Prairie Avenue Cookbook Chicago Families' Recipes

Prairie Avenue Cookbook features recipes from prominent 19th-Century Chicago families. Here is a historic cookbook with Victorian recipes from famous Chicagoans like Marshall Field, George Pullman and Joseph Sears. 


Format: Softcover, 210 pages. 

Copyright: 1993 

Publisher: Southern Illinois University 

Author: Carol Callahan 

ISBN: 9780809318155

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Additional Details

Description: If you want to see the richest half-dozen blocks in Chicago ... drive down Prairie Avenue from Sixteenth Street to Twenty-second. Right there is a cluster of millionaires not to be matched for numbers anywhere else in the country. 

And the Herald wasn't guilty of braggadocio. Prairie Avenue was home to such august individuals as Marshall Field, George Pullman, Philip Armour, Gustavus Swift, William Kimball, Samuel Allerton, Joseph Sears, and John Glessner. Among the delights they enjoyed were the joys of the table. "Brutes feed. The best barbarian only eats. Only the cultured man can dine. Dining is no longer a meal, but an institution," asserted The American Anthropologist in 1888, and the residents of Prairie Avenue heartily agreed. The thirty-five illustrations that accompany the text document what a grand life-style it was. 

Carol Callahan makes it possible for you to taste the flavors of that opulent era with a collection of more than two hundred historic recipes from the prominent nineteenth-century families of Prairie Avenue. All of the recipes have been tested and modernized for today's cook and include breakfast fare, snacks, soups, salads, entrees, preserves, desserts, and oysters any way you might like them. To place these dishes in their proper context and to illuminate the personalities seated at the tables where such dishes were served, Callahan includes anecdotes gathered through oral history interviews that relate to prominent Chicagoans' food, meals, health, and entertaining as well as other aspects of nineteenth-century life. 

Callahan also devotes a part of the cookbook to discussing the foods available to Prairie Avenue residents, the impact of the rapidly changing technology on cooking, the fine art of dining, the ritual of calling, the problems and pleasures of servants in these households, the children of Prairie Avenue, and the effect of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition on Chicago. Whether you elect to prepare these Victorian delights or simply savor them and their wonderful time in your imagination, the Prairie Avenue Cookbook is sumptuous fare. 

Carol Callahan is curator of the Glessner House Museum for the Chicago Architecture Foundation. 


Condition: Good condition. Cover has a creased corner and some minor wear along edges. 

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