How to Get a Copy: (For signed or personalized copies, see option #2.) 1. Your local book store. If your local store doesn't have Preserving Family Recipes, they can order it for you, usually shipping it to your preference -- home or their location. The list price of $26.95, but sales or discounts may apply. 2. Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia sells signed copies. If you want me to personalize an inscription for you, let them know. They'll contact me to come in and do that for you and then either ship the personalized book to you or let you know when it is ready for in-person pickup. They sell the book at list price of $26.95. Shipping depends on the location but is around $4.95. You can order online at http://www.avidbookshop.com. Or you can give them a call at 706-352-2060. 3. UGA Press. They charge the list price of $26.95 but offer free shipping. Click here for UGA Press. 4. Barnes & Noble. They charge $20.21 and offer free shipping for orders over $25. Click here for B&N link. 5. Amazon. They charge $20.21 and offer free shipping for orders over $35 or those holding Amazon Prime memberships. Click here for Amazon link.
Signed and Inscribed Books: I am grateful to everyone who buys a copy and honored that some folks want copies that are signed or have personal inscriptions. 1. Friends/Family -- If I know you personally and see you periodically, I am more than happy to inscribe a copy for you or to give someone else as a gift. I'll sign as many as you'd like! 2. Book Signing Events -- A list of upcoming events is listed in the News section of my website. I am happy to sign/inscribe books! 3. Mailing Books -- I'm sorry, but I am not able to mail books to you. Thanks for understanding.
Valerie J. Frey is a writer and archivist. Her projects focus on personal writing, storytelling, genealogy, local history, material culture, folklife, and home life both modern and historic.
Sapelo Island, Georgia was Valerie's first home and Cleveland County, Arkansas is her ancestral homeland, so both these places remain important sources of inspiration, but she considers Athens, Georgia her hometown. She spent many fine childhood hours there building tree forts in the woods near home, seeking out wild plums, and rooting through the town library.
Later, Valerie earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Art Education from the University of Georgia. Her master’s thesis, Folk Art in North Georgia: A Model Curriculum, wove together art, local history, and personal narratives. Her thesis experiences and a love for her grandparents' stories lured her into pursuing a master’s degree in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she concentrated on historical research and archives. Her second thesis is entitled Personal Information Systems: Journals and Diaries as Process and Product.
After graduate school, she served as a Junior Fellow in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress and then became Manuscripts Archivist at the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah and Archivist of the Savannah Jewish Archives. During that time, she co-authored two books focusing on historic photographs and oral histories: Images of America: The Jewish Community of Savannah (Charleston: Arcadia Press, 2002) and Voices of Savannah (Savannah: Savannah Jewish Archives, 2004).
In 2003, Valerie became Education Coordinator of the Georgia Archives where she spent her time developing public service programs as well as creating resources for educators and their students. She won a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council to create Down Home Days, an annual event to help kids develop a love of history.
In 2007, marrying an Air Force officer took Valerie away from the South and she became a full-time writer as well as a consultant, contract archivist, temporary Northern Californian, and mother to one easygoing and charming boy. Now that she has returned to her homeland, her current book project with the University of Georgia Press, Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions was released November 1, 2015.
(Top author photo by Amberlee Fletcher of Lilac Lens Photography, Nashville)
Inspiration: Farm to Market Road
My paternal grandparents lived in a little white two-bedroom house that my grandfather built himself on the edge of a quiet cotton town, population just over one hundred. My grandparents are gone now, but the house still stands on Farm to Market Road, two narrow lanes of “blacktop” leading deeper into the overgrown fields and timberland of rural south-central Arkansas.
It was on frequent visits to this place that I learned to love story and local history, to find a foundation in knowing where you came from even as you enjoy the present and step into the future. My grandparents wove tales full of rich characters who took part in events that ranged from funny to alarming to inspiring. Those stories gave me useful knowledge but also a rooted sense of place and belonging.
In addition, my grandparents moved to their own slow, steady beat. In and around their home, I learned something of the older patterns of gathering, fishing, and gardening but also old-fashioned games and amusements. Meals were much more likely to follow the seasons, the land’s bounty, and the traditions of home. Here is where I learned to make things by hand and to enjoy work for its own sake.
Last but not least, this was one of the important landscapes of my childhood. I spent hours exploring, playing, wading, and strolling in the fields, woods, and creeks. Such places taught me to slow down, to truly look, and to find beauty everywhere. My work -- in words and photographs -- is deeply inspired by the love and experiences that unfolded along Farm to Market Road. This is the wellspring that I return to when I need creativity, balance, beauty, and the warmth of home.
Comparing recipes is a great way to learn more about the background history of a family favorite, glean hints about how to clarify a recipe, or figure out how to tweak a recipe to get it "just right." Unfortunately, the older a recipe is, the harder it can be to find comparison recipes or additional information. The Bibliography and Suggested Reading sections of Preserving Family Recipes can aid you with learning about print and online sources.
Still need help? Or too busy to do the research?
If you would like to hire me to perform reference services for you, please contact me for pricing and details at valeriejfrey at gmail dot com. Few archives and even fewer libraries have extensive older cookbook collections, but I can efficiently put my personal library and research skills to work for you.
Below is a list of favorite titles I often turn to for help with historic recipes. My personal collection also includes over 200 cookbooklets and cooking pamphlets from the first half of the 20th century as well as many of the secondary sources on food history listed in the Bibliography of Preserving Family Recipes.
1600s-1700s -- Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery (transcribed by food historian Karen Hess).
1700s -- Donovan/Hatrak/Mills/Schull, The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook (compilation).
1700s-1800s -- The Williamsburg Art of Cookery (compilation).
1700s-1800s -- Karen Hess, The Carolina Rice Kitchen (compilation).
1727 -- Eliza Smith, The Compleat Housewife (London).
1747 -- Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (London).
1796 -- Amelia Simmons, American Cookery (Connecticut).
1800s -- Atlanta Historical Society, Tullie's Receipts (compilation from the South).
1824 -- Mary Randolph, The Virginia Housewife.
1829 -- Lydia Maria Child, The American Frugal Housewife (Massachusetts).
1830s -- Nelly Custis Lewis's Housekeeping Book (Virginia/Louisiana).
1839 -- Lettice Bryan, The Kentucky Housewife.
1845 -- Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery for Private Families (London).
1846 -- Catharine Beecher, Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book (New York).
1847 -- Sarah Rutledge, The Carolina Housewife (Charleston).
1857 -- Eliza Leslie, Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book (Philadelphia).
1860-1890 -- Zimmer, The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book (Virginia).
1861 -- Isabella Beeton, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (London).
1860s -- Spaulding & Spaulding, Civil War Recipes: Receipts from the Pages of Godey's Lady's Book (Philadelphia).
1867 -- Annabella Hill, Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book (Georgia).
1879 -- Marion Cabell Tyree, Housekeeping in Old Virginia.
1881 -- Abby Fisher, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking (Alabama/African-American).
1883 -- Estelle Woods Wilcox, The Dixie Cook-Book (many of the recipes are from Ohio).
1894 -- Ziemann, The White House Cook Book (Washington DC).
1895 -- Mrs. Henry Lumpkin Wilson, The Atlanta Exposition Cookbook.
1896 -- Fannie Farmer, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.
1901 -- Lizzy Kander, The Settlement Cookbook (Wisconsin, Jewish/Bavarian).