Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

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Catch-up, 2/15/2016

February 15, 2016

The Seven Darlings, by Gouverneur Morris

Mel was reading this, and it sounded fun, and it is. Six sisters and a brother turn their summer home into a fancy resort to earn a living after their father dies. It starts really, really well, but there’s too much going on. Every sibling has a romance, and in the end, none of them get enough page-time.

Firm of Nan & Sue, Stenographers, by Harriet Carpenter Cullaton

Mostly a series of anecdotes about running a typewriting business, told by Nan. She recruits her widowed friend Sue when she finds she has too much work to do on her own. The two women deal with a variety of customers, are taken in by a con artist, and, perhaps most intriguingly, operate a payphone.

Gentle Breadwinners, by Catherine Owen

Another story/cookbook from Catherine Owen. Two young women, left penniless after the death of their father, move in with their aunt and uncle, poor farmers. After a few false starts, Dorothy, the older sister, figures out how to earn a living, with not as much help as she’d like from her sister May. Don’t let the abbreviated review fool you–I loved this.

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The Art of Confectionary

September 29, 2009

Have you ever wanted to boil sugar “to the Degree called Smooth”? Do you urgently need to draw a jelly from pippins? Have you, like me, always been curious about the preparation of cochineal? Do you wish to know the difference between preserving gooseberries green and preserving them white?

The Art of Confectionary, published 1761, has all the answers and much more. I’m tempted to try some of the recipes, if only I could decipher them. Take the following, for example, a recipe for “The Feathered Sugar”:

The Feathered Sugar,

Is a higher Degree of boiling Sugar, which is to be proved by dipping the Scummer when it hath boiled somewhat longer; shake it first over the Pan, then giving it a sudden Flurt behind you; if it be enough, the Sugar will fly off like Feathers.

What is the Scummer? What does “it” refer to? And, most importantly, what is a Flurt?