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Good Things to Eat

Rufus Estes

Book Overview: 

Rufus Estes was born a slave in 1857 in Tennessee, and experienced first hand the turmoil of the Civil War. He began working in a Nashville restaurant at the age of 16, and in 1883 took up employment as a Pullman cook. In 1897, he was hired as principal chef for the private railway car of U.S. Steel magnates. There he served succulent fare for the rich and famous at the turn of the 20th century.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . in the shoulder, then pull the flaps of the meat over and sew up. Put the rest of the[Pg 27] suet in the frying pan and having dusted the meat with flour, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of sugar, brown on all sides in the fat into the bottom of the braising pan, which may be any shallow iron pot or granite kettle with a tight cover, put a layer of thin sliced onions and carrots, a bit of bay leaf and sprigs of parsley, and on this lay the meat. Add two or three cloves, pour hot stock around it, cover closely and braise in a hot oven for three hours.

SPANISH CHOPS—Gash six French chops on outer edge, extending cut more than half way through lean meat. Stuff, dip in crumbs, egg and crumbs, fry in deep fat five minutes and drain on brown paper.

For the stuffing mix six tablespoons of soft bread crumbs, three tablespoons of chopped cooked ham, two tablespoons chopped mushroom caps, two tablespoons melted butter, salt and pepper to taste.

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Community Reviews

The recipes are pretty much the same boring standards that nearly all cooks of that era put in their books.

This is a well-written, fascinating recipe book published in 1911 by a former slave who could have easily been a celebrity chef had he lived today. Though many of these recipes could use a little updating, nevertheless, most are intriguing and kitchen-worthy.

Contains too much flour, red meat, dairy and sugar to be useful to me

So this cookbook was written back in 1911 and many of the recipes are no longer relevant. However, the history of food is interesting as I notice how our cooking has evolved. Used my kindle unlimited subscription to read this book.