Let's Get Lunch: An Exhibit for the Discerning Palate
We all need food. Without it, we cannot survive. Yet the human relationship with food is intricate, complex, and varies widely across individuals and cultures. Our relationship with food can be at once deeply personal and private while also serving as a bridge to connect with others, sometimes meaningfully and sometimes just superficially. We've all heard the old platitude, "let's get lunch sometime," a statement upon which potential connections can either flourish or wither. Given the opportunity, food has the power to draw us in and connect us with each other, just as cookbooks can connect us to the people and cultures who created them.
Food can also help us build communities. Shared experience helps create strong foundations between individuals and larger groups of people, and shared meals are a common avenue for those experiences. Just as food helps us build meaningful connections across groups, an understanding of the food from another culture or time helps foster deeper, meaningful understanding of those cultures and times. Cookbooks can offer a valuable way to access that potential for understanding.
And food can simply be fun! Cooking and cookbooks can be artistic or experimental, and cooking or eating together complements and strengthens existing relationships. Meals are an excellent excuse to spend quality time with people we care about. After all, we all need food.
We invite you to enjoy this exhibit which explores the relational importance of food to the Dartmouth community and beyond. It was curated by Jaime Eeg '18, the Edward Connery Lathem '51 Special Collections Fellow, and is on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from April 5th through June 7th, 2019.
Materials Included in the Exhibition
Case One: Drinks and Appetizers
1. Dartmouth Wives Association. Hors D'oeuvre Cookbook. [Hanover, N.H.], . D.C. History TX740 .D3
The Dartmouth Wives Association was founded to help women connect with each other, and “share rewarding social, cultural and educational activities.” They compiled personal recipes into cookbooks like this one to help finance club activities.
2. Graham, Sylvester. A Treatise on Bread and Bread Making. Boston: Light & Stearns, 1837. Rare TX769 .G68
According to Sylvester, “it is the wife, the mother only,” who can feel “so deep and delicate an interest for their husbands and children’s happiness” so as to be capable of adequately preparing the bread their family consumes (using his guide, of course).
3. Meyer, Carolyn. The Bread Book; all about bread and how to make it. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, . Illus H997me
Illustrated by a local illustrator, The Bread Book helps children explore the history and traditions of bread and offers simple recipes so they “can try their own skill at one of the oldest and most satisfying human arts.”
4. Brackett, Babette and Maryann Lash. The Wild Gourmet:a forager's guide to the finding and cooking of wild foods. Boston: D.R. Godine, 1975. Presses G555bra
For each month of the year, this "forager's guide" offers a selection of recipes inspired by wild ingredients. The Wild Gourmet offers guidance for would-be foragers and chefs on how to find and prepare wild foods.
5. Zabriskie, George A. The Bon Vivant's Companion. New York: George Grady Press, 1948. Presses G755z
Containing directions for mixing most of the beverages used in America, The Bon Vivant’s Companion offers an updated guide to mixing drinks, sprinkled with a variety of choice epigraphs: “Roses are blue, violets are pink, immediately after the thirteenth drink.”
6. Thomas, Jerry. How to Mix Drinks. New York : Dick & Fitzgerald, 1862. Bindings 178
“Jerry Thomas has traveled Europe and America in search of all that is recondite in this branch of the spirit art.” The resulting guide contains directions for mixing “all the beverages used in the United States,” as well as a manual for the manufacture of cordials, liquors and fancy spirits, by Christian Schultz.
7. Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Dartmouth College. Drink Recipes. 1940. Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Pi Chapter (Dartmouth College) records. DO-37 Box: 6458
Dartmouth fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon would have used these recipes to provide alcohol to members and guests in the 1940's. Had Keystone been in production yet perhaps there would have been no need for such a booklet, dedicated as it is to a variety of drink recipes.
Case Two: Entrées
1. Boston Dartmouth Women’s Club. Favorite Dartmouth Recipes. Edited by Mrs. Ralph H. Field. Drawings by Ada Heimbach (Mrs. Norman Logan). [Boston], [between 1960 and 1969]. D.C. History TX 715 .D37
The women of Boston Dartmouth Women’s Club “have long felt, modestly, among themselves, that much of the excellence that is Dartmouth is largely due to the fact that the wives and mothers of Dartmouth men are superb cooks.”
2. Dods, Matilda Lees. Handbook of Practical Cookery. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1906. Miniature 66
For such a small, some may even say impractical, book, the Handbook of Practical Cookery manages to include recipes for almost every course as well as a philosophy of cookery.
3. Beebe, Ruth Anne. Sallets, Humbles and Shrewsbery Cakes: a collection of Elizabethan recipes. Foreword by William Ingram. Boston: D. R. Godine, 1976. Presses G555be
Containing “solid sustenance for inquisitive minds, sumptuous recipes for adventurous and imaginative cooks and woodcuts to delight the eye,” Sallets, Humbles and Shrewsbery Cakes reproduces Elizebethan recipes and transcribes them for the modern chef.
4. Tuck-Thayer Wives Club, Dartmouth College. The Tuck-Thayer Wives Club Cook Book. [Hanover, N.H.], . D.C. History TX715 .T83
The original Dartmouth Wives Association, the club provided an outlet for the wives of grad students to connect with each other and participate in academic life at Dartmouth. To the women who contributed the recipes, the book represents “a personal remembrance of wonderful days in Hanover.”
5. Pigeons in Jelly. Bradford, Vt.: Nan Jesse, 1979. Presses J487p
“Pilfered from a new system of domestic cookery written by a lady.”
6. Greene, Ellin. Clever Cooks; a concoction of stories, charms, recipes and riddles. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1973. Illus H997gr
“Start with a basic collection of clever cooks, stir in a few recipes, sprinkle in some riddles and a charm or two, and you end up with a most delightful concoction,” or, a fun book meant to help kids explore the world of food.
7. A Lady. The New Domestic Cookery. Derby: Thomas Richardson, [between 1830 and 1839]. Rare TX 717 .L34 1830z
Written by an unnamed woman, The New Domestic Cookery offers “complete instructions for cooking every description of viands with cheapness and elegance.”
8. Mattimore, Jean and Clarke. Cooking by the Clock; step by step preparation of meals. Illustrated by Teresa Kilham. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1948. Alumni M434c
“For the bride who has a job it will be a treasure,” Cooking by the Clock aims to provide a comprehensive, step by step guide to help women prepare complete meals for their families.
9. J. M. Ornes. Alaska Reindeer Meat: a collection of the choicest recipes for its preparation. 1922. Vilhjalmur Stefansson correspondence. MSS-242 Box 20
According to explorer Roald Amundsen there is “no better meat on the market. It is tender, juicy and of delicate flavor.” Alaska Reindeer Meat provides a variety of recipes for those interested in trying reindeer for themselves.
10. The Red Door Wurst Cookbook: how to cook and enjoy our fine sausages. Hanover, N.H.: Red Door, [between 1970 and 1979]. D.C. History TX749 .R43
Though The Red Door no longer exists in Hanover, its collection of sausage recipes, meant to help customers bring their products to their full potential, remains offering an insight into the town’s atmosphere in the 1970’s.
11. The ABC of Herb and Spice Cookery. Decorations by Ruth McCrea. Mount Vernon, N.Y.: Peter Pauper Press, 1957. Presses P4414abc
Offering an alphabet full of recipes, this cookbook promises that, “if your dishes seem too common, you can change them in a trice, with a dash of kitchen magic: just a bit of herb and spice!”
Case Three: Desserts
1. Hot from the Oven. [Sturbridge, Mass.]: [Old Sturbridge Village],  Presses S859hot
Scent has the power to refresh memories, and the scent of baking cookies has a distinctive power in particular. With this in mind, Old Sturbridge Village offers a recipe book to help tourist conjure memories of their visit once they return home.
2. Lincoln, Mary J. Frozen Dainties. Nashua, N.H.: White Mountain Freezer Co., 1889. New Hampshire Imprints N28 1889
According to the White Mountain Freezer Co, Mary Lincoln is the “leading authority on all matters pertaining to the culinary department of the home” and this small text is her collection of “receipts” for ice-creams, sherbets, and other frozen delicacies.
3. Adomeit, Ruth E. The Little Cookie Book. Woodstock, Vt.: Lilliputter Press, 1960. Presses E48ad
Filled with thirty-one of the author's favorite recipes, this sweet cookie-sized little book is sure to delight. The design was inspired by nineteenth century miniature books, tucked into waistcoat pockets, although this miniature edition is most likely meant for apron pockets.
4. Dartmouth Wives Association. Desserts and Drinks Cookbook. Hanover, N.H., 1973. D.C. History TX773 .D3
The women of the Dartmouth Wives Association helped the wives of Dartmouth men participate in social and academic life at Dartmouth. They compiled personal recipes into numerous cookbooks to finance their pursuits.
5. Parloa, Maria. Camp Cookery: how to live in camp. Boston, MA: D. Estes, 1878. Rare TX823 .P25 1878
Prior to the recipes themselves, Miss Parloa offers comprehensive guidance for preparing and setting up a camp. The question remains: Would such guidance, written by a woman, be taken seriously outside of a cookbook in 1878?
6. Brown, Susan Anna. The Book of Forty Puddings. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882. D.C. History TX773 .B87
“Though fortune frown and skies are drear, and friends are changing year by year, one thing is always sure to please, just give him puddings such as these.”