The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 397
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no man can put them asunder, and would not wish to if he could,
put them in a dish and eat them all.
That was J. C. Hutcheson's prescription "To Cook Cornfield
Peas," one of 721 recipes contained in Texas' first cook book.
Originally compiled and published in 1883 by the ladies of the
First Presbyterian Church of Houston, this facsimile edition
brings a refreshing and enlightening glance into Texas culinary
art as it was practiced over eighty years ago, before calories were
George Fuermann, who owns the 1883 edition, writes a daily
column in the Houston Post, and is the author of articles on
Texas and Houston in the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as
three books on Texas and one on Houston. Fuermann's introduc-
tion reveals his appreciation of good cooking and his gratitude
for the ladies who contributed their favorite recipes. He gently
guides the reader through what otherwise could be a maze of
old recipes, and supplies the background for full appreciation of
The Presbyterian ladies were performing a needed public
service in 1883:
As many of the very excellent cook books published contain receipts
not suited to the requirements of our climate, and, as far as we know,
no complete treatise on the subject of cookery has been published in
our latitude, it has seemed well to supply this deficiency.
Today's cooks will discover The First Texas Cook Book not
only amusing and entertaining, but surprisingly usable.
A charm of the book is the language of the past century. An
egg yolk is a "yelk," and a recipe is often a "receipt." There is
nothing misleading about such straightforward dishes as those
named "A Nice Plain Plum Pudding," "To Make Macaroni," or
"A very Nice way to Poach Eggs."
The simplicity of recipe names is found in the recipes them-
selves. Although modern cook books are more specific and definite
in their instructions, few of them are so sensible and direct. A
An Omlet. It is an easy thing to do, and not often well done. The
trouble lies in the fact that most cooks overbeat their eggs. A simple
omlet is not a souffle. Break all the eggs into one plate, stir rather
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/468/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.