Cooking by the Book: George Eastman’s Camp Cookbook

Kate Meyers Emery
Apr 27, 2020 · 3 min read

Did you know that George Eastman, pioneer of popular photography and founder of Kodak, loved to cook? In 1919, George Eastman created a cookbook that included recipes that he loved. These included some classics like bread pudding and macaroni and cheese, and some we wouldn’t normally see like chipped beef and codfish puffs.

We decided that it would be fun to test out a couple of these recipes to really taste what kind of food George Eastman liked to cook.

Full cookbook available at

Eliza’s Bread Pudding

Eliza was Eastman’s cook at home, preparing all his meals for himself as well as his guests when he entertained. It’s no surprise that Eastman has a few of her recipes in his cookbook. This recipe was tested by our director of marketing and engagement, Eliza Kozlowski.

The recipe calls for:

1 Large Cup of Bread

1 Small Cup Hot Milk

1 Dessert Spoon Melted Hot Butter

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Grated nutmeg

The ingredients are mixed together, then added to a buttered pudding dish and baked at a moderate heat until done.

In order to complete this, Eliza made a few changes and guesses. First, she interpreted a large cup to be a heaping measuring cup, and a small cup to be just a single measuring cup. The tablespoon of vanilla was done as 1/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract. The recipe disagrees on the number of eggs, it says one in the ingredients but two in the description; Eliza used one egg. She didn’t have fresh nutmeg available so a few dashes of ground nutmeg were used. Temperature and baking time were not specified, so Eliza looked up some other bread pudding recipes and decided to do 350 degrees for 30 min.

But what did it taste like? Delicious! Eliza enjoyed the recipe and said she would make it again. Way to go past Eliza making an awesome recipe for today Eliza!

Eastman’s Rice Pudding

Rice pudding has been a popular dessert for centuries and was popular among European immigrants in the late 20th century. Eastman’s version more closely represents the British interpretation of rice pudding.

The recipe includes:

2 Eggs Beaten Together

1 Pint Boiled Rice

1 Tablespoon Butter

1/2 Cup Dried Fruit Covered with Boiling Water for 5 Minutes

Sugar to Taste

Milk to Make a Custard

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

All of the ingredients are mixed together, and it is baked in the oven. It also includes a sauce of maple sugar and butter.

Our manager of digital engagement, Kate Meyers Emery, chose to make this dish. Kate used two cups of steamed jasmine rice in place of the pint, melted the butter before adding it, and used raisins and dried cranberries as her fruit. Due to a lack of maple sugar, she elected not to do the sauce, but chose instead to add a quarter cup of brown sugar. To determine amount of milk to add and baking time, she looked up other baked rice pudding recipes, and decided with 1 cup of milk and making at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

How did the finished dish taste? Better than expected! In the future, Kate noted that she would add more milk, more dried fruit, and definitely try to make some kind of sauce.

George Eastman Museum

Articles from the staff, students, volunteers, and fans of…

George Eastman Museum

Articles from the staff, students, volunteers, and fans of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.

Kate Meyers Emery

Written by

PhD, Roc native, Digital evangelist. Manager of Digital Engagement at @eastmanmuseum. @SUNYgeneseo @EdinburghUni + @michiganstateu alum. Opinions my own

George Eastman Museum

Articles from the staff, students, volunteers, and fans of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.

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