow a garden and send them out to graze. Got a husband who won't eat salad? Send him out to the garden roo.
In the 60's I had a "Peanuts" cookbook for kids. It included a recipe for real lollipops - cooking sugar & water to the hard crack stage. You won't find that in a kids cookbook these days.

Anne said...

Could this book be one of the inspirations for the characters in Beauty and the Beast (the Disney version)?

I'm trying your mother's idiot-proof sausage in horseradish sauce for a potluck dinner this week. It looked like something I could put together in a hurry after work. My parents had those kind of faculty parties too. The food was definitely off limits unless you were a willing slave in the kitchen, and then it was only a taste.