I was so happy to learn of Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen: A Collector’s treasury of America’s great recipes that I pulled over to the side of the road to order a copy.
One of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class, had a chat with Victoria Price about her father, the famed Vincent Price. The entire podcast is wonderful. They briefly mention the Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. At the end of that segment Victoria says something along the lines of, “…and they just re-issued the second book.”
I slammed on the breaks! I pulled over to the shoulder, shook my head in shock and then clearly thought: “Re-issue?” Within moments a hardcover copy of the 1969 edition, with its dust jacket was on the way. I could have had the re-issue for $5 less.
The Price’s earlier Treasury is a pleasure to just sit and read! In addition to amazingly delicious, and fairly easy, recipes from the greatest restaurants on earth, it is a cookbook that shares an adventure. You get to see the world’s restaurants and meet the people that make them great with Vincent Price! I couldn’t wait!
Come into the Kitchen offers up Mary and Vincent’s favorite American foods, by historic period in time. Some of the earlier recipes take some cooking tools we don’t much use any longer, and probably were not a whole lot easier to find in 1969, but you certainly get a feel for how regionality and availability of foodstuffs has changed over the several hundred years this catalogs. Covering the ‘Early American’ through the ‘Modern’ period, with stops in the ‘Young Republic,’ ‘Antebellum,’ ‘Westward Empire’ and ‘Victorian America,’ the Price’s share a huge number of dishes I’d like to try, and a few I would not.
Chicken Pudding, an ‘Early America’ favorite, is one I’m planning to try soon. Just as soon as I can locate a chicken pudding dish. The recipe throws this off like I should have a few around. Chicken pudding seems to be an early pot pie. Yorkshire pudding tops it.
Fishballs à la Mrs. Benjamin Harrison can be found in the Victoria America section and sound quite delicious. A deep-fried cod and potato mash-up. Perhaps I’ll make this for the kid. She is on a no spicy food kick and this is pretty much cod, potato, bacon and butter.
While not a recipe section, one that I found super interesting is at the back of the book: the Price’s offer a primer on wine drinking. Everything from opening wine, to looking at wine, drinking wine and then… directions for making wine. Yep, home-brew.
I really love the art work. This book alternates between pictures of American kitchens in history, a few photographs of the dishes themselves, and a lot of really cute illustrations by Charles M. Wysocki. I thought our readers might