Kitchen Essays, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary essays
  • ISBN: 9781906462031



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Review by

The Short of It:A delightful distraction from the day-to-day.The Rest of It:Kitchen Essays is in fact, a collection of recipes, but it’s really quite a bit more than that. It’s a guide…almost a food bible of sorts for the hostess that needs a bit of help planning a menu. In the 1920s, every occasion was a party. Within its pages there are suggestions for a morning of Christmas shopping, dinner before a play, a Winter shooting party luncheon, and the section that got the most laughs out of me, For the Too Thin and For the Too Fat.At just over 260 pages, I managed to stretch this one out for several months by reading a chapter at bedtime. It was the perfect antidote to a very stressful day. What I found incredibly humorous was the abundant use of butter and cream and the fact that nothing is really measured out. Meaning, that if you wanted to put these dishes together yourself, you’d have to do with a “walnut” piece of butter or a dribble of cream. Oh, and let’s not forget the clever use of aspic!I think anyone that enjoys food and entertaining will really enjoy this one.

Review by

I received this book through Santathing and am glad that I did. Some of the actual recipes presented in this book of 1920ish essays on food are a little odd for today's tastes (who today would add cream to tinned sardines?) but many look delicious. The main value of the book however is the fascinating slice of social history it gives for middle class life just after the First World War. The book is also strongly humanitarian its its recognition of the realities of life.

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