Large Print Reviews
8 Classic 19th Century Cook Books
8 Classic 19th Century Cook Books
Compiled by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express - January 27, 2003
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
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.
- The Art of Living in Australia, Together with three hundred Australian cookery
recipes and accessory
kitchen information by Mrs. H. Wicken, (1893). This is my favorite book in this collection. It not only provides some delicious recipes, but is also provides intriguing insights into life in Australia in the late 1890's.
- The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste,
Mrs. W. G. Waters . A plethora of Italian recipes ranging from Lingue di Castrato alla Cuciniera (Sheep's Tongues) to the more appetizing, Asparagi alla salsa Suprema (Asparagus).
- Favorite Dishes: a Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, complied by
Carrie V. Shuman (1893). This book includes a detailed narrative on Tea.
- Many Ways for Cooking Eggs, by Mrs. S.T. Rorer. Includes information on how to preserve eggs, and such unique recipes as Omelet with Rum and Eggs Scrambled with Lettuce.
- Miss Parloa's New Cook Book: a Guide to Marketing and Cooking, by Maria
Parloa (1894). This book includes a weights and measure chart that will come in handy if you every have to figure out how much a quart of flour weighs (one pound) or that the 'cup' used in many older recipes is equal to half a pint. This book also discusses kitchen furnishings and the care of food. Sample menus (Bills of Fare) are also included, such as a menu for SUPPER FOR FIFTY that recommend having on hand at least two tongues in jelly and Fifty Sardine Sandwiches.
- Recipes Tried and True. Compiled by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church - Marion, Ohio. (1894). Includes menus for 'plain' family dinners, breakfast, an old-fashioned thanksgiving dinner, and summer breakfasts. Most of the recipes in this book are of the 'easy and fast to fix' variety circa the 1890's.
- Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry Cakes, and Sweetmeats, by Miss Leslie of
Philadelphia, 1832. This is an 'all' American cookery book. Recipes cover puddings, cakes, jellies, pies, biscuits, and preserves. This is a great cookbook for anyone with a sweet tooth.
- Simple Italian Cookery by Antonia Isola. This is a 'straight' cookbook in that it only contains recipes, covering just about everything from soup to dessert.
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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- The Church Ladies' Divine Desserts, by Brenda Rhodes Miller.
This is both a cookbook and a history of the Church Ladies who created the scrumptious deserts that make up this delicious book! (Large Print)
- Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child.
This cookbook will serve as a handy reference book, for novice and advanced cooks, on basic cooking techniques, timesaving tips, and useful advice that will save you years of trial-and-error in the kitchen. (Large Print)
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