The Modern Housewife or Ménagère
By Alexis Soyer
The great thing about sorting and organising books is that you come across books that you had forgotten about, or in this case are not sure you've ever noticed before. I have mentioned a few times the collection of books that my great aunt left me, as I have unearthed some curiosities, but I can't remember ever looking at this one. It appears to be a cookbook with 'nearly 1000 receipts (recipes) written by a chef of the time. It was first published in 1849 and has some amazing recipes in it. Apparently it was a best-seller. I wonder if I had anything to eat that my great aunt had made from it!!
I am not sure that the 'Food for Invalids' would make anyone feel any better. The way to make Toast and Water is to toast (over a fire) a slice of bread until it is a 'good chocolate brown colour' then you put it in a jug and add boiling water. Strain it and it is ready to drink . . .
It would seem that the chef Alexis Soyer invented a 'Magic Stove' that could be used to cook meals whilst on expeditions. The precursor of the Primus I suppose. Though why they had to be at the summit of a pyramid to try it out is a bit of a mystery.
The book has rather a nice embossed cover and spine and I've just discovered that it might be worth something. Anyway, if anyone is interested there is a digitsed version here.