Chocolate Bread Pudding

Fannie Merritt Farmer’s The Boston Cooking School Cook-Book was an instant best seller when it was first published in 1896, and remains in print to this day. Called “The Mother of Level Measurements,” Farmer was known for her insistence on accurate measurements, unusual in a time when many recipes used vague quantities such as a “heaping spoonful” or a “handful.”

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A Patty of Mushrooms

This recipe comes from Patrick Lamb’s 1710 cookbook, Royal Cookery, or the Complete Court-Cook. Patrick Lamb served as the master-cook to a succession of British monarchs, starting with King Charles II in 1683 and ending with Queen Anne in 1708. In addition to recipes, his book provides table layouts for some of the elaborate feasts he served at court – including coronation feasts, which he would have needed to prepare three times over the course of his career for three different monarchs.

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Will Rogers’ Chili and Beans

Will Rogers, the “cowboy philosopher,” was a man of many talents: actor, cowboy, newspaper columnist, and humorist. After settling his family on a ranch in California, he also became a beloved local figure in Beverly Hills; in 1926, he was briefly declared the honorary mayor. Naturally, when the Beverly Hills Woman’s Club produced a community cookbook, they asked him to contribute an introduction. He did – along with two recipes of his own.

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Cider Punch

This punch recipe comes from Henrietta Nesbitt’s The Presidential Cookbook: Feeding the Roosevelts and Their Guests. Mrs. Nesbitt served as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s housekeeper in the White House for 13 years. She writes in her chapter on teas and punches that two hundred guests would be considered a small tea party for Eleanor Roosevelt – many White House teas would include over a thousand guests. “When the guest list reaches the thousand mark…the only solution is fruit punch, and plenty of it.”

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