It’s Monday! What are you reading? – Cooking with Jane Austen

Cooking with Jane Austen
Title: Cooking with Jane Austen
Author: Kirstin Olsen
Publication Date: August 1, 2005

Synopsis: One of the greatest writers of all time, Jane Austen drew upon her domestic culture to color her works. Included in this book are more than 200 recipes for the many, many meals she alludes to throughout her writings. Recipes appear in modernized form, along with quotations from Austen’s writings and excerpts from cookbooks of her era. Sure to entertain her numerous fans, the volume provides readers with recipes for such dishes as fried beef steaks, broiled mutton chops, roast pork loin, buttered crab or lobster, Stilton cheese, syrup of mulberries, almond pudding, French bread, mushroom ketchup, and many others.

The book begins with some introductory chapters on cooking and eating in Austen’s world. It then presents chapters on broad categories of food, such as beef and veal, seafood, pastries and sweets, and beverages. Each chapter includes extracts from Austen’s works and from cookbooks of her period, accompanied by easy-to-follow modernized recipes. The volume closes with some sample menus; glossaries of ingredients, sources, and special tools; and a bibliography of period cookbooks and modern studies.

Review:  A co-worker brought this book to my attention. She had found it in the stacks and was adding it to a book display of cookbooks for the holidays. I flipped through and knew quickly that this was one book that I needed to add to my collection. The book takes a look at dishes mentioned in Austen’s writings and books and then looks at historical cookbooks to find the recipes. Then the book gives you a modern version for you to try at home. I can’t wait to try some!

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