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Exploring the joys of food and also our complicated social relationship with it, these essays are by turns sensuous, mischievous, lyrical and self-mocking. Filled with a sense of hunger, they are some of the most fascinating and nuanced works ever written about eating, drinking and appetite.
Divulging the secrets of preparing stew for 1000 soldiers, sharing sweetmeats with a Turkish Pacha, and teaching a Highland regiment to cook with his pioneering gas-fuelled 'field stove' that would be used by armies up until the Second World War, Soyer gives a vividly enjoyable lesson in making a little go a long way.
Originally published in The Times in the early 1920s, these divinely witty and brilliantly observed pieces are still loved today for their warmth and friendly advice and, with their emphasis on fresh, simple, stylish dishes, were years ahead of their time.
With recipes for rice pudding, beef rump, barbecued pork, trifle and even the first recipe in Britain for 'Curry the Indian way', as well as tips for choosing your ingredients and cures for the bite of a mad dog, this is an elegant and economical collection of recipes and housekeeping tips to save any homemaker 'a great deal of trouble'.
Including such English classics as suet pudding, raspberry jam, lemonade and 'superlative mincemeat' as well as evocatively-named creations like 'Threadneedle Street Biscuits', 'Baron Liebig's Beef Gravy' and 'Apple Hedgehog', these recipes advocate using the best produce available to create wholesome, inexpensive dishes that are still a pleasure to cook and eat today.
Whether he is feasting on barrels of oysters, braces of carps, larks' tongues and copious amounts of wine, merrymaking in taverns until the early hours, attending formal dinners with lords and ladies or entertaining guests at home with his young wife, these irresistible selections from Pepys's diaries provide a frank, high-spirited and vivid picture of the joys of over-indulgence - and the side-effects afterwards.
Containing recipes for American-style treats, such as Boston cream cakes, Kentucky Corn Dodgers and pumpkin pie, as well as genial advice on baking bread and testing whether a cake is cooked, this is a treasure trove of culinary wisdom from the homesteads of a still rural, pioneering United States.