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THE CULINARY LIVES OF JOHN ABIGAIL AD Paperback – 28 Jul 2014

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown; 1 edition (28 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764346695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764346699
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 1.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Eleni TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Some people like to collect regional cookbooks, with recipes that transport them to far away destinations, but I prefer culinary time travels. Whether it is getting a Seafood Stew from a street vendor in Pompeii, or a Fine Cake with tea at the Austen household, I can always rely on a good cookbook to substitute a time machine. With this excellent cookbook, I found myself in 18th century Massachusetts with John and Abigail Adams, picking cabbages from the garden to make Boiled Beef and Cabbage, having Mince Pie for Thanksgiving, and spending Election Day at home with a slice of Election Cake.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa09e8870) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa030696c) out of 5 stars wonderful addition to your cookbook library 28 Oct. 2014
By cleosmom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have never reviewed a cookbook before but this was well worth it. I found it fascinating all the hard work that went into making meals during that time period, from the ingredients to how it was cooked. My mother and I tried the roast duck just to eat something new and it was wonderful! A lot of work because we normally don't have meals like that but it was well worth the effort.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa031fb4c) out of 5 stars Very interesting read and well-written recipes. 2 Jan. 2015
By D. Fellix - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this! The Adamses come alive through their own words - who knew John Adams had such a sweet tooth!
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa041eb68) out of 5 stars Great reading! 27 Feb. 2015
By swells40 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a very slim association with the author, and was hoping for a good book. I was not disappointed! Very interesting to read, lots of good history, and much about the relationship between John and Abigail. I would recommend it to everyone who has an interest in the Adamses, or Early American history, or cooking.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa07e05d0) out of 5 stars A Delightful View Into The Past 23 May 2015
By Nancy A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rosana Y. Wan's commentary showed a great deal of knowledge gleaned from the letters and diaries of Abigail and John Adams. One learns about the private lives of the Adams family and about material culture and society in Colonial America.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0321234) out of 5 stars A classic culinary history adventure 25 Feb. 2015
By nadine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written. Great being able to zoom in and out of time testing out recipes from long ago and comparing them with today's recipes. Fantastic imagery by the way, and easy to follow recipes. Can't wait to try them all and review again.
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