Modern Meatless Cook Book
From the House of Rest, with recipes gatehered from California Homes of Truth
San Jose, 1910s
This cookbook is one of three books in the Archive printed in Northern California. I’ve included it here because it features recipes from Homes Of Truth in Los Angeles and also because it is an important representation of an early vegetarian movement throughout California that appropriated heavily from Hindu beliefs.
The Home of Truth was founded in the late 1800s by two sisters, Annie Rix Militz and Harriet Hale Rix, and the eight Homes of Truth throughout the US mostly housed women disciples. Though they were heavily inspired by Swami Vivekananda, the women also published writings on their Christian faith. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, and The New Thought Movement were other influences.
In late 1899 and early 1900, the Los Angeles Home Of Truth hosted Swami Vivekananda for a series of lectures at social clubs, halls, and hotels throughout the city. He stayed at the homes of various well-to-do Angelinos, including Mrs. Emeline F. Bowler, president of Pasadena’s Shakespeare Club (which also has a cookbook in this archive). He also met several times with Carrie Mead Wyckoff, who would go on to found Hollywood’s Vedanta Society and Temple.
In Vivekananda’s romanticized visit to the Home of Truth, one can find seeds of white Californian’s draw towards Hindu beliefs that resurfaced in the 1960s and 70s. Indeed, Christopher Isherwood wrote about the Vedanta Society during those decades in his autobiography My Guru, and His Disciple.
Another cookbook in this Archive, Food For Thought, was published by a related movement, The Institute for Mentalphysics, which was heavily inspired by Tibetan Bhuddist teachings and also advocates vegetarian cooking.
The Home Of Truth Spiritual Center still exists today.
I have cooked from this book!
This book has a wonderful and creative section on vegetarian sandwiches. I made the Nasturtium Sandwich with nasturtium flowers - an ingredient that appears frequently in several early cookbooks with this archive.
Nasturtium flowers (or nasturtians) originated in the Americas and, like their relative watercress, were often used in salads for their peppery taste (“nasturtium officinale: is latin for “nose twist”). Nasturtium-like tubers have been found at ancient archaeological sites, and researchers believe the Inca people used nasturtiums as medicinal herbs because of their antiseptic properties.
In Los Angeles, nasturtiums start blooming at the beginning of the summer. I found that mashing them, as is called for in this recipe, further brought out their pleasing, peppery bite.
Apple A Day... Vegetarian Cookery by Doctors' Wives, An
Food For Thought: Over Three Hundreds Delightful Recipes - Mostly Vegetarian
Hints to Housekeepers
The Hollywood Vegetarian Cookbook
Modern Meatless Cook Book
Vegetarian Recipes From the Glendale Sanitarium Kitchen
Soon you will be able to download this entire book! Due to their fragile nature, each book is being digitized by hand. If you have particular interest in a particular cookbook, please reach out via the Contact Page, so it will be given priority.