The Historic Kentucky Kitchen: Traditional Recipes for Today’s Cook


On the evening of November 13, 2014 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Bowling Green, KY, WKU Libraries hosted Deirdre A. Scaggs, who discussed the book titled The Historic Kentucky Kitchen: Traditional Recipes for Today’s Cook co-authored with Andrew W. McGraw. Ms. Scaggs is Associate Dean of the Special Collections of the University of Kentucky Libraries and Co-Director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. The discussion was part of the WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live!” speaker series partnered with the Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

The cookbook enhances and refines a collection of recipes discovered in the special collection archives. Deirdre and a culinary professional carefully tested every single recipe (about 200) and found winners (approximately 100) among some to become complete failures (such as White Mountain Cake). Deirdre compiled 100 recipes from the 200 and found that most of the recipes were performed by servants. She was intrigued by the level of sophistication and how much French and English influence was present in the recipes. Most were hand-written personal recipes from families such as the Breckenridge Family, and Francis Jewell McVey (wife of President McVey from the University of Kentucky, former UK professor of English and since 1921, Dean of Women at UK). Deirdre and Andrew used local ingredients whenever possible and modified some recipes to substitute ingredients such as lard or rare extinct items without losing the historical link and core values of the dish.

Their purpose is to celebrate Kentucky heritage while also making the recipes user-friendly for modern home cooks.


American Popular Culture | Food Science | United States History