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Culture and Cooking

Catherine Owen

Book Overview: 

This is not a cookery book. It makes no attempt to replace a good one; it is rather an effort to fill up the gap between you and your household oracle, whether she be one of those exasperating old friends who maddened our mother with their vagueness, or the newer and better lights of our own generation, the latest and best of all being a lady as well known for her novels as for her works on domestic economy—one more proof, if proof were needed, of the truth I endeavor to set forth—if somewhat tediously forgive me—in this little book: that cooking and cultivation are by no means antagonistic. Who does not remember with affectionate admiration Charlotte Bronté taking the eyes out of the potatoes stealthily, for fear of hurting the feelings of her purblind old servant; or Margaret Fuller shelling peas?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .r, make into a sponge with a very little more water, put it in a warm place; when it is double its volume take the rest of the flour, make a hole in the center, and put in it an equal quantity of salt and sugar, about a teaspoonful, and two tablespoonfuls of water to dissolve them. Three quarters of a pound of butter and four eggs, beat well, then add another egg, beat again, and add another, and so on until seven have been used; the paste must be soft, but not spread; if too firm, add another egg. Now mix this paste with the sponge thoroughly, beating until the paste leaves the sides of the bowl, then put it in a crock and cover; let it stand four hours in a warm place, then turn it out on a board, spread it and double it four times, return it to the crock, and let it rise again two hours; repeat the former process of doubling and spreading, and put it in a very cold place for two hours, or until you want to use it. Mold in any form you like, but the true brioche is . . . Read More