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Why superstar food editors should never be allowed near the classics

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Laura Burchard

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Nov 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/29/98
to
My Joy of Cooking was in storage from a move, so I stopped by my parents
to nab the gingerbread man recipe out of their copy. Someone had given Mom
the newest version last Christmas, so out of curiousity I checked there
first. And stared in faint horror. There was no gingerbread man recipe.
The cookies I had made every Christmas since I was tall enough to manage
the mixing bowl had been replaced by

Gingerbread people (reduced fat)

"Everything wrong with the new edition summed up in one short line", I
thought, and went to get the ancient, beloved, foodstained copy that sat
beside this shiny new one. Started to write down the recipe, stopped,
compared it to the one in the new edition. And began to laugh.

The old recipe had 1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons) and no egg to 3 1/2 cups
flour. The new, 'reduced fat' recipe? 6 tablespoons butter and an egg to 3
cups flour. I compared the sugar; 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup molasses for
the old, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup molasses for the new.

So this year, I shall have and give out the same not too sweet, not too
rich, gingerbread men with their red-hots eyes that I have always had. And
laugh and laugh and laugh at the silly people who make their 'diet'
gingerbread people.

Laura
who *must* find the box with Joy of Cooking in it


Aahz Maruch

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Nov 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/29/98
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In article <73shq0$6bm$1...@saltmine.radix.net>,

Laura Burchard <l...@Radix.Net> wrote:
>
>My Joy of Cooking was in storage from a move, so I stopped by my
>parents to nab the gingerbread man recipe out of their copy. Someone
>had given Mom the newest version last Christmas, so out of curiousity I
>checked there first. And stared in faint horror. [....]

How many years before the old Joy falls out of copyright?
--
--- Aahz (@netcom.com)

Hugs and backrubs -- I break Rule 6 <*> -=> http://www.rahul.net/aahz
Androgynous poly kinky vanilla queer het

I don't really mind a person having the last whine, but I do mind
someone else having the last self-righteous whine.

David Goldfarb

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
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In article <aahzF37...@netcom.com>, Aahz Maruch <aa...@netcom.com> wrote:
)How many years before the old Joy falls out of copyright?

Given current trends in US copyright law, never.

--
David Goldfarb <*>| "No-one in the world ever gets what they want
gold...@ocf.berkeley.edu | And that is beautiful.
aste...@slip.net | Everybody dies frustrated and sad
gold...@csua.berkeley.edu | And that is beautiful." -- TMBG

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
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l...@Radix.Net (Laura Burchard) writes:

>My Joy of Cooking was in storage from a move, so I stopped by my parents
>to nab the gingerbread man recipe out of their copy. Someone had given Mom
>the newest version last Christmas, so out of curiousity I checked there

>first. And stared in faint horror. There was no gingerbread man recipe.
>The cookies I had made every Christmas since I was tall enough to manage
>the mixing bowl had been replaced by

>Gingerbread people (reduced fat)

It's actually quite a good cookbook, but it is *not* THE JOY OF
COOKING. I have in the house no fewer than four editions of THE JOY
OF COOKING precisely because of this pernicious habit of leaving out
beloved recipes when issuing a new edition. The latest one really
does depart so far as to be reasonably considered a new book, though.
I haven't figured out what I think they ought to have called it.

The latest edition of Fowler has lost its last lingering flavor, too.


--
"Moreover, fantasticality does a good deal better than
sham psychology." -- Virginia Woolf
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet pd...@ddb.com

Ailsa Murphy

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
In article <aahzF37...@netcom.com>,

aa...@netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) wrote:
> In article <73shq0$6bm$1...@saltmine.radix.net>,
> Laura Burchard <l...@Radix.Net> wrote:
> >
> >My Joy of Cooking was in storage from a move, so I stopped by my
> >parents to nab the gingerbread man recipe out of their copy. Someone
> >had given Mom the newest version last Christmas, so out of curiousity I
> >checked there first. And stared in faint horror. [....]

>
> How many years before the old Joy falls out of copyright?
> --
*stifled shriek of extreme horror*

Does this mean the real true & proper _Joy of Cooking_ is no longer
available??? Should I head out for the used bookstore _now_ to look for an
old copy? (As if anyone would actually ever sell one off.) I have my copy
that I've had since I was 20 or so, but I want Kathy to have one too.

-Ailsa

--
Foon a kasha shtarbt min nisht | Ailsa N.T. Murphy
From a question you don't die|ailsa....@tfn.co

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Dan Goodman

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
The old Joy of Cooking is still available _in paperback_. I don't think
the new one is yet. If you see a Joy of Cooking paperback in a bookstore,
take a look through it to make sure it's not the "improved" new version.

In article <73usa7$nqi$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,


--
Dan Goodman
dsg...@visi.com
http://www.visi.com/~dsgood/index.html
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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In article <waJ82.1719$764.6...@ptah.visi.com>,

Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>The old Joy of Cooking is still available _in paperback_.

How "old" do you mean? As in, previous edition?

My copy of _The Joy of Cooking_ doesn't say what edition it is,
but it says "Copyright 1931, 1936, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1951, 1951,
1953." Its cover came off a while ago and was rebound in blue
denim by a friend. Many pages are coming loose. I wouldn't
change. I got a look at one of the newer editions one day. The
so-called "pound cake" recipe in that book had *milk* in it.

And yes, it has a recipe for gingerbread *MEN.*

(The real pound cake recipe begins, "Cream thoroughly 2 cups
butter, no substitutes. When you think you have creamed it
enough cream some more."

And then you add a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, some
flavorings, and a pound of flour. And no milk.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt
_A Point of Honor_ is out....

Dan Goodman

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
In article <F39o9...@kithrup.com>,

Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>In article <waJ82.1719$764.6...@ptah.visi.com>,
>Dan Goodman <dsg...@visi.com> wrote:
>>The old Joy of Cooking is still available _in paperback_.
>
>How "old" do you mean? As in, previous edition?

Previous edition.

>My copy of _The Joy of Cooking_ doesn't say what edition it is,
>but it says "Copyright 1931, 1936, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1951, 1951,
>1953." Its cover came off a while ago and was rebound in blue
>denim by a friend. Many pages are coming loose. I wouldn't
>change. I got a look at one of the newer editions one day. The
>so-called "pound cake" recipe in that book had *milk* in it.
>
>And yes, it has a recipe for gingerbread *MEN.*
>
>(The real pound cake recipe begins, "Cream thoroughly 2 cups
>butter, no substitutes. When you think you have creamed it
>enough cream some more."
>
>And then you add a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, some
>flavorings, and a pound of flour. And no milk.

Aahz Maruch

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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In article <73usa7$nqi$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
Ailsa Murphy <ailsa....@tfn.com> wrote:
>In article <aahzF37...@netcom.com>,
> aa...@netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) wrote:
>>
>> How many years before the old Joy falls out of copyright?
>
>*stifled shriek of extreme horror*
>
>Does this mean the real true & proper _Joy of Cooking_ is no longer
>available??? Should I head out for the used bookstore _now_ to look for
>an old copy? (As if anyone would actually ever sell one off.) I have
>my copy that I've had since I was 20 or so, but I want Kathy to have
>one too.

Modulo the comment about paperbacks, your observation is essentially
correct. In fact, get two or three copies for when yours falls apart.
--
--- Aahz (@netcom.com)

Hugs and backrubs -- I break Rule 6 <*> -=> http://www.rahul.net/aahz
Androgynous poly kinky vanilla queer het

"I now regard a fact as a hypothesis that people don't bother to argue
about anymore." --John Burn, quoted in Lawrence Wright's _Twins_

Evelyn C. Leeper

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
In article <73shq0$6bm$1...@saltmine.radix.net>,
Laura Burchard <l...@Radix.Net> wrote:
> The old recipe had 1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons) and no egg to 3 1/2 cups
> flour. The new, 'reduced fat' recipe? 6 tablespoons butter and an egg to 3
> cups flour. I compared the sugar; 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup molasses for
> the old, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup molasses for the new.

I read this to Mark. He explained that the "reduced fat" was fat
reduced from other recipes and finally used here. :-)
--
Evelyn C. Leeper | ele...@lucent.com
+1 732 957 2070 | http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4824
"Children of the future Age, Reading this indignant page:
Know that in a former time Love! sweet Love! was thought a crime." --Wm Blake

Ailsa Murphy

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
In article <aahzF3A...@netcom.com>,

aa...@netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) wrote:
> In article <73usa7$nqi$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
> Ailsa Murphy <ailsa....@tfn.com> wrote:
> >In article <aahzF37...@netcom.com>,
> > aa...@netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) wrote:
> >>
> >> How many years before the old Joy falls out of copyright?
> >
> >*stifled shriek of extreme horror*
> >
> >Does this mean the real true & proper _Joy of Cooking_ is no longer
> >available??? Should I head out for the used bookstore _now_ to look for
> >an old copy? (As if anyone would actually ever sell one off.) I have
> >my copy that I've had since I was 20 or so, but I want Kathy to have
> >one too.
>
> Modulo the comment about paperbacks, your observation is essentially
> correct. In fact, get two or three copies for when yours falls apart.
> --
It already is, but I worked in a library bindery in college, so I am not
worried. B)

-Ailsa

--
Foon a kasha shtarbt min nisht Ailsa N.T. Murphy

From a question you don't die ailsa....@tfn.com

B. Vermo

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Dec 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/5/98
to
In article <aahzF3A...@netcom.com>, aa...@netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) wrote:
|
|Modulo the comment about paperbacks, your observation is essentially
|correct. In fact, get two or three copies for when yours falls apart.

Sounds like good advice. I just got another copy of the 1941 edition of
Schønberg Erken, the cookbook my mother swore by. The one I inherited
from her looks more like a deck of cards.

Luckily, they are still easy to come by. Paper was the only thing they
had enough of during the war, and cookbooks could be published without
being sent to a foreign-run recreation camp. Besides, food pronography
was very popular since the real thing was in such short supply.

I will look for "Joy" the next time I get near a suitable shop. About
how big is it, and what are the good years?


Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/5/98
to
In article <qkUa2gRD...@bigblue.no>, B. Vermo <b...@bigblue.no> wrote:
>
>I will look for "Joy" the next time I get near a suitable shop. About
>how big is it, and what are the good years?

It's about 4 inches/10 cm* thick, and the 1950s are a good
vintage. (Mine is dated 1953.)

Dorothy J. Heydt
*who is not good at metrics, but learned that particular
equivalency during childbirth preparation classes....

Marilee J. Layman

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
to
In <F3IM0...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>It's about 4 inches/10 cm* thick, and the 1950s are a good
>vintage. (Mine is dated 1953.)

I have my mother's Betty Crocker Cookbook from the early 1950's. The
binder is falling apart so I suppose I should save the binder parts
and put a new binder on because I use some of the recipes. What I
really like, though, is the recommendations on how to run your
household, including taking a short nap, changing into a fresh dress,
and reapplying makeup before your husband comes home! And my mother
added some recipes to it, too.

> _A Point of Honor_ is out....

Yes, and I bought it at the new Barnes & Noble this week. I know what
people say about the big chains, but the B&N is the best bookstore in
this end of the county. We never had any independent stores that sold
new books and the two chains that did, Crown (now defunct) and
Waldenbooks had pretty much media SF. B&N has a wonderful SFF section
-- mostly paperback & TPB -- with a lot of "literary" SFF. Not to
mention nice chairs & tables (I don't like coffee).

--
Marilee J. Layman Co-Leader, The Other*Worlds*Cafe
relm...@aol.com A Science Fiction Discussion Group
*New* Web site: http://www.webmoose.com/owc/
AOL keyword: BOOKs > Books Community > The Other*Worlds*Cafe (listbox)

Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
to
In article <366bded4...@news.erols.com>,
Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:
> [in the 1950s Betty Crocker Cookbook]....What I

>really like, though, is the recommendations on how to run your
>household, including taking a short nap, changing into a fresh dress,
>and reapplying makeup before your husband comes home!

Oh, gosh, yes, those were the days. My copy (about the same
vintage as your mother's, no doubt) was given me by my best
friend when I was about ten, and she has inscribed in the
flyleaf, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

(Later to become the motto of the Assassins' Guild.)

Dorothy J. Heydt

Doug Wickstrom

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Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
On Sun, 6 Dec 1998 21:18:42 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
modulated the bit stream to say:

>In article <366bded4...@news.erols.com>,
>Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> wrote:
>> [in the 1950s Betty Crocker Cookbook]....What I
>>really like, though, is the recommendations on how to run your
>>household, including taking a short nap, changing into a fresh dress,
>>and reapplying makeup before your husband comes home!
>
>Oh, gosh, yes, those were the days. My copy (about the same
>vintage as your mother's, no doubt) was given me by my best
>friend when I was about ten, and she has inscribed in the
>flyleaf, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
>
>(Later to become the motto of the Assassins' Guild.)

Simple anatomy, so of course. Strike underhand, if you want to reach
the heart. Overhand blows slide off the ribs, and straight through
gets your knife stuck when the victim collapses.

Personally, though, I think I'd use a Webley-Fosbury automatic
revolver. Enough people are convinced of its non-existence that no
one would ever suspect its use.

--
Doug Wickstrom
"Tsuyu to ochi, tsuyu to kienishi. Waga mi ka na?
Naniwa no koto mo, yume mo matayume." --Toyotomi Hideyoshi

B. Vermo

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Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
In article <366bded4...@news.erols.com>,
mjla...@erols.com (Marilee J. Layman) wrote:
|... What I

|really like, though, is the recommendations on how to run your
|household, including taking a short nap, changing into a fresh dress,
|and reapplying makeup before your husband comes home!

Heh! Reminds me of my mother's 1925 'Cookbook for Common Households',
which has some chapters on how a young wife should run her house.
It dwells a lot on how important it is to have a good, diligent and
honest kitchen maid. A failure there could easily ruin the household
budget for a young family of small means...


Karen E Cooper

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
b...@bigblue.no (B. Vermo) writes:

I have a lot of this sort of thing, such as Mrs. Child's "American Frugal
Housewife"; my 12th edition reprint is from 1832. The baking advice --
one can hardly call them recipes -- recommends using "pearlash" to make
things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
know more than that?

I had thought Mrs. Child gave advice on how to capture wild yeast, but on
checking, I find she only tells how to increase the supply one has.

In a more modern vein is the pinky new cookbook that came in the mail
today: Edouard de Pomiane's "French Cooking in Ten Minutes" (reprinted
with woodcut illustrations from the 1930 original). I have already
learned what was that extraordinary dessert we found all over Hungary --
chestnut puree.

His kitchen is limited to an icebox and a 2-burner stove. Canned goods
(and the corner charcuterie) are the only available convenience foods.
I've not yet made anything from this cookbook, but have read most of the
recipes and they are all plausible. They're quite heavy on what we
lightly refer to as "variety meats," though.

My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
down the hall.

Karen.
--
new address: <ka...@counterpane.com>

Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
In article <kecooper....@garnet.tc.umn.edu>,

Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:
>
>I have a lot of this sort of thing, such as Mrs. Child's "American Frugal
>Housewife"; my 12th edition reprint is from 1832. The baking advice --
>one can hardly call them recipes -- recommends using "pearlash" to make
>things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
>sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
>know more than that?

That particular one is new to me, though even older than that is
"hartshorn," ammonium carbonate, which used really to be made of
ground-up antlers. It breaks down into ammonia and carbon
dioxide under quite a low oven, 200 Fahrenheit or thereabouts. I
used to have a cookie recipe that used it.

After that baking soda was invented, and shortly after that (1850
or so) "saleratus," or baking powder. My 1953 Joy of Cooking (q.v.)
makes reference to "phosphate or tartrate baking powders" as
distinguised from "combination" or "double-acting" ones, so the
single varieties must still have been in use.



>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>down the hall.

Hmmm! References, please? (Another reason for amazon.com, you
see....)

Have you read M. F. K. Fischer's _How to Cook a Wolf_ (that is,
how to cook under World War II rationing)?

And I've already mentioned Sheila Kaye-Smith's _Kitchen Fugue,_
the British version of the above.

Karen E Cooper

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:

>In article <kecooper....@garnet.tc.umn.edu>,
>Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:
>>

[19th century baking]


>>recommends using "pearlash" to make
>>things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
>>sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
>>know more than that?

>That particular one is new to me, though even older than that is
>"hartshorn," ammonium carbonate, which used really to be made of
>ground-up antlers. It breaks down into ammonia and carbon
>dioxide under quite a low oven, 200 Fahrenheit or thereabouts. I
>used to have a cookie recipe that used it.

Fascinating. Do the antlers have to be fresh? How do you grind up
antlers, anyway? How can ammonia be good in cookies (I assume the C02
bubbles away)?

>After that baking soda was invented, and shortly after that (1850
>or so) "saleratus," or baking powder. My 1953 Joy of Cooking (q.v.)
>makes reference to "phosphate or tartrate baking powders" as
>distinguised from "combination" or "double-acting" ones, so the
>single varieties must still have been in use.

Jeff Schalles has a whole rap he does about aluminum in baking powders. I
don't know how the single- or double-acting are different, though.



>>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>>down the hall.

>Hmmm! References, please? (Another reason for amazon.com, you
>see....)

Amazon doesn't seem to be aware of it. I bought my copy in the UK. I
have the revised edition, published by Penguin. I recall Chuch
recognizing it last time I mentioned it here, so it's not unheardof in UK
fandom.

>Have you read M. F. K. Fischer's _How to Cook a Wolf_ (that is,
>how to cook under World War II rationing)?

No, but I shall have to seek it out now. I did just by a marvelous little
pamphlet in an eBay auction: "Wartime Suggestions to help you get the most
out of your Refrigerator." (Basically tips on using leftovers, along with
lists of things one need not, or must, refrigerate.)

>And I've already mentioned Sheila Kaye-Smith's _Kitchen Fugue,_
>the British version of the above.

Ah, but I haven't read the whole thread! Woe.

Karen.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
In article <kecooper....@garnet.tc.umn.edu>,
Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:
>djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:
>
>Fascinating. Do the antlers have to be fresh?

I don't know. You can get ammonium carbonate in drugstores, or
you could last time I tried it. (It's all same "smelling salts,"
since it slowly breaks down even without being baked and if you
open up the jar and incautiously take a sniff it'll open up your
sinuses real good.)

How do you grind up
>antlers, anyway?

With a mortar and pestle, I presume.

How can ammonia be good in cookies (I assume the C02
>bubbles away)?

The ammonia is a gas--not dissolved in water like household
ammonia. It and the CO2 both evaporate. You do get this
noticeable ammonia smell in the kitchen while the cookies are
baking, but you can't taste it afterwards.

(Wonder if I've still got the recipe. They were Swedish cookies
called _Droemmer,_ "Dreams," and it was like unto a buttery
shortbread dough with hartshorn in it. I bet I could reconstruct
it with a little experimentation....)

Beth Friedman

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote in article
<F3pM...@kithrup.com>...

> That particular one is new to me, though even older than that is
> "hartshorn," ammonium carbonate, which used really to be made of
> ground-up antlers. It breaks down into ammonia and carbon
> dioxide under quite a low oven, 200 Fahrenheit or thereabouts. I
> used to have a cookie recipe that used it.

My only acquaintance with hartshorn is in Regency romances, where ladies
who are about to faint call for their hartshort.

> After that baking soda was invented, and shortly after that (1850
> or so) "saleratus," or baking powder. My 1953 Joy of Cooking (q.v.)
> makes reference to "phosphate or tartrate baking powders" as
> distinguised from "combination" or "double-acting" ones, so the
> single varieties must still have been in use.

In 1987, Pamela, Pamela's mother, DD-B, and I were staying in a flat in
Honor Oak Park in England. Pamela had offered to bake biscuits for
breakfast if we would provide the ingredients. I ventured out on a Sunday
morning to see if any grocery was open. The usual one, a couple of blocks
away, was closed, but one a mile or so in the other direction was open. I
was able to find all the ingredients I needed except for baking powder. I
asked the person working there, and she directed me to a shelf near the
exit. "Single-acting baking powder," it said on the container. I tried to
find another grocery, but it being Sunday morning, it was Hobson's choice
and I took what they had.

I seem to recall that Pamela used more baking soda than she normally would
have for her recipe. There was even more uncertainty, because the stove
somehow had lost its regular settings, and would only cook on "broil."

Despite all this, the biscuits turned out just fine, and it was a lovely
Sunday brunch.

> Have you read M. F. K. Fischer's _How to Cook a Wolf_ (that is,
> how to cook under World War II rationing)?

I have that in her omnibus volume _The Art of Eating_. The recipes daunt
me (especially the gingerbread), but I love reading the books. IIRC, _How
to Cook a Wolf_ also describes how to eat (and stay healthy) on almost no
money at all.

--
Beth Friedman
b...@wavefront.com

Bernard Peek

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Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
In article <kecooper....@garnet.tc.umn.edu>, Karen E Cooper
<keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> writes


>>>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>>>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>>>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>>>down the hall.
>
>>Hmmm! References, please? (Another reason for amazon.com, you
>>see....)
>
>Amazon doesn't seem to be aware of it. I bought my copy in the UK. I
>have the revised edition, published by Penguin. I recall Chuch
>recognizing it last time I mentioned it here, so it's not unheardof in UK
>fandom.

It's been available continuously for many years. I recently gave a copy
to someone leaving home for the first time.

I also recommended a book called _Pots and Pants_ by Donald Kilbourn.
It's a genuine beginners cookbook. It's aimed at men who are suddenly
faced with the task of feeding an entire family when their wife goes
away to minister to an elderly aunt or somesuch. Mr Kilbourn was a
journalist who had to fend for himself in various foreign parts.

The book is illustrated by Larry, which will tell those that recognise
the name that the book doesn't take itself excessively seriously.

It starts by explaining things like teaspoons and desertspoons, and has
a helpful diagram showing the size of each. If in doubt you can compare
your spoon to what the author thinks is a teaspoon, desertspoon etc.

If I recall correctly, the first recipe in the book is tea. Not the
light meal with cucumber sandwiches but the brown dead-leaf infusion.
It doesn't give the original english-language instructions for how long
to let it brew, "Say the paternoster thrice at a leisy

>
>>Have you read M. F. K. Fischer's _How to Cook a Wolf_ (that is,
>>how to cook under World War II rationing)?
>

>No, but I shall have to seek it out now. I did just by a marvelous little
>pamphlet in an eBay auction: "Wartime Suggestions to help you get the most
>out of your Refrigerator." (Basically tips on using leftovers, along with
>lists of things one need not, or must, refrigerate.)

I've read my mother's copy of the _Stork Cookbook_, which was produced
during the war and has various strategies for coping with rationing. I
have my own copy of a later edition. It's invaluable because in several
yards of cookbooks on the shelf it's the only one that has lists
cooking-times for meat.

--
Bernard Peek
b...@shrdlu.com

Kate Schaefer

unread,
Dec 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/9/98
to
y...@bigblue.no>
Organization: Seattle Community Network

In a previous article, keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E Cooper) says:
[snippage]


>
>In a more modern vein is the pinky new cookbook that came in the mail
>today: Edouard de Pomiane's "French Cooking in Ten Minutes" (reprinted
>with woodcut illustrations from the 1930 original). I have already
>learned what was that extraordinary dessert we found all over Hungary --
>chestnut puree.
>
>His kitchen is limited to an icebox and a 2-burner stove. Canned goods
>(and the corner charcuterie) are the only available convenience foods.
>I've not yet made anything from this cookbook, but have read most of the
>recipes and they are all plausible. They're quite heavy on what we
>lightly refer to as "variety meats," though.

I like to take de Pomiane out and read him when I'm feeling beaten down
by the demands of modern life. I haven't cooked from his book either,
but it does seem as though I could. I am happy that we think differently
about vegetables than he did.

>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>down the hall.

--
Kate Schaefer
ka...@scn.org

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to

"Beth Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com> writes:

>In 1987, Pamela, Pamela's mother, DD-B, and I were staying in a flat in
>Honor Oak Park in England. Pamela had offered to bake biscuits for
>breakfast if we would provide the ingredients. I ventured out on a Sunday
>morning to see if any grocery was open. The usual one, a couple of blocks
>away, was closed, but one a mile or so in the other direction was open. I
>was able to find all the ingredients I needed except for baking powder. I
>asked the person working there, and she directed me to a shelf near the
>exit. "Single-acting baking powder," it said on the container. I tried to
>find another grocery, but it being Sunday morning, it was Hobson's choice
>and I took what they had.

>I seem to recall that Pamela used more baking soda than she normally would
>have for her recipe.

Powder. But yes. I didn't quite double it; I got intuitive. Low
blood sugar, no doubt.

>There was even more uncertainty, because the stove
>somehow had lost its regular settings, and would only cook on "broil."

Oh, wow, yes. I remember the biscuits' being very crispy, but not why.

>Despite all this, the biscuits turned out just fine, and it was a lovely
>Sunday brunch.

David has a picture of me rolling out the dough with an empty cider
bottle. The kitchen was not equipped with a rolling pin.

What I really remember cooking in that kitchen is lots and lots and
lots of apple crisp, because our landlord kept bringing us his
Braeburn apples.

Doug Wickstrom

unread,
Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to
On 9 Dec 1998 11:52:23 -0600, keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E
Cooper) modulated the bit stream to say:

>I have a lot of this sort of thing, such as Mrs. Child's "American Frugal
>Housewife"; my 12th edition reprint is from 1832. The baking advice --

>one can hardly call them recipes -- recommends using "pearlash" to make


>things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
>sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
>know more than that?

Not specifically, but I have a few old Swedish cookie recipes that
call for hartshorn salt, aka ammonium carbonate. These days you have
to get it in drugstores, so I usually substitute baking powder.

Doesn't smell all that good while baking, either, which is another
argument in favor of substitution. :)

mike weber

unread,
Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to
keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E Cooper) is alleged to have said,
on 9 Dec 1998 13:49:14 -0600,
:
>djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) writes:
>
>>In article <kecooper....@garnet.tc.umn.edu>,

>>Karen E Cooper <keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu> wrote:

>>>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>>>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>>>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>>>down the hall.
>

>>Hmmm! References, please? (Another reason for amazon.com, you
>>see....)
>
>Amazon doesn't seem to be aware of it. I bought my copy in the UK. I
>have the revised edition, published by Penguin. I recall Chuch
>recognizing it last time I mentioned it here, so it's not unheardof in UK
>fandom.
>

>>Have you read M. F. K. Fischer's _How to Cook a Wolf_ (that is,
>>how to cook under World War II rationing)?

My mother has that one.


>
>No, but I shall have to seek it out now. I did just by a marvelous little
>pamphlet in an eBay auction: "Wartime Suggestions to help you get the most
>out of your Refrigerator." (Basically tips on using leftovers, along with
>lists of things one need not, or must, refrigerate.)
>

>>And I've already mentioned Sheila Kaye-Smith's _Kitchen Fugue,_
>>the British version of the above.
>
>Ah, but I haven't read the whole thread! Woe.
>

Another book i can highly recommend is -The Foodstamp Gourmet-,
published in the Seventies by Bellerophon Press ((along with Chaucer
colouring biooks)); great rexcipes for wonderful food Dirt Cheap with
illos by Shelton, Irons and other underground artists ((Fat Freddy on
the cover...))
--
"...no use looking for the answers when the questions are in
doubt..." F.LeBlanc

<mike weber> <emsh...@aol.com>

Adina Adler

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to
xnims...@aol.com (Doug Wickstrom) writes:

> On 9 Dec 1998 11:52:23 -0600, keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E
> Cooper) modulated the bit stream to say:
>
> >I have a lot of this sort of thing, such as Mrs. Child's "American Frugal
> >Housewife"; my 12th edition reprint is from 1832. The baking advice --
> >one can hardly call them recipes -- recommends using "pearlash" to make
> >things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
> >sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
> >know more than that?
>
> Not specifically, but I have a few old Swedish cookie recipes that
> call for hartshorn salt, aka ammonium carbonate. These days you have
> to get it in drugstores, so I usually substitute baking powder.
>
> Doesn't smell all that good while baking, either, which is another
> argument in favor of substitution. :)

From what I've read, it will produce very crisp cookies, which might
be a reason to try, if you've got a well-ventilated kitchen.

--
Adina Adler
Visit the Readercon web page at http://www.mit.edu/~zeno/readercon.html

Jo Walton

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to
In article <yKFw2SAf...@shrdlu.com>
Ber...@shrdlu.com "Bernard Peek" writes:

> I've read my mother's copy of the _Stork Cookbook_, which was produced
> during the war and has various strategies for coping with rationing. I
> have my own copy of a later edition. It's invaluable because in several
> yards of cookbooks on the shelf it's the only one that has lists
> cooking-times for meat.

I have my grandmother's :Cookery Year: which has a really useful page
of cooking times for meat, as well as really good definitions of how
to do things that other recipe books airily assume you already know.
It also has some excellent recipes, though whenever I check one of them
to give to someone I always find that I've started making it differently
myself, without ever noticing.

--
Jo - - I kissed a kif at Kefk - - J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.bluejo.demon.co.uk - Blood of Kings Poetry; rasfw FAQ;
Reviews; Interstichia; Momentum - a paying market for real poetry.


Dorothy J Heydt

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Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to
In article <30pvhjk...@shell3.shore.net>,
Adina Adler <ad...@shell3.shore.net> wrote:

[hartshorn]


>>
>> Doesn't smell all that good while baking, either, which is another
>> argument in favor of substitution. :)
>
>From what I've read, it will produce very crisp cookies, which might
>be a reason to try, if you've got a well-ventilated kitchen.

I think I need to clarify something here. You don't use much
hartshorn and you get a *noticeable smell* of ammonia while the
cookies are baking. A smell, not a roomful of suffocating gas.
About as if you'd just mopped the floor in ammonia water. Not
enough to need to open the window for.

Beth Friedman

unread,
Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet <pd...@ddb.com> wrote in article
<pddb.91...@gw.ddb.com>...

> David has a picture of me rolling out the dough with an empty cider
> bottle. The kitchen was not equipped with a rolling pin.

Oh, right. I'd forgotten that bit. It was a remarkably eclectic kitchen.
A fair amount of non-standard stuff, and no decent knives to speak of. Jim
and Pat Wrede, who shared the place with me the first month, bought a
couple of serrated knives. Those suited my needs just fine, but David
sneered at them.

> What I really remember cooking in that kitchen is lots and lots and
> lots of apple crisp, because our landlord kept bringing us his
> Braeburn apples.

Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
has read that.)

"Braeburn" doesn't sound quite right, but there were indeed a great number
of them. Large, green, and lumpy. "Bramley," maybe? It's probably in my
trip journal, if I can ever find that. And the apples weren't suitable for
eating, only for cooking, Mr. Payne (the landlord) said; I never quite
dared test that.

We managed to go through quite a lot of the apple crisp, though it was more
like apple sog the second day. Of course, it gets soggy in any case if you
put cream on it, and we had some really fine cream in England.

--
Beth Friedman
b...@wavefront.com

Alan Winston - SSRL Admin Cmptg Mgr

unread,
Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>, "Beth Friedman"
<b...@wavefront.com> writes:

>
>Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
>has read that.)

Well, yes, but it was a long time ago. (Not long enough that I've
misremembered Harry Harrison as the author, but long enough that I got it
from Scholastic Book Service.) I remember the basic premise -- it's a
memoir written by the wife of a couple that end up adopting something like
nine chldren of assorted races and disabilities -- but not too many
details, and I'm not sure whether the one scene I associate with it --
they're so broke that they eat a very old can of rattlesnake meat kept as a
souvenir; a frequent visitor picks up the can, finds it empty, and
realizes their dire straits -- actually comes from there or not.

-- Alan

===============================================================================
Alan Winston --- WIN...@SSRL.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU
Disclaimer: I speak only for myself, not SLAC or SSRL Phone: 650/926-3056
Physical mail to: SSRL -- SLAC BIN 69, PO BOX 4349, STANFORD, CA 94309-0210
===============================================================================


Doug Wickstrom

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Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
On 10 Dec 1998 09:37:35 -0500, Adina Adler <ad...@shell3.shore.net>

modulated the bit stream to say:

>xnims...@aol.com (Doug Wickstrom) writes:
>
>> On 9 Dec 1998 11:52:23 -0600, keco...@garnet.tc.umn.edu (Karen E
>> Cooper) modulated the bit stream to say:
>>
>> >I have a lot of this sort of thing, such as Mrs. Child's "American Frugal
>> >Housewife"; my 12th edition reprint is from 1832. The baking advice --
>> >one can hardly call them recipes -- recommends using "pearlash" to make
>> >things rise. Had to look that one up. It's "potassium carbonate" and
>> >sesm to have been used in places where we now use baking soda. Anybody
>> >know more than that?
>>
>> Not specifically, but I have a few old Swedish cookie recipes that
>> call for hartshorn salt, aka ammonium carbonate. These days you have
>> to get it in drugstores, so I usually substitute baking powder.
>>

>> Doesn't smell all that good while baking, either, which is another
>> argument in favor of substitution. :)
>
>From what I've read, it will produce very crisp cookies, which might
>be a reason to try, if you've got a well-ventilated kitchen.

It's not _that_ bad, it just doesn't smell like cookies baking.

Jo Walton

unread,
Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>
b...@wavefront.com "Beth Friedman" writes:

> "Braeburn" doesn't sound quite right, but there were indeed a great number
> of them. Large, green, and lumpy. "Bramley," maybe? It's probably in my
> trip journal, if I can ever find that. And the apples weren't suitable for
> eating, only for cooking, Mr. Payne (the landlord) said; I never quite
> dared test that.

Cooking apples. You wouldn't want to eat cooking apples. It would give
you stomach ache.

Around Halloween I went to the greengrocer and asked for advice about
apples - I wanted some to bake, cored with raisins and brown sugar, and
I wasn't sure which kind would be best. As I explained to the woman
in the shop, whenever I'd done it before it had been with the sort
of apples that grow on trees.

Yes, I know. But I meant as opposed to the sort in shops which have
names.

I have a friend in Cambridge who has an orchard of old types of
apples, and she knows their names and very often the names of all
their friends and relations as well. She grows one kind which come
ripe in early August and are about the size of large strawberries,
and about that sweet as well. They're a cousin of the Pippins, but
you'd never guess it. Nobody grows them commercially but they're
the best apples I've ever had.

Ailsa Murphy

unread,
Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>,

"Beth Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com> wrote:
>
> Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
> has read that.)

Yes. A zillion times, all of which were when I was in sixth and seventh
grade, I believe. Must see if that's still in print. I bet Kathy would like
it...

Ailsa Murphy

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Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
In article <009D082D...@SSRL04.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU>,

win...@SSRL.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU wrote:
> In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>, "Beth Friedman"
> <b...@wavefront.com> writes:
>
> >
> >Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
> >has read that.)
>
> Well, yes, but it was a long time ago. (Not long enough that I've
> misremembered Harry Harrison as the author, but long enough that I got it
> from Scholastic Book Service.) I remember the basic premise -- it's a
> memoir written by the wife of a couple that end up adopting something like
> nine chldren of assorted races and disabilities -- but not too many
> details, and I'm not sure whether the one scene I associate with it --
> they're so broke that they eat a very old can of rattlesnake meat kept as a
> souvenir; a frequent visitor picks up the can, finds it empty, and
> realizes their dire straits -- actually comes from there or not.
>
Yes, it was. I remember that one too. B)

And of course Harry Harrison was the author. Wasn't the sequel _The Stainless
Steel Family_?

Beth Friedman

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Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
"Alan Winston - SSRL Admin Cmptg Mgr" <win...@SSRL.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU>
wrote in article <009D082D...@SSRL04.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU>...

> In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>, "Beth
> Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com> writes:
>
> >Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone
> >but me has read that.)
>
> Well, yes, but it was a long time ago. I remember the basic premise --
> it's a memoir written by the wife of a couple that end up adopting
> something like nine chldren of assorted races and disabilities -- but not

> too many details, and I'm not sure whether the one scene I associate
> with it -- they're so broke that they eat a very old can of rattlesnake
> meat kept as a souvenir; a frequent visitor picks up the can, finds it
> empty, and realizes their dire straits -- actually comes from there or
not.

Yes, that's the one. A round dozen children, I think. And the bit with
the cherries was that a well-intentioned neighbor kept delivering more and
more baskets of cherries -- except that they were sour ones that couldn't
be eaten plain, but had to be pitted and canned first. She eventually
ended up canning them pits and all.

The bit I particularly remembered in a later reading was the author trying
to carry off something that just doesn't work in a first-person narrative.
She described a sandwich that one of the children (Donny?) made for her,
that had random ingredients and was delicious. Then she tried to recreate
the sandwich later, but something was missing. Reading the description of
the first sandwich, it's clear that the missing ingredient is almond paste.
And if the author knew, how could the viewpoint character, who is the
author, not know?

I could continue to a more general commentary, but I'll do so in a new
message, I think.

--
Beth Friedman
b...@wavefront.com

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

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Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to

"Beth Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com> writes:

>Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet <pd...@ddb.com> wrote in article
><pddb.91...@gw.ddb.com>...

>> What I really remember cooking in that kitchen is lots and lots and


>> lots of apple crisp, because our landlord kept bringing us his
>> Braeburn apples.

>Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
>has read that.)

It's a very familiar title, but I can't remember actually reading it.

>"Braeburn" doesn't sound quite right, but there were indeed a great number
>of them. Large, green, and lumpy. "Bramley," maybe? It's probably in my
>trip journal, if I can ever find that. And the apples weren't suitable for
>eating, only for cooking, Mr. Payne (the landlord) said; I never quite
>dared test that.

You're right, it was more like Bramley.

They were VERY sour. Good and crisp, though. The real obstacle to
just eating one was that they had a lot of bruises and insect damage.
Which actually reassured me -- oh, good, probably he didn't spray them.
It wasn't really a problem if you were cutting them up anyway but just
chomping one would have been vaguely alarming.

He brought us a whole apple pie once, too, or what he called an apple
pie. It was so nice of him, but far too sweet -- a rich sweet
shortbread crust, but then the apples were so sweet they might as well
have been Delicious, and all cooked to mush. A very tart crisp
filling for that shell would have been lovely.

Doug Wickstrom

unread,
Dec 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/12/98
to
On Fri, 11 Dec 1998 16:09:38 GMT, "Beth Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com>

modulated the bit stream to say:

>The bit I particularly remembered in a later reading was the author trying


>to carry off something that just doesn't work in a first-person narrative.
>She described a sandwich that one of the children (Donny?) made for her,
>that had random ingredients and was delicious. Then she tried to recreate
>the sandwich later, but something was missing. Reading the description of
>the first sandwich, it's clear that the missing ingredient is almond paste.
> And if the author knew, how could the viewpoint character, who is the
>author, not know?

I think it's rather like Vlad not knowing as much about the
Dragheira(sp?) as he thinks.

Authors are allowed to describe their younger selves as not knowing as
much as they do now. I think it's called "imparting a feeling of
versimilitude," or some such.

Morgan

unread,
Dec 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/12/98
to
In this post <01be2520$803cc500$b8d0...@bjf.wavefront.com>, Beth

Friedman <b...@wavefront.com> said:
>
>> too many details, and I'm not sure whether the one scene I associate
>> with it -- they're so broke that they eat a very old can of rattlesnake
>> meat kept as a souvenir; a frequent visitor picks up the can, finds it
>> empty, and realizes their dire straits

I remember that so vividly.

>-- actually comes from there or
>not.
>
>Yes, that's the one. A round dozen children, I think

The part that really stuck in my mind from that book was where 'he' was
describing how one of the kids had fallen off their bike and were being
brave and not crying. And someone standing next to him said it was
because they were from an inferior race and their nerve endings didn't
grow to their skin therefore they didn't feel pain like white kids. I
ws so _shocked_ that people could think such a thing, it stuck in my
mind and has never left .

--
Morgan

"Nunc demum intellego," dixit Winnie ille Pu. "Stultus et
delusus fui," dixit "et ursus sine ullo cerebro sum."

Beth Friedman

unread,
Dec 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/12/98
to
Morgan <mor...@sidhen.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
<uvOfKMAy...@sidhen.demon.co.uk>...

> The part that really stuck in my mind from that book was where 'he' was
> describing how one of the kids had fallen off their bike and were being
> brave and not crying. And someone standing next to him said it was
> because they were from an inferior race and their nerve endings didn't
> grow to their skin therefore they didn't feel pain like white kids. I
> ws so _shocked_ that people could think such a thing, it stuck in my
> mind and has never left .

Yup, I remember that bit.

The one that stuck in my mind, even when I first read it, was the girl who
was getting radium treatments to remove a birthmark on her face. And the
other girl who had a birthmark on her arm, who was getting radium
treatments to remove that as well, mostly to keep her company.

--
Beth Friedman
b...@wavefront.com

Avedon Carol

unread,
Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
to
On 12 Dec 1998 01:37:05 GMT, xnims...@aol.com (Doug Wickstrom)
wrote:

>On Fri, 11 Dec 1998 16:09:38 GMT, "Beth Friedman" <b...@wavefront.com>
>modulated the bit stream to say:
>
>>The bit I particularly remembered in a later reading was the author trying
>>to carry off something that just doesn't work in a first-person narrative.
>>She described a sandwich that one of the children (Donny?) made for her,
>>that had random ingredients and was delicious. Then she tried to recreate
>>the sandwich later, but something was missing. Reading the description of
>>the first sandwich, it's clear that the missing ingredient is almond paste.
>> And if the author knew, how could the viewpoint character, who is the
>>author, not know?
>
>I think it's rather like Vlad not knowing as much about the
>Dragheira(sp?) as he thinks.
>
>Authors are allowed to describe their younger selves as not knowing as
>much as they do now. I think it's called "imparting a feeling of
>versimilitude," or some such.

I thought it was a technique that worked very well in _To Kill A
Mockingbird_, and helps to convey the feeling that the author is
talking about growing up, in the emotional sense - which is, of
course, very much what the book is about.

Avedon
ave...@cix.co.uk
"You can learn a lot about people from what they're like." - Harry Hill

Kathy Routliffe

unread,
Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
to

Alan Winston - SSRL Admin Cmptg Mgr wrote:
>
> In article <01be24d4$3f806b80$bfd0...@bjf.wavefront.com>, "Beth Friedman"
> <b...@wavefront.com> writes:
>
> >

> >Rather like the cherries in _The Family Nobody Wanted_. (If anyone but me
> >has read that.)
>

> Well, yes, but it was a long time ago. (Not long enough that I've
> misremembered Harry Harrison as the author, but long enough that I got it

> from Scholastic Book Service.) I remember the basic premise -- it's a


> memoir written by the wife of a couple that end up adopting something like

> nine chldren of assorted races and disabilities -- but not too many


> details, and I'm not sure whether the one scene I associate with it --
> they're so broke that they eat a very old can of rattlesnake meat kept as a
> souvenir; a frequent visitor picks up the can, finds it empty, and

> realizes their dire straits -- actually comes from there or not.

My copy was Scholastic as well. And the rattle-snake tin scene, which
I've remembered for years, *does* come from the book. One of my favorite
memories is of mom coming into each of the bedrooms and describing the
way the hair of her children flows out differently across each pillow:
jet black, curly blonde, deep brown, etc.

And cherry story was apiece with the story of wallpapering, while trying
to keep at least a couple of kids clean in the days of old-fashioned
diapers. It was my idea of pure hell for some time after reading the
book, although the end, when she and her husband just get struck by the
hilarity of it all, is wonderful.

Kathy
--
Now that you mention it, it *is* a great day!

Alison Scott

unread,
Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
to
djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote:

(quoting someone)

>>My absolute fave in the genre of a limited kitchen is Katherine
>>Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter," which teaches us how to make dinner
>>with no refrigerator, no counterspace, no microwave, and running water
>>down the hall.
>
>Hmmm! References, please? (Another reason for amazon.com, you
>see....)

"Cooking in a Bedsitter" is *the* classic UK
student-and-young-unmarried cookbook. In a weird sort of retro
censorship, you need to get the original version - when it was revised
and updated, some of the funniest bits were taken out. In particular,
the chapter entitled "The Third Paw", about cooking for a member of
the opposite sex visiting your bedsitter, had its name changed and
various innuendos removed. The original title came from the notion
that a dog has four thoughts, one for each paw - food, food, sex and
food.

It has loads of brilliant and foolproof recipes which are totally
unsuitable for anyone with an educated palate. But it is most useful
for its philosophy (don't think little me all on my lonesome, think me
on my own with nothing but my enormous appetite. Buy the largest
saucepan you can find) and its recipe segregation, which is into,
basically, "coming home after work and wanting something you can eat
quickly", "cooking something a bit harder for you and a fellow bedsit
inhabitant", "cooking something to convince your parents, when they
visit, that you're feeding yourself all right" and "cooking something
when you're trying to seduce someone" which is further divided into
men (give them good cheese and beer) and women (don't whatever you do
expect her to do the washing up, or worse, the cooking).

I used to have another Katherine Whitehorn cookbook, which was another
'abandoned man' cookbook, again with illustrations of a medium onion
and so on. This worked on the premise that the abandoned man was
cooking for a fortnight for himself and children while his wife was in
hospital with a new baby. At least part of the reason for a lengthy
lying in is clear from this book - if women were sent home with their
babies after 24 hours or less, they'd have been cooking the family
dinner that night.

But it has two critically useful tips for worried cooks - the first is
that you can produce a perfectly acceptable meal without cooking at
all (something which is a lot less surprising to people in these days
of pre-packaged meals), and the second is that it is perfectly
reasonable to have a takeaway on Friday night if you've struggled
through the rest of the week. Everyone will like fish & chips, and no
cooking.

--
Alison Scott ali...@fuggles.demon.co.uk

Now with added cobwebs: www.fuggles.demon.co.uk

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98