|My Mrs. Beeton's|
A couple of years ago we got the DVD The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton from Netflix and really enjoyed it. Of course I'd heard of her and assumed she was some fussy, well-to-do, old Victorian lady giving household advice to the less enlightened. So I was really surprised to learn how unfussy she was, how young she was, only in her 20's, and how ignorant of household management she was in the beginning. I thought it'd be interesting to get hold of one of her books.
Now flash forward to our trip to England in September. When we're in England we always spend as much time as possible in bookstores, particularly used bookstores. Well while prowling through shelves of books in a store near Chipping Camden one day Mac found a copy of Mrs. Beeton's Cookery Book and brought it over to me to see if I would be interested. Ha, interested! I was absolutely thrilled!
Her original book, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management ran to 1,112 pages with more than 900 of the pages being devoted to recipes. This little gem is 372 pages and most of them are recipes, with some pages given to the role of the housewife which includes management of servants (don't I wish), advice for the kitchen, kitchen machines, laundry work, marketing, the larder, and methods of cookery. The rest of the book is all recipes with loads of black and white illustrations and a few color prints.
Haven't tried any of the recipes but I plan on trying some of them, in particular there is a dessert made with apples call a Friar's Omelet I want to try.
There is no publishing date on my book, but I went online and found that it was an updated copy, hence electrical appliances are mentioned, and was published in 1925, what a find!