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Cook Books
8 Classic 19th Century Cook Books

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Cook Books
8 Classic 19th Century Cook Books
Compiled by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express - January 27, 2003
ISBN: 0-931968-18-6
Genre: Cookbooks, Cookery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 4, 2003

Please note: As of 9/29/2008, this CD now contains 88 books.

Richard Seltzer's collection of eight Classic 19th Century Cook Books is fantastic! This CD collection, entitled simply, Cook Books is an invaluable treasure trove of recipes. These cookbooks offer an intriguing glimpses into the history and culinary habits of a bygone era.

The cookbooks in this collection were originally published in the 1800's. In addition to including recipes, most of these books also explore cooking techniques, tips, and nutritional concerns. Particularly interesting are the discourses on food preservation and the risks posed by food that was improperly stored or cooked. For example, in The Art of Living in Australia the author, who lived in Sydney, discusses the problems associated with the high cost of purchasing fish and the need to develop Australia's fishing industry.

These books also serve as a window in the life and mind set of the women upon whom the task of cooking primarily fell in the 19th century. They illustrate not only the arduous tasks involved in preparing meals before the advent of refrigerator, electric stove, microwaves, and when dishwashing was a purely manual affair. An example to the value placed upon these women can been seen in such discourse as Cookery as a Preventive of Drunkenness, found in The Art of Living in Australia and the chapter on marketing (shopping) found in Miss Parloa's New Cook Book that begins, "Upon the amount of practical knowledge of marketing that the housekeeper has, the comfort and expense of the family are in a great measure dependent..."

The eight cookbooks in this collection are: The collection of cookbooks are all present in plain text formats, which makes it very easy to change the font style and size in which the texts are presented. As well, this format makes the books easy to read with most screen readers and screen magnification programs. The CD also comes with its own screen reading program, ReadPlease, that will allow your computer read the text of the books out loud to you - if you have a sound card and speakers.

To read these books, you will need a PC with Windows, plus a web browser and a word processing program such as Word or WordPefect.

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