Skip to main content
Rare Books - Exhibits
What's Cookin'?

Choice Selections from the Cookery Collection's a la Carte Menu

K-State's Cookery Collection is one of the top research collections of its kind in the United States. Numbering over 10,000 volumes in many languages, supplemented by the personal papers of several important food writers from the 20th century, and manuscript cookbooks from the 18th and 19th centuries, the Cookery Collection is an irreplaceable, unique and substantial collection.

The core of the Cookery Collection was assembled by Dr. Abby Lillian Marlatt. Her collection of rare cookbooks was donated to K-State Libraries in 1943 by her niece, Dr. Abby Lindsey Marlatt.

Abby Lillian Marlatt, 1925 The core of the K-State Cookery Collection was assembled over many years by Professor Marlatt.

Abby Lillian Marlatt studied under Nellie Kedzie and was graduated from K-State in 1888.

Dr. Marlatt was an early leader in home economics education and the daughter of Washington Marlatt, the first principal of Bluemont Central College (the precursor to K-State).

Abby Lindsay Marlatt, 1951 Abby Lindsay Marlatt, a granddaughter of Washington Marlatt, was graduated from K-State in 1938.

She later became a professor in the Department of Food Economics and Nutrition.

Abby Lillian Marlatt's remarkable collection of 600 rare and early cookbooks was given to the University in 1943 by her niece, Dr. Abby Lindsey Marlatt. Several of the important works from this collection are:

Apicius, De Re Culinaria (Leiden: Sebastian Gryphium), 1541.

Apicius, De Opsoniis et Condimentis (Amsterdam: J. Waesbergios), 1709.

Antoine Augustin Parmentier (1737-1813), Le Parfait Boulanger, Ou Traité, Complet Sur La Fabrication & Le Commerce Du Pain (Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale), 1778.

Title page The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closet of Rarities; or, The Ingenious Gentlewoman and Servant-Maids Delightful Companion ... (London: W. Wilde), 1696.
Spec / TX144 / .A25 / 1696

To make the beƒt ƒort of Mead. - page 19
Take a quart of Spring-water, and three quarts of ƒmall Beer, as clear as may be; add to them a pound and a half of clarified Honey, two ounces of the diƒtilled Water of ƒweet Marjoram, three or four ƒprigs of Roƒemary and Bays : boil them together on a gentle fire, ever ƒcumming off what riƒes to the top, and then put it into a Veƒƒel to purge, ƒix days after which bottle it up for your uƒe.

To Make Lemon Cakes, or Cakes of Lemon. - pages 39-40
Take fine Sugar half a pound, to two ounces of the Juyce of Lemons, and the like quantity of Roƒe-water ; boil them up til they become Sugar again, then grate into it the Rind of hard Lemons; and having well incorporated them, put them up for your uƒe into Coffins, &c. being cold, and cover 'em with Paper.

The Cookery Collection received another major donation in 1968 from the estate of Clementine Paddleford, an internationally-known food writer.

Clementine Paddleford, ca 1921 A native of Stockdale, Kansas, Paddleford was graduated from K-State in 1921.

For many years, "Clem" was foods editor for the New York Herald Tribune and later This Week, a Sunday supplement in many metropolitan newspapers with 12 million readers.

In 1953, Time declared Paddleford the "best known food editor in the United States."

She traveled about 50,000 miles every year during her newspaper years, many of those miles logged in an airplane she piloted.

Paddleford's personal papers, over 300 linear feet of material, comprise one of the best primary research collections in the United State for the history of food writing in journalism.

Book cover

Clementine Paddleford, How America Eats (New York: Scribner), 1960.
Spec / TX715 / .P1278

Binnie Dick's Pancakes, pg.296

2 Tbsp bacon drippings, 1 egg (beaten), 1 cup milk, 1 cup sifted flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp sugar

Mix bacon drippings, egg, and 1/2 cup of the milk. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix. Add remaining milk and blend; do not overbeat. Drop onto a hot griddle from the end of a spoon. Bake over medium-low heat. Turn pancakes only once, when the bubbles begin to break on the unbaked side and the edges are dry. Yield: 12 to 14 pancakes.

Book cover

Clementine Paddleford, Clementine Paddleford's Cook Young Cookbook (New York: Pocket Books), 1966.
Spec / TX715 / .P128 / 1966

Captain Jack, pg.116

4 slices bacon (diced), 1 medium onion (diced), 1 green pepper (diced), 2 cans (1 pound each) red kidney beans, 1 can (3 1/2 ounces) tomato paste, 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese (grated), 5 frankfurters (sliced)

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper toweling. Cook onion and green pepper in remaining fat until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Yield: 1 1/2 quarts chili.

Today, the Cookery Collection continues to grow in size and scope through the generosity of many individuals.

The continued growth and success of the Cookery Collection relies upon donations of any size: from one cookbook to several thousand.

A Note About this Exhibit

This exhibit is designed to introduce many hidden or overlooked aspects of the Cookery Collection that are little-known to many people.

The exhibit curators, Regina Beard and Roger Adams, wanted to show a variety of items some very rare and some very common to illustrate the wide range of research possibilities available to scholars using the Cookery Collection.

Whether it's the history of Domestic Science at K-State, Foods of the New World, Celebrity Cookbooks, or Community/Charity Cookbooks, each area represents just a fraction of the whole Cookery Collection and the endless research possibilities it offers to students in many disciplines.