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Recommended Books

These books are ones that I recommend that I think can be helpful for living a simple and natural, old-fashioned lifestyle.

Note: Many of these links are affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission if you decide to purchase a book after clicking on my link. The cost stays the same for you, and I only link to books that I feel good about recommending to you. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Historic Cookbooks

If you are interested in browsing through old antique cookbooks, you can search through digital copies of many old cookbooks for free at Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project. And if you prefer to have your own copy and you like the convenience of being able to page through a physical copy, you can find printed facsimile copies of many old cookbooks online, too. Here are some listed in chronological order.

The First American Cookbook – 1796

This cookbook has the distinction of being the first cookbook written by an American (Amelia Simmons) and published in America. Since it is from the late 1700s, it has the “s” that looks like an “f” in some words, so it is a bit more difficult to read in that sense, but once you get used to that, it is a very interesting look at the recipes of the late 18th century.

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The American Frugal Housewife – 1833

This cookbook was published in 1833 and written by Lydia Maria Child. This focus of this cookbook is especially for frugal living and cooking and the book is dedicated “to those who are not ashamed of economy.” The book includes recipes as well as some remedies and general household advice.

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Early American Cookery (“The Good Housekeeper”) – 1841

This cookbook was written by Sarah Josepha Hale who was an editor for the very popular 19th century lady’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book. This book includes a variety of recipes as well as information about cooking and advice for housekeeping.

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The Young Housekeeper’s Friend – 1859

This cookbook, written by Mrs. Cornelius and published in 1859, has a good variety of recipes. In addition to cooking recipes, it also includes some miscellaneous recipes for household use as well as general advice for household management.

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Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook

Old Sturbridge Village is a living history museum in central Massachusetts that I love visiting often! This cookbook is a great way to have fun with trying out old-fashioned historic recipes with modern instructions and experience what food was like back in the 19th century. The book includes recipes from a variety of different old cookbooks, and it gives directions for making those recipes in modern kitchens as well as instructions for hearth cooking.

Nourishing Traditions

This book has lots in interesting information about traditional real foods and includes dozens of recipes for making traditional dishes that use ingredients like animals products from pasture-raised animals, healthy fats, vegetables, etc.

The Nourished Metabolism

This book gives lots of great information about how to use your diet and your lifestyle to support your metabolism, including figuring out hidden sources of stress, and learning how digestion, sleep, and exercise are connected to your metabolism and figuring out what will work best for your body.

(Lori Elliott is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)


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Thursday 2nd of March 2023

Dear Lori, Thank you for your recent email! You have a wonderful and informative website. I am 70 years old and retired. I have so many interests. I love to cook different ethnic cuisines as well as barbecue. My current project is sourdough and other kinds of breads. I say the same thing, if you listened to everyone we would probably give up eating. I guess moderation is key. I have a propensity for gaining weight although I am active and try to curb my eating habits. I am having success with incorporating vegan dishes into my diet. As I stated you have an amazing website, for that I thank you. Sincerely, Wayne Yoka

Lori Elliott

Wednesday 8th of March 2023

Thank you for your kind words, Wayne. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying cooking different ethnic cuisines and barbecue, and sourdough and baking breads are definitely fun projects, too. I'm glad to hear that you have found an eating plan that seems to be working well for you, too.

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