A Hastiness of Cooks
Cynthia D. Bertelsen, author
Wormwood Cakes, Quodling Pie, Sosenga, Hennys en bruet …
Do you like to read old cookbooks and perhaps even yearn to cook some of the recipes, with their enticing names?
“A Hastiness of Cooks” takes you step-by-step through the process of recreating recipes like these for the modern table. By the time you reach the end of the book, you’ll be able to:
•Analyze the subtext of historical cookbooks, regardless of their culinary patrimony and time period
•Decipher archaic language
•Choose the correct equipment and ingredients
•Cook with a wood fire on a hearth or three stones on the ground
•Research historical accuracy via various print and online resources
And much more!
“Cookbooks reflect many facets of human culture, but do not necessarily record what people ate,” food writer Bertelsen (Mushrooms: A Global History) notes in this fascinating study of recipes dating back to the late 1300s. She explains how these recipes can be put to use in a variety of settings, whether it’s for research purposes, writing fiction, or for actual preparation by historians or for living-history events. Before the invention of the printing press, recipes were either taught to cooks or handwritten, with cookbook writing in medieval England being “remarkably vigorous.” Citing numerous historic works (among them A Proper New Booke of Cookery from 1575 England, and Libre de Sent Soví from 14th-century Catalonia), she selects a handful of recipes from England (capons with saffron; apple pie) and Spain (stuffed chickens; a meal of roasted pork loin, sausage, and partridge), translates them into English, and adapts them for use in modern kitchens. Bertelsen’s clear directions and wealth of experience make her an excellent instructor. Littered with insight and wealth of resources for those who want to dig deeper, this is a remarkable volume. (BookLife)