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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
Rare Books - Exhibits
Cookery Exhibit: Irma Rombauer

Irma von Starkloff Rombauer, The Joy of Cooking
(St. Louis: A. C. Clayton Printing Co.), 1931. First Edition.

This book is the single-most popular cookbook in the United States. Millions of copies have sold since it first appeared in 1931 and it has never been out of print. Rombauer (1877-1962) simplified many recipes for American kitchens and modernized recipes for changing tastes. A copy in this fine/mint condition is exceedingly rare.

Selected Excerpts from the Text

Title page Rule of Souffle - page 80

Make a thick cream sauce of 3 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of liquid (milk, stock, vegetable water, or cream).

Add the solids, cheese, etc. while the cream sauce is boiling. Reduce the heat to a low flame and add the baten egg yolks. Cook the sauce, for one or two minutes, stirring it constantly, until the yolks thicken slightly, but do not permit it to boil. Season the sauce and remove it from the fire. When it is cool, fold in the stiffly beaten whites of eggs and place the mixture in an ungreased baking dish. It will rise higher when the dish is not greased, as it will cling to the dry sides.

The souffle may be baked with an increasing heat, beginning with a slow oven and increasing the heat slightly every ten minutes until the oven is moderately hot (325 to 350) [what is the symbol for degree] or by placing the baking dish in a slow oven (325) and baking it until the souffle is firm--from 24 to 45 minutes--dependent upon the size of the souffle.

Do not place the dish in hot water unless the recipe calls for it. The water will keep the souffle soft and in some cases it is preferable to have it crisp and crusty.

However, when making a souffle in a ring mold, or in any other dish, with the intention of inverting the contents when done, grease the mold well, fill it and set it in a pan of hot water. this will facilitate removing the souffle from the mold and will giv it a uniform consistency.

Souffles may be prepared in advance, with the exception of the beating of the egg whites, which must be done immediately before the souffle is put into the oven.

Onions and garlic add greately to the flavor of the souffle. If you like them, place finely chopped onions in the butter and saute them for a minute before making the cream sauce, or place bit of garlic in the butter, saute it for a minute and remove it before making the cream sauce.

Condensed milk makes a good souffle. When using it take half milk or stock and half condensed milk and decrease the flour from 3 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons to one cup of liquid.

Carrots, onions and celery may be used raw if they are finely minced, or put through a food processor.

Cheese Souffle - page 81

1 cup thick cream sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese
3 eggs, separated
Salt, paprika
A few grains of cayenne

Follow the Rule for Souffle

Sweet Potato Puffs - page 102

Baked in mounds or in ramekins. This is a good way of utilizing left over sweet potatoes. Serve them to people who like pumpkin, for they are not unlike pumpkin pie filling.

4 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 2 cups)
1 large ripe banana
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1 egg yolk
Hot milk or cream
1 egg white beaten

Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Peel and rice them. Rice the banana and combine all the ingredients except the egg white. Beat them, using sufficient hot milk or cream to make the batter fluffy. Fold in the egg white. Place the mixture by the tablespoonful will apart in a greased pan. Bake the puffs in a hot oven 500 for 12 minutes.

Favors for Children's Parties Queen Mary's Sponge Cake - page 225

When King George was sick, his wife, who is reputed to have that inborn thing, "a light hand with patry," brought him a volume of Marie Corelli's and bake a sponge cake for him. Who says that the lives of Queens are complicated?

This cake contains neither baking powder, nor cream of tartar, but depends for its lightness upon the air that is first beaten and then folded into it. This recipe makes a large, delicate, fine grained cake, which, if somewhat uninteresting, makes up for that by being highly digestible.

6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoonful of vanilla and 1 teaspoonful of water may be substituted for the lemon juice. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until they are light. Grate the lemon rind over the sugar, and add the sugar slowly to the egg yolks, stirring them briskly with a wire whisk. Add the lemon juice and when these ingredients are creamed, begin to fold in the egg whites, which have been whipped with the salt to a stiff froth. When the egg whites are partly folded in, begin adding the flour--one tablespoon at a time. Cut and fold lightly until the flour is blended, then pour the bater into an ungreased angel food pan and pake it in a slow oven 325 for one hour.

Mint Sherbert - page 332

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 lemons, grated and juiced
2 oranges, grated and juiced
12 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
1 egg white
Green coloring

Boil the sugar and the water for five minuts. Pour the syrup over the mint leaves and permit them to steep for 1 hour. Strain the syrup, add the fruit juice and rind and the green coloring and freeze the mixture. When it is partially frozen, add the stiffly beaten egg white and freeze it until it is firm. Garnish the ice with mint leaves.