As much as I enjoy combing through vintage cook books, I am modern enough to also like lurking on food blogs. Many of these break recipes down into steps, illustrating each with explanatory photographs. I thought this was a response to cooks who are maybe learning their way around the kitchen as adults, rather than as someone’s child apprentice.
Cooking from vintage cookbooks brings the past right into the kitchen, and I do so often. Seattle has produced many cookbooks over the past century or so, beginning with the wonderful 1896 Clever Cooking. Until the 1920s, most recipe books could be a bit vague on details — contemporary cooks understood how much dry wood it took to produce a medium-hot oven, or how much sugar ½ a teacup would be. Once the influence of work flow engineer Lillian Gilbreth and cookbook author Fannie Farmer (who advocated standardized recipe measurements) spread, home cooks had an easier time following cookbook recipes.