Charleston Recipes

Newly Released Cookbook Features Distinctly Charleston Recipes

For decades Southern cooks – both professional and amateur – have relied on recipes from the “Charleston Receipts” cookbook. It has been a staple in many a kitchen cookbook collection. Now, The Junior League of Charleston has republished a little red cookbook called “Charleston Recipes.” First published in 1949, it pre-dates the famed “Charleston Receipts.”

Virtually lost for decades, “Charleston Recipes” was recently rediscovered in an attic by Josephine Humphreys, a former Junior League member and daughter of the original editor Martha Lynch Humphreys.

“Only one year separates the two cookbooks (Recipes and Receipts), but they can almost be seen as representing different decades,” writes Humphreys in her introduction. “The 1949 book seems spare and frugal, still in the shadow of the depression and wartime privations, while the 1950 book is exuberant, celebratory, even sometimes downright lavish. And yet there are tempting and delightful recipes to be found only in the red book.”

Below are two recipes featured in “Charleston Recipes”:

Crab Pie

  • 1 lb. crab meat (claw meat is suitable)
  • 3 or 4 mashed, hard boiled eggs
  • Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  • Mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • ½ of small box of saltine crackers

Add cracker crumbs to crab and egg mixture, then add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Add lots of salad dressing or mayonnaise to make it very moist. Bake in hot oven until brown.

~ Elizabeth Matthew


German Coffee Cake

  • 1 kitchen spoon of butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 grated rind of lemon
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of baking flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk

Cream butter and sugar well. Add lemon rind and milk, then flour and baking powder. Spread on biscuit pan. Brush top with butter then sprinkle with cinnamon. (Chopped nuts may be added or sliced apples.) Bake in a moderate over 15 to 20 minutes.

~ Mary Huguenin Bailey


“Charleston Receipts,” the nation’s oldest Junior League cookbook in continuous print, has sold more than one million copies in the last 65 years. Purchase it and the newly released “Charleston Recipes” at