With February being National Black History Month, five more-than-century-old cookbooks by African-Americans from The Feeding America Project of Michigan State University Libraries will be featured. This week features two books, Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and Housekeepers’ Guide; By Tunis Gulic Campbell, 1848; and The Ideal Bartender; By Tom Bullock; 1917.

The books are from the Feeding America Project http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/index.html

Quoted information is from the Feeding America Project with essays by Jan Longone, Curator of American Culinary History, Clements Library, University of Michigan.

"Feeding America project is an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library’s collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum."

Longone on Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and Housekeepers’ Guide - "This is truly a rare work; this copy is one of the few known. It is the second major Black-authored culinary work in America. It is also … more than a cookbook. It is one of the earliest manuals written by any American on the supervision and management of first-class restaurants and hotel dining rooms.

"Campbell’s book is evocative of a military manual. For example, detailed, exacting instructions for the dining table service brigade are given and illustrated in a series of ten plates. It begins with the admonition to "select men of good appearance, as near of a height as possible" and ends with the suggestion that "waiting-men should be drilled every day, except Saturday and Sunday. Saturday should be used as a general cleaning day; and Sunday we should, if possible, go to church."

"The author is as careful to instruct his waiters on their responsibility as he is equally voluble in telling the employers that they also have a responsibility to treat their help with respect and dignity. This book is a vital part of a study of America’s history of race relations… This book deserves to be better known."


Selected recipes from Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and Housekeepers’ Guide:

To stew Brisket of Beef. – Having rubbed the brisket with common salt and saltpetre,* let it lie four days. Then lard the skin with fat bacon, and put it into a stew-pan with a quart of water, a pint of red wine or strong beer, half a pound of butter, a bunch of sweet herbs, three or four shallots, some pepper, and half a nutmeg grated. Cover the pan very close. Then fry some square pieces of boiled turnips very brown. Strain the liquor the beef was stewed in, thicken it with burnt butter, and having mixed the turnips with it, pour all together over the beef in a large dish. Serve it up hot, and garnish with lemon sliced. An ox cheek, or a leg of beef, may be served up in the same manner. [*or use Morton Tender Quick(r)]

To stew Red Cabbage. – Take a red cabbage, lay it in cold water for an hour, cut it into thin slices across, and then into little pieces. Put it into a stew-pan, with a pound of sausages, a pint of gravy, a little bit of ham or lean bacon; cover it close, and let it stew half an hour; then take the pan off the fire and skim away the fat, shake in a little flour, and set it on again. Let it stew two or three minutes, then lay the sausages in the dish and pour the rest all over. You may, before you take it up, put in half a spoonful of vinegar.

To make a good Pea Soup. – Take a quart of split peas, put them into a gallon of soft water, with a bunch of herbs, some whole Jamaica and black pepper, two or three onions, a pound of lean beef, a pound of mutton, and a pound of the belly-piece of fat pork; boil all together, till your meat is thoroughly tender, and your soup strong; then strain it through a sieve, and pour it into a clean sauce-pan; cut and wash three or four large heads of celery, some spinach, and a little dried mint, rubbed fine; boil it till your celery is tender, then serve it up with bread cut in dice and fried brown.

To make a Craw-Fish Soup. – Cleanse them, and boil them in water, salt and spice; pull off their feet and tails and fry them; break the rest of them in a stone mortar, season them with savory spice, and an onion, a hard egg, grated bread, and sweet herbs boiled in good table beer; strain it, and put to it scalded chopped parsley, and French rolls; then put in the fried craw-fish, with a few mushrooms. Garnish the dish with sliced lemon, and the feet and tail of a craw-fish.

To make Brown Celery Sauce. – Stew the celery in little thin bits, then add mace, nutmeg, pepper, salt, a piece of butter rolled in flour, with a glass of red wine, a spoonful of catchup, and half a pint of good gravy; boil all these together, and pour into the dish. Garnish with lemon.

To make good Fritters. – Mix half a pint of good cream very thick with flour, beat six eggs, leaving out four whites; add six spoonfuls of sack, and strain them into the cream; put in a little grated nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and salt; then put in another half pint of cream, and beat the batter near an hour; pare and slice your apples thin, dip every piece in the batter, and throw them into a pan with boiling lard.

To make a Chicken Pie. – Take six small chickens, roll a piece of butter in sweet herbs, season and lay them into a cover, with the marrow of two bones rolled up in the batter of eggs, a dozen of yolks of eggs boiled hard, and two dozen of savory balls; when you serve it up, pour in a quart of good gravy.

To make a Rice Pudding. – Beat half a pound of rice to powder. Set it with three pints of new milk upon the fire, let it boil well, and when it grows almost cold, put to it eight eggs well beaten, and half a pound of suet or butter, half a pound of sugar, and a sufficient quantity of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Half an hour will bake it. You may add a few currants, candied lemon, citron-peel, or other sweetmeats; and lay a puff-paste first all over the sides and rim of the dish.

To make a Baked Apple Pudding. – Scald three or four codlings, and bruise them through a sieve. Add a quarter of a pound of biscuit, a little nutmeg, a pint of cream, and ten eggs, but only half the whites. Sweeten to your taste, and bake it.

To make Apple Dumplings. – Pare and core as many codlings as you intend to make dumplings. Make a little cold butter paste. Roll it to the thickness of one’s finger, and wrap it round every apple singly; and if they be bound singly in pieces of cloth, so much the better. Put them into boiling water, and they will be done in half an hour. Serve them up with melted butter and white wine; and garnish with grated sugar about the dish.


Longone on The Ideal Bartender; By Tom Bullock; 1917 — "This volume represents another view of the African American as a food professional. It also is meant to represent the beverage aspect of food studies and the hundreds of books on that subject.

"America has a long history of interest in a great variety of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The cocktail is considered by many to be one of the major American contributions to this genre.

"This book offers recipes for about 175 classic cocktails from Abricontine Pousse Cafe and Absinthe to Tom Tom and Whiskey Scotch Hot. It also conveys the flavor of the role of the bartender in American society.

"The author proudly offers a brief history of his professional life and contacts. He is remembered today and is a respected figure in St. Louis popular lore."


Fill large Bar glass 2/3 full Shaved Ice.

2 teaspoonfuls Powdered Sugar.

1 Lemon’s Juice.

Fill up with Apollinaris; stir; strain into Lemonade glass; dress with Fruit and serve.


Fill large Bar glass 3/4 full Shaved Ice.

3 dashes Gum Syrup.

3 dashes Raspberry Syrup.

1 1/4 jiggers Applejack.

Shake; strain into Cocktail glass and serve with piece of Lemon Peel twisted on top.


Into large Bar glass squeeze Juice of 1 Lemon.

1 teaspoonful Bar Sugar.

1 bottle Ginger Ale off the ice.

Stir; decorate with Fruit and Berries. Serve.


Use a large Mixing glass with Lump Ice.

2 jiggers of Cream.

1 bottle Sarsaparilla.

Stir well and serve with Straws.


Into a large Bar glass put:

2 teaspoonfuls Bar Sugar.

2 dashes Lemon Juice.

1 dash Lime Juice.

Fill up with Shaved Ice and add:

1 pony Brandy.

1 jigger Santa Cruz Rum.

Stir; dress with Fruit and serve with Straws.

BOMBAY PUNCH (2 1/2-gallon mixture for 40 people)

Bruise the skins of 6 Lemons in 1 lb. of Bar sugar and put the Sugar in a Punch bowl and add:

1 box Strawberries.

2 Lemons, sliced.

6 Oranges, sliced.

1 Pineapple, cut into small pieces.

1 quart Brandy.

1 quart Sherry Wine.

1 quart Madeira Wine.

Stir well; empty into another bowl in which a block of Clear Ice has been placed and add:

4 quarts of Champagne.

2 quarts Carbonated Water.


1 Lemon Rind in large Bar glass.

3 lumps Ice.

1 bottle Ginger Ale.

1 bottle Sarsaparilla.


LEMONADE APOLLINARIS (or Carbonated Water)

Fill large Mixing glass 2/3 full fine Ice.

1 tablespoonful Bar Sugar.

Juice of 1 Lemon.

Fill up with Apollinaris or suitable Carbonated Water.

Stir; strain into Lemonade glass; dress with Fruit and serve.

PINEAPPLE JULEP (for a party of 6—Use a small punch bowl)

1 quart of Sparkling Moselle.

1 jigger Cusenier Grenadine.

1 jigger Maraschino.

1 jigger Sir Robert Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.

1 jigger Lemon Juice.

1 jigger Orange Bitters.

1 jigger Angostura Bitters.

4 Oranges, sliced.

2 Lemons, sliced.

1 ripe Pineapple, sliced and quartered.

4 tablespoonfuls Sugar.

1 bottle Apollinaris Water.

Place large square of Ice in bowl; dress with the Fruits and serve Julep in fancy Stem glass.