Friday, April 02, 2010

Kitchen Essays

I bought Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll because I liked the title. The essays were originally printed in The Times from 1921 to 1922, and have many references to post-war (WWI) life as it impacts food.

Lady Jekyll has a friendly and approachable attitude in this book. I loved her comments and small anecdotes, as well as the quotes from classic writers. The recipes, while somewhat dated and sometimes using ingredients and measures that are very British (and therefore might be difficult to reproduce in my home in Alabama), are still delicious to read. I do plan to try a few.

Here is a recipe I like from the chapter, For Men Only:

Clear Tomato Soup

Cut in slices 1 lb. fresh tomatoes, and put into enough ordinary clear soup for, say, six people; simmer gently for 1 hour, strain through a clean cloth, re-boil, and serve with fried croutons, about two-shilling-piece size, piled with stiffly whipped cream, one to each person on a separate plate. The cream softens the acidity of the tomatoes and greatly improves the flavour.

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