American cooking writing has been a remarkably vigorous genre. Cookbooks have been popular in America since before the Revolution, and a number of cooking writers have risen to national prominence. First and most influential among the many culinary authors of the 19th century was Eliza Leslie, whose classic Directions for Cookery
passed through sixty editions from its first appearance in 1837 until 1870, a dozen years after the author's death.Directions for Cookery
was the most popular cookbook printed in America in the nineteenth century, and is considered by many culinary authorities to be one of America's great cookbooks. The writing and instructions are clear and elegant; the author's comments on the nuances of good cooking, on the importance of quality ingredients, on honesty in the kitchen — all combine to make this work an American classic.
To examine these recipes is to open a window into the nineteenth century American larder: Beef-Steak Pudding, Moravian Sugar Cake, Cat-fish Soup, Election Cake, Federal Cakes, Johnny Cake, Oyster Pie, Pork and Beans, White Gingerbread, Apple Dumplings, Pepper Pot, Lobster Catchup, Frica-seed Chickens, Cranberry Sauce … names to spark an appetite! Along with the carefully written, concise recipes are many helpful hints and comments.
The present volume reprints the 1851 edition of Directions for Cookery
. Containing not only the complete text of the first edition (1837) but also later addenda and additional recipes by Miss Leslie, this is an invaluable addition to any kitchen. Cooks who wish to explore the wonders of traditional American cookery will especially celebrate this inexpensive republication. An informative new introduction by noted cookbook expert Jan Longone provides insight into Miss Leslie's background and the importance of her work.
Reprint of Miss Leslie's Complete Cookery: Directions for Cookery, Henry Carey Baird, Philadelphia, 1863 edition.