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31 October 2017: Cooking and Baking

 With the ‘Great British Bake Off’ entering into the final this week, we've decided to look at some of the delicious and delectable works on cookery in our library.

A post on cookery wouldn’t be complete without discussing Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. An important work for any bookshelf, Mrs Beeton's was an extensive guide to running a household in Victorian Britain. This book was edited by Isabella Mary Beeton and published by her husband, Samuel Orchart Beeton. The recipes to this work were highly structured compared to its predecessors in the cookbook realm. Many recipes were copied from the most successful cookery books of the day including Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families and Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy as well as many more.

We have several copies of this celebrated work, including a rather uncommon late nineteenth century edition. This particular copy is illustrated, with a foldout frontispiece and an additional twelve illustrated plated. In addition to this there are numerous black and white vignettes. Click here to see our copy

As mentioned previously, Mrs Beeton took inspiration from contemporary work The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse. We have an early edition of this from 1765. Glasse’s cook book was a bestseller and appeared in twenty editions during the 18th century and had a continuous print run into the mid nineteenth-century. The work dominated the English-speaking market and gained Glasse fame. Her 1751 edition was the first book to mention trifle with jelly as an ingredient whereas the 1758 edition gave the first mention of Hamburgh Sausages’ and piccalilli for an Indian style curry.

Our copy is the ninth edition of this classic work and boasts recipes from puddings and pies to recommended dishes for the sick and captains of ships. There is also a recipe for ‘A Certain Cure for the bite of a mad dog’ from one Dr Mead. Click here to see our copy. 

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families was another contemporary work that Beeton borrowed from. The work was first published in 1845 and was the first of its kind as it was aimed at the domestic reader rather than a professional audience. Her work introduced the now-commonplace practice of listing ingredients and providing a suggested cooking time per recipe. The work also included the first recipe for Brussels sprouts. We have an 1868 edition of her work, which is profusely illustrated throughout. It is a newly revised and much enlarged edition. Click here to see our copy. 

Moving on from British cookery and jumping to the twentieth century, we have a fascinating work titled Gourmet’s Guide to New Orleans.

This work focuses on old and new recipes and culinary traditions from the renowned restaurants of New Orleans. It reflects on and celebrates the history of Creole cooking as well as its connection to the Creole peoples. Creole cooking blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, Haitian, German, Italian and Irish influences. Recipes include Café Brulot, Oyster Puree soup as well as Calf’s feet Ravigote and Mallard duck. Click here to see our listing.

It wouldn’t be a post regarding ‘Bake Off’ without looking at some works that are specific to baked goods. Pastries: Present and Future is just that. It is an illustrated text on pastry-making. Published just after the Second World War, this edition is revised and updated with many new post-war methods, ingredients and conditions. Click here for our listing. 

Another twentieth century work filled with baking goodness is All About Gateaux and Dessert Cakes by H.G Harris and S.P Borella.  This book does what it says on the tin (excuse the pun). It is filled with many dessert recipes by the authors of the ‘All About Confectionary Series’ of handbooks. This recipe book has been well loved and used, which is credit to the recipes. 

We have many more works in our cookery section, from recipe books on Ice Cream and Sorbet to an analysis on ‘The Anatomy of Dessert.’ Take a look at our Cookery section and ignite your taste-buds - maybe even inspiring you to be a future 'star baker'.


 

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