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The Vintage Kitchen & Garden

The Complete Jell-O Recipe Book, 1929

The Complete Jell-O Recipe Book, 1929

Regular price $14.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $14.00 USD
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The Complete Jell-O Recipe Book, published in 1929 by The Jell-O Company, LeRoy, NY.

"Surprises keep popping out of the Jell-O box. For Jell-O, so long famous as a dessert, now appears in many other delightful  new roles: in colorful molds of salads, dainty appetizers, tart relishes, attractive entrees, and still more desserts - all intriguing and delicious.  And these dishes are so easy to make. Just a package of Jell-O from the pantry shelf, a glance in the refrigerator, and a few minutes' preparation."  This brief list alone evokes the culinary tastes of the late-1920s, when every table would have a salad mold and relish tray and jellied meats and appetizers were expected.

While we often think of Jell-o as being a post-World War II, mid-century convenience food invention, its history dates back to the mid-1800s.  In 1895, 50 years after the original patent was granted for a "portable gelatin dessert powder," Pearl B. Wait, a cough-syrup manufacturer in Le-Roy, New York, purchased the rights and began experimenting with the addition of fruit syrups (strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lemon) to gelatin. His wife, May, renamed the dessert “Jell-O” and although they were responsible for its invention, they lacked the knowledge and funds to market it successfully.  The business was sold to Wait's neighbor, Orator Francis Woodward, who was ultimately responsible for the product's success as we know it today.

Measuring approximately 7" x 4 3/8" with 48 pages, this early Jell-O advertising cookbooklet  offers so many options for jellied and jell-oed dishes. Given its nearly 100-year-old age, there is some wear around the edges and spine and a small stain inside the front cover.

"Is it any wonder that women buy Jell-O by the half-dozen packages? And count it one of the best friends in their pantry?'  Absolutely not!

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