Learn about the Charleston Junior League’s bestselling tome of Lowcountry cuisine
In this circa-1960 photo, (from left to right) Mrs. Charles R. Allen Jr., Mrs. Elliott Hutson, and Mrs. John McCrady Jr. hold copies of Charleston Receipts, likely while commemorating one of the cookbook’s early anniversaries. Much has changed since then—such as the practice of identifying women by their husbands’ names—but the now-iconic tome lives on almost exactly as it was created, complete with 750 recipes, Gullah verses, and sketches by significant Holy City artists. Back in 1950, Junior League of Charleston sustainers spent just one month collecting entries from residents, two more testing the dishes, and a final four putting the volume together. The book debuted on November 1, and in four days, the league sold all 2,000 copies for $2.50 each, with proceeds funding the Charleston Speech and Hearing Center. Seven decades in, the spiral-bound cookbook has generated some $1 million to benefit community projects and leadership training for women. This November 13, the Junior League celebrates by holding a virtual cooking class with James Beard Award-winning author and chef Nathalie Dupree. To join her in whipping up legendary local eats, buy tickets at jlcharleston.org.