Receipts of Pastry and Cookery: For the Use of His Scholars

Edward Kidder, Author, E. Kidder, Author, David E. Schoonover, Editor
Edward Kidder, Author, E. Kidder, Author, David E. Schoonover, Editor University of Iowa Press $22.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-87745-410-6
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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As the latest volume in Iowa's maverick and distinguished Szathmary Culinary Arts Series, this one brings us a notebook of the London pastry cook and pioneering cooking teacher Kidder (1665?-1739), with recipes presented in handwritten facsimile and in a typeset transcription. Probably dictated, the recipes are brief, will strike most modern readers as brightly idiosyncratic and are utterly free of gastronomic political correctness: Kidder liked his suet. They make ideal bedside reading. There is, for instance, the one for ``A Regalia of Cowcumbers.'' Dried, fried, gravied, and mixed into a sauce to accompany meat, they are dealt with by Kidder with such dispatch and such quaint spellings that the recipe is like a bluntly physical poem, rough and uneven in its hurl. There are pies (artichoke, egg, pigeon, tongue, calve's head); cakes; puddings (e.g., ``a quaking Pudding''); soups; meat dishes (``Bombarded veal''); fish. A glossary is absolutely necessary, and provided. Instructions will not fail to amuse: ``Take a good buttock of beef,'' suggests the master, and ``Take a live carp and scale and slice him.'' Thank God, we can't--not as he did. Schoonover is a curator at the University of Iowa Libraries and an editor of previous Szathmary series titles. (June)
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