Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America’s First Cooking School

Becky Diamond. Westholme (Univ. of Chicago, dist.), $26 (296p) ISBN 978-1-59416-157-5
Born in 1768, Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, a baker, may have invented the lemon meringue pie. The thrice-married subject of this intriguing if partially dramatized biography mostly ran a well-located pastry shop and school in progressive Philadelphia in the 1800s. Goodfellow produced and sold food while teaching cooking, thriving among society to the end of her long life (she died in 18TK). Diamond corroborates her narrative with various contemporary materials, developing a fascinating sociocultural and commercial history and biography of the colonial and revolutionary age, when commodities like sugar and its byproducts, and industrial methods and technologies, were new. Goodfellow’s reputation even culled students from the South and encouraged literary satire. Just as Diamond’s subject merged different culinary methods, she skillfully infers conclusions and neatly connects Goodfellow to figures like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jackie Kennedy. (May 24)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-59416-307-4
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