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Book: Art of Cookery

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In honor of the Arlington historical Museum holiday exhibit “Stirring Up Memories: Arlington Cookbooks” AHS is offering a reproduction of an historical cookbook: “The Art of Cookery: Made Plain and Easy, The Revolutionary 1805 Classic”

First published in 1747, just five years after John and Elizabeth Ball acquired 166 acres from Lord Fairfax in what would become Arlington County, this book has been revised and republished many times. It became a bestseller in England and the United States for more than 100 years. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned copies, and Benjamin Franklin even translated some of its recipes into French in hopes of attaining a taste of home while abroad. This early cookbook no doubt influenced some of the recipes in the Arlington cookbooks the Arlington Historical Museum has on exhibit through January 2022.

Author Hannah Glasse dismissed French cookery, the leading cuisine of her day, as inefficient for servants and middle- to lower-class cooks, citing its fussiness, expense, and waste. Instead, Mrs. Glasse focused on standard Anglo-American fare, from soups and gravies to cakes and jellies, all simple dishes, prepared in a straightforward manner. In addition to practical advice on meat selection, carving, and basic cooking skills, this historically fascinating document offers tips on preparing food for the ill, cooking and food storage on ships, and making soaps and scents for the home. Historians, cooks, and all lovers of gastronomy will appreciate this glimpse into the kitchens like that of Elizabeth Ball in a bygone era.

  • Softcover: 309 pages including index
  • Publisher: Dover Publications, 2020

Every book you buy here on this website helps support the AHS mission to strengthen our community by improving the understanding of local history.

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