Innovation and food history are intricately connected. Community cookbooks reflect their moment in time in everything from ingredients to physical aesthetics - like plastic spiral bindings (developed in response to wire shortages during WWII).
New technological inventions in the kitchen have always prompted new recipes. In particular, the introduction of refrigerators and gas stoves necessitated creative and updated ways of cooking.
Some now ubiquitous recipes for ice creams and casseroles were devised not in home kitchens but in the Home Services Departments of product manufacturers and municipal electricity and gas companies.
Starting in the early 1900s, The Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light (later the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) and Southern California Gas Company put out numerous promotional cookbooks, usually for free. The LADWP even offered local cooking classes to encourage the use of new technologies using electricity and gas.
Today. everything from electric pizza ovens, to Instant Pots, to air fryers are packaged with recipe books developed by manufacturers, meant to teach and entice consumers. These recipes iterate and evolve on social media and may one day be shared in a community cookbook.