THE CULINARY LIVES OF JOHN ABIGAIL AD Paperback – 28 Jul 2014
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
About the Author
Rosana Yin-Ting Wan is an avid traveler, an independent scholar, a Park Ranger at the Adams National Historical Park, and a sergeant in the Army National Guard. She is a former re-enactor of the Charlestown Militia Company. She lives in Boston.
Top Customer Reviews
Although no recipes survive from the Adams household, Abigail and John Adams often mentioned food in their extensive correspondence. The recipes of this book are inspired by the dishes this loving couple described in their letters and journals, and although modernized are based on original recipes of the period. The recipes are divided into categories; Breakfast, Bread, Meat and Poultry, Sauces, Seafood, Vegetables, Soup, Puddings and Snacks, Dessert, and Drinks. Each recipe includes a short introduction, a reference to the original cookbook it is based on, and the relevant excerpt from the Adams' letters or journals. The recipes are very interesting, well written, and quite simple and easy even for relatively inexperienced cooks. I haven't tried everything yet, but the dishes I did cook came out great, particularly the juiciest, crunchiest Roast Chicken and the most delicious Baked Custard imaginable. As this is an American cookbook, all measurements and temperatures are for Americans.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author brought a lot of immediacy to the day to day lives of those caught up in the American revolution. The author is a historian, and not a culinary professional, but the recipes are clearly written and should be easy for an average cook to follow.
Wan traces the culinary history of foods, discusses cooking methods and early cookbooks, and even covers dinnerware with photographs of dishes and utensils from the John Adams National Park.
A timeline of the Adams family with illustrations is an impressive overview of this remarkable family. One realizes how much of their married life John Adams was hobnobbing in high society abroad while Abigail ran the family farm, put away food, and enjoyed local produce in season.
Wan's chapters include Breakfast, Bread, Meat and Poultry, Sauces, Seafood, Vegetables, soup, pudding and snacks, and drinks. Each chapter includes introductory essays that are informative and interesting, including quotations from the Adams papers.She also provides a chapter on bills of fare for those who want to recreate an 19th c. dinner party. The recipes are updated for today's measurements and readily available ingredients.
Recipes include classic dishes like Buckwheat Cakes, English-Muffin style muffins, Indian Corn and Rye Bread, Roast Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce, and Peas with Mint.
More unusual are the Garden Sauce for meat made with sorrel, sweet apple, vinegar and sugar and white bread for thickening; Roasted Salmon with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice; Salad Sauce made of sieved boiled egg yolk and ground mustard, oil and vinegar; and Cucumber Soup. Baked Custard includes sweet tasting coriander along with cinnamon.
Classic Plumb Pudding was a favorite Adams family treat saved for holidays because of the exotic spices required, while Indian Pudding was made of readily available ingredients of corn meal and molasses. Wan notes that John Quincy Adams wrote to his wife Louisa about Indian Pudding being served at his family's New Year's Eve dinner.
New Englanders made Cranberry Tarts. I need to try that! The Whipt Syllabub has never appealed to me. It is made of milk or cream curdled by adding brandy and includes egg whites, sugar and lemon juice.
Drinks of the day included hot Toddy made of rum and molasses in lukewarm water with a dash of nutmeg. Abigail's Punch recipe was made of oranges and lemons, brandy and rum. Grog was dark rum and water with lemon juice to taste. The lemon juice would have been good for sailors at sea to guard against scurvy.
Whether you are interested in the Adams family, early American cooking, the history of cooking in America, or just enjoy reading recipes this is a delightful book.