I read this and Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork in the wrong order. I should have read this first. But let’s backtrack.
A portion of my reviews this year are books I am reading for research at work. This has been a nice boon for me, since I can use work time towards my cannonball goals. For research to date I have read Voices from the Back Stairs, Ordinary Days, Extraordinary Times; The Irish Bridget, Mrs. Seely’s Cook Book, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, and Consider the Fork. I think you may be able to piece together what I’m working towards.
In all seriousness talking about historic foodways is a niche hobby for me and I have cooked on both an open hearth and a woodstove and in a few weeks will be leading a historic cooking class for homeschoolers. So, I needed to get ready with the background information. To that end, I should have read A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove first since it is a more sweeping view of culinary history by intertwining it with women’s history while Consider the Fork is a study of the implements and therefore the history, of cooking.
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
Filled with over 50 classic recipes – from federal pancakes to sweet potato pie – and inspirational stories, this book should make you think twice about the food on your plate. It recounts how American women have gathered, cooked and prepared food for lovers, strangers and family through the ages. We find native women who pried nourishment from the wilderness, mothers who sold biscuits to buy their children’s freedom, immigrant wives who cooked old foods in new homes to provide comfort. From church bake sales to microwaving mums, this is a celebration of women’s lives, homes and communities.
Both are very interesting reads, and suggested if this is a topic of interest for you. I felt like I slogged through certain sections of A Thousand Years but I think it has more to do with what I already knew, not what the book has to offer. I also made copies of some of the historic recipes to use in my own cooking, and often found the most interesting portion of each chapter to be the asides about historic recipes and the realities of cooking in different times.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.