Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking - 1959 Edition - Two Volume Set - Book Club Edition
A GOOD COOKBOOK WILL COME TO YOUR RESCUE EVERY TIME... META GIVEN
Following on the heels of her first bestseller, The Modern Family Cook Book, published in 1942, Meta Given (1888-1981) then embarked on the ultimate compendium of cooking and writing adventures - The Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Encompassing a colossal 1500 pages, 50+ chapters, and two separately published volumes, Meta wrote about everything you would ever need to know regarding cooking. From recipes to equipment, shopping to nutrition, table service to food presentation, egg grading to pear picking, it's all recorded here in her big books of big information.
First published in 1947, this is the 1959 book club edition, revised and enlarged to ensure the most up-to-date information for home cooks. As a nutritionist, her focus in writing these books was to teach people how to get the most value out of food both financially and nutritionally. She encouraged readers to approach cooking, food gathering and caring for family with pride, appreciation, and confidence and not to take anything for granted in the way of modern cooking whether that be in regards to techniques, appliances, or health.
It is fascinating to read through this cookbook now because Meta really did include so much information. Her wild game chapter includes recipes for squirrel, woodchuck, raccoon, elk, antelope. Her salad chapter includes fresh salads, frozen salads, molded salads, salad art, hot salads, cold salads, big bowl salads. You get the idea! There is no stone left unturned.
This is a two-volume set. Volume One contains topics A-F (Appetizers to Fish) plus a homemaker's handbook that includes a buying guide, weights and measures, kitchen duties and suggested menus. Volume Two covers F-Z (Foreign Foods to Vegetables) plus a very detailed index.
In addition to housing a treasure trove of thousands of recipes, Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, is also a fascinating look at what people were interested in cooking in the mid-20th century. From fine dining to provincial country food, Meta's cookbook was appropriate for all Americans regardless of socioeconomic level. They also showcase the vast possibility and variety within the American food landscape of the 1940s and 1950s.
Photo of Meta courtesy of the St. Louis Dispatch - January 2, 1941
- Two-volume set
- Includes hard-to-find original dust jackets
- Contains both color and black and white photographs throughout as well as a bevy of charts, graphs, glossaries and illustrated instructions
- 53 chapters, 1534 pages
In gorgeous vintage condition. Their dust jackets bear some chippiness along the top and bottom edge as well as the spine. Very clean, practically brand-new coverboards and interior pages. Volume II has two small ribs on the spine - one at the top and one at the bottom that each measure 1/2" inch in length. Most Meta Given cookbooks are so well-loved they bear a lot of wear and tear. This set, apart from its slightly chipped dust jacket, looks like it has never aged. An incredible feat for a beloved cookbook that is coming up on 65 years of age. Please see photos.
Each book measures 5.5" inches (width) x 8.5" inches (length) x 2" inches (depth). Combined, this set weighs just a smidge under 4lbs.