Thursday, November 17, 2016

Need Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas? Grab one of these Cosimo Classics!

Are you frantically trying to clean the house for your guests and prepare mounds of food for the fast-approaching Thanksgiving holiday? Look no further, these classic cookbooks and household guide are sure to bring you comfort, advice, and possibly, a few laughs.

Old Time Recipes, originally published in 1909, is a descriptive, charming cookbook for those who want to make their own wines and liqueurs from any and all available ingredients, including fruits, flowers, vegetables, and shrubs. It includes an introduction from the author and the ingredients and instructions for making and fermenting your own spirits, from wine and ale to sherry, brandy, cordials, and even soda. Not only is this book interesting for those who want access to recipes from the old country, it's also good for those looking for a laugh: cock ale, cowslip wine, koumiss (a tartar wine that uses fresh mare's milk), and elephant's milk recipes are all included.

Mrs. Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide by Isabella Mary Beeton

Isabella Mary Beeton was the 19th century's Martha Stewart, and she is responsible for organizing the rules of domestic life into the first easy-to-follow guide. Eminently browsable and still highly useful today, Beeton's tome is a masterly compendium of practical information, and covers such essential topics as: recipes of cooking all manner of meat, fish, vegetable, pudding, and pastry; hints on the proper arrangement of a functional kitchen; ideas for table decorations (including the correct way to fold napkins); tips for carving poultry; charts on the seasons and prices (in the 1800s, of course) of all manner of edibles; and much more.

The Cook's Oracle by William Kitchiner

Care for a bit of Colcannon? Craving some Winter Hotch-Potch? Wishing for Wow-Wow Sauce? This newly released edition of The Cook's Oracle is an exact replica of Dr. Kitchiner's original book first published in 1829. A bestseller in its day, Kitchiner's fundamentals of 19th-century cookery cover the gamut from meat & fish to gravies & sauces to puddings & pies, including many of his favorite "receipts." Interestingly enough, he toured with a moveable taste cabinet; a folding cupboard stocked his unique mustards and sauces. And, unlike most food writers of the era, he whipped up the recipes himself, carried out the dreaded after-dinner clean up, and did all his own housework! A marvelous culinary artifact of 19th-century cookery, this book is certain to delight both social historians and food-lovers alike.

National Cookery Book: America's First Cook Book by Elizabeth D. Gillespie

Compiled in honor of the American centennial in 1876 and consisting of recipes solicited from American women all over this country, this 1876 work is the best reflection we have today of how and what Americans ate in the mid 19th century. But this isn't just a vital work of culinary history—it's also bound to make you hungry for the hearty fare it promotes. Renowned for its extensive selection of recipes for cooking game (venison, rabbit, and game birds were staples of the American diet at the time), but instructions for preparing them became hard to find after game fell out of favor. This book also includes such delicious-sounding dishes as: New Orleans Gumbo Soup, Barbecued Fish, Oyster Omelet, Beefsteak Pie, Squabs in Olives, General Washington's Breakfast Cake, and Sweet Potato Pudding.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Cosimo!

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