The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking
What is so secret about Bess's Secret Chocolate Waffles? Are the Captive Biscuits
being held captive somewhere? Is Lemonade Disguise another one of Nancy's "bad" aliases?
Does the Ivory Charm Shrimp Curry have any lifesaving properties in it? Does the
Crumbling Wall Coffee Cake crumble when you eat it? And what is so "special" about
The Cousins' Special Cauliflower?
These and other baffling questions will be answered by the Nancy Drew Cookbook where
inside its 70's style covers, you will
find 'Clues to Good Cooking.' Debuting in 1973, The Nancy Drew Cookbook
mixed in a dash of mystery with a pinch of thematic recipes. Nearly half of the 111 recipes incorporate
part of titles from the first 50 volumes
of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories--including the sinister Double Jinx Salad,
the warm and toasty Ski Jump Hot
Chocolate, and the mysterious Haunted Showboat Pralines.
25 of the recipes involve places or characters from the series such as
Togo Dogs, Mrs. Fayne's Famous Rice, and Hannah's Cheese Puffs.
George, Hannah, and the Drews have several recipes
named in their honor! Poor Helen Corning--always a wayward character throughout the series-does not have a
recipe of her own but she and her parents, The Cornings, all have one together!
The following places or characters are used:
- Nancy Drew
- Carson Drew
- Ned Nickerson
- Mrs. Nickerson
- Hannah Gruen
- Bess Marvin
- Mrs. Marvin
- George Fayne
- Mrs. Fayne
- Burt Eddelton
- Dave Evans
- Chief McGinnis
- Aunt Eloise Drew
- Miss Hanson (Carson Drew's Secretary)
- The Cornings
- Tommy (Nancy's neighbor)
- River Heights
- Muskoka River
21 recipes incorporate various mystery themed words into their titles: Coded Steak Rolls, Mystery Corn Pudding, and The Case of the Smothered Pork Chops
are some of the more mysterious sounding recipes. There are 15 recipes which focus on international fare such as
Hong Kong Fortune Cookies, Versailles Au Chocolat, and English Style Chops with
Herbs. Throughout the cookbook, you will find tips from Nancy including adding a 'mysterious taste', a 'taste of
intrigue', the scary sounding 'mysterious crunch',
and adding 'a dash of mystery'.
Contents of The Nancy Drew Cookbook
Click on the following chapter links for an in-depth look at each chapter and its recipes.
There is a Forward to the cookbook from 'Carolyn Keene', which states the
"How can you become a really good cook?"
"'It's no mystery,' Nancy Drew reveals. 'You must do what fine cooks have always done--add your own
"How do you do this? Let Nancy show you how. Who would be more intrigued to be an adventurer in
cooking than a girl who loves to solve mysteries!"
"In this book she gives you over a hundred easy recipes and for some of them she has included
her cooking secret. It may be a pinch of an herb, a secret sauce, a surprise cake. The trick
can be anything that makes the food easier to prepare, tastier or more attractive-looking when
"Of course, Nancy's friends have helped with her cookbook and Hannah Gruen has lent advice. Bess
likes rich foods, George the slimming ones. The boys are the experts on barbeques, picnics and
"Nancy's acquaintances from overseas have sent recipes of their delicious native dishes, and there
are surprise specialties even from Mr. Drew!"
"Just remember Nancy's two most important rules: follow the recipe carefully and add that little
secret touch of hers. Or think up a mystery ingredient of your own!
To Clue You In moves right along with 21 tips and how-tos for cooking and preparation of the
recipes including "#1. Unless you are an expert, follow the recipes exactly."
Votes for Good Breakfasts is a short story introduction to how chapter 1 came to be put together.
Nancy tested out 24 recipes with the help of her father, Carson Drew, her special friend, Ned Nickerson,
Hannah Gruen, and her chums Bess Marvin and George Fayne, and Bess's steady date Dave Evans and
George's friend Burt Eddleton. All of them voted and the winning recipes were incorporated into
Kitchen Mystery is a short story of how Nancy helped her neighbor, Mrs. Russo, find a valuable
heirloom ring--located in a batch of freshly baked muffins! After destroying several muffins in her search
for the ring, Nancy is nice enough to offer to bake a fresh batch of muffins for Mrs. Russo's niece's birthday
While waxing nostalgic with its many themed recipes, The Nancy Drew Cookbook lacks that
closeness and in-depth tie-in to the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. What happened to
The Sign of the Twisted Candles Cinnamon Toast? How about
The Secret of Mrs. Burd's Sizzling Ham & Sweet Potatoes or
Lilac Inn Chicken Dinner? The cookbook's collectibility--notwithstanding this lack of
a true tie-in to the original stories--is what makes this cookbook harder to find. It is treasured by
many who still have their original cookbook bought fresh off the shelf at the local bookstore and it is
sought after by collectors who want to have all of the Nancy Drew themed collectibles in their
collections. It typically commands prices between $10.00 on up to $50.00 or more for a first
printing in reasonably good shape.
David Farah notes in his Nancy Drew guide, Farah's Guide, (11th printing), that
Patsy Bogle of Montgomery, Alabama, compiled the recipes for the cookbook. She also signed a
release for them on November 20, 1971.
The first printing which I own--shown at the top of this page--has red endpapers. Later on in the printings, the endpapers
became a cream color. Also, in the first printing on page 138, tomatoes are left out of the
ingredients listed for the Italian Salsa Di Pomidoro recipe. The cookbook was
also issued in a library edition.
Featured above is an advertisement that appeared on yellow spine picture cover format books
The Hidden Staircase book pictured. Only a couple of printings featured this ad and it
can be found for only the first 54 volumes. The ad features a picture of The Nancy Drew
Cookbook and the following blurb:
"Nancy Drew does it again--this time uncovering the secrets of kitchen lore. After a
thorough investigation, she selects some great recipes for every meal. Then, with a pinch of
special tips and a batch of nutritional clues, she passes them on to you."
There are also four reviews of the cookbook including this one by the Chicago Tribune:
"...will just encourage young cooks to unravel the mysteries of cooking."
Overall, the cookbook is mostly part of the nostalgia of collecting Nancy Drew books because if you
closely examine the recipes with your magnifying glass you will discover that things may not
appear as they should be. You will find some strange ingredients and odd combinations of
ingredients, and not enough traditional
spices for some recipes. You will find yourself wanting to make substitutions and add to
the mysterious flip side, you will find some very basic and fairly good recipes.
But certainly, these recipes are not for the true gourmet cook unless you are an 'expert'
disregard the first tip from the 'To Clue You In'
section and vary the recipes as you secretly please!
Reminder: For detailed analysis of the recipes in each chapter of the cookbook, click
on the chapter titles above!
Grosset & Dunlap reprinted the cookbook in 2005.