Modern Cookery for Private Families
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Top Customer Reviews
Eliza is extremely helpful in listing both the recipes (spelt "receipts" throughout) and observations as to what happened when the recipe was used... this could be done to great advantage in the present day! She is thorough in describing the BASICS. Know your building blocks! Build your foundations right (providing plain fare for a modest table) and you can then try the more advanced stuff. She even has a word for those who habitually work by guess in the realm of measurements; while acknowledging that some folks can "wing it" she points out that far more can't and that one should be very VERY familar with the appearance of the right quantities before dispensing with the scales.
I feel inspired by it; there is good sound advice for the amateur and practised cook here albeit preserved in a slightly archaic, Dickensian way of speaking. (after all, Oliver Twist was only 5 years in print whan this little tome appeared!Read more ›
In her 1855 preface Acton encourages economy and healthy eating and abhors waste. Much like some modern cooks do today she praises fresh, unadulterated food which actually gives quite a modern sound to her writing. She states that healthy eating is available to all and tries to encourage the right mode of cooking. Obviously there are a few things which need adjusting such as cooking times for vegetables - boiling peas for 25 minutes would more likely give you a form of mushy peas!
Modern Cookery is a brilliant piece of social history (she doesn't go into any sort of household management like Mrs Beeton because this is a straight-forward cookery book) and a really enjoyable read as well as being quite a useful cookery book (if you have a bit of time). There is a useful conversion chart at the front of the book for weights, volumes and oven temperatures which helps with some of the antiquated advice.
What is perhaps worth pointing out is that this isn't your average modern cook book -- it contains only a few line drawings (none of the glossy photography we've become used to!), and the text is small and fairly dense. I love that the re-issue has remained true to the spirit of the original, though, and that the editor hasn't attempted to modernise the format to appeal to the contemporary reader. It might take a bit of getting used to, but it's definetly worth the effort. Saying that, I imagine this book will primarily be of interest to historians and foodies, but there is a great deal of sound advice that could benefit the 21st century family cook. If you're even remotely interested in cookery, have a look at this book -- it's a truly fascinating experience!
This compact 6 x 9 inch 600 page hardback facsimile style reproduction of the book is a goldmine of information, as well as providing a vast array of recipes it gives an insight into the way of life in the 1800's. There are no glossy photos, just black and white illustrations, and the writing is small so it's a reference book in today's terms, but it's a book that maybe some of today's chefs could learn from.
The book is divided into 32 chapters, covering the different types of animal meats (illustrations show where the different cuts are on the animal - beef sirloin, brisket, veal loin, fillet etc) as well as preserves, pickles, cakes, sauces, salads and much, much more.
This is an extremely easy to read book, written in an endearingly old fashioned way while remaining concise and informative. It's perfectly relevant to today's modern kitchen, and I consider it a valuable and very usable companion for the everyday home cook.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such a great book! Has every recipe you can thing of. However, it doesn't have one of the recipes that I wanted. Read morePublished 7 months ago by HappyBunny
Much thicker than I expected and surprisingly easy to read. I will definitely be trying out some of these recipes!Published 8 months ago by Helen Brown
A blue plaque went up recently in a neighbouring house to mine for Eliza Acton. I had never heard of her; so googled her and then saw a piece on tv about her conjurorer cooking... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bought as a birthday present for someone, and wished I had bought one for myself. Fascinating!Published 10 months ago by Glos
The forerunner of Mrs Beeton. Some interesting recipes to be found here.Published 12 months ago by Enid Simon