Friday, December 18, 2020

Junior League Cookbooks

While we are all marooned at home this winter why not not beef up the cooking skills (no pun intended). As someone who likes to cook, my kitchen is already bulging with cookbooks (and I love adding new ones).  Some of my all time favorites are Junior League Cookbooks. And as a former Junior Leaguer who was involved with putting out a cookbook many moons ago, I can tell you from experience that these recipes are tested!  Leagues use these books to raise money to support the work they do in the community.  And these women are generally very good cooks.

This one, I own, and use it frequently. This is a collection of recipes from many Leagues across the country, to celebrate the League's centennial. So this is like the best of the best.

I have this one too and recommend it from the Roanoke, VA League, just down the road from me.

I also have this one from Atlanta. And I use this one too. Recommend if you like Southern type food.

I also have this one from the Junior League of Washington, DC. I don't use this one as much as the ones above but would recommend.

Some recommendations.....

1) Pick out books with more recent publication dates. Food does change and our interest in preparing meals that are more healthy (and not using multiple cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup) has changed over time. I'd look for books published in the last 10-15 years or newer  if possible, unless you prefer the older style recipes.

2) Pick out books from areas where you'll like the food. Don't buy a book from Louisiana if you hate cajun food. Or don't buy a book from the Tampa League if you hate seafood.

3) My dirty little secret - you can buy these books VERY CHEAPLY from Thrift Books and Abe Books, like for $5 to $10 each with free shipping. So you can build your own collection. And if you don't like them, donate them!

Try out books from cities like Charleston, Nashville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Sarasota, Cleveland, Dallas, etc. We won't be dining out much in the coming months, so take full advantage!  Enjoy!  Make the best of this time at home. I am!


  1. Houston's Stop and Smell the Thyme has lots of good recipes. Kansas City's Beyond Parsley is beautifully photographed...

  2. I am a member of the Junior League of Sarasota and have been for over 30 years (and a past president) and all of our cookbooks are fabulous! I love all the Leagues' cookbook and have many. I actually like the older ones, just for nostalgia. It is always so funny to me to see everyone listed as Mrs. their husband's name. I remember reading one from the south that gave the instruction that if you could not pour the tea at your tea, than it was okay to have your maid do it. LOL!

  3. I was a member of JL of Washington DC. You had to work HARD if you were going to be a member. Those are some of the best memories.


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