Food Friday - book report edition

We were invited to a friend's house for Shabbat dinner and I just had to make challa. I do however, want to alert you to two terrific cookbooks. The first, is the book pictured at the left. I have seen lots of books of this type, a mix of history and recipes. Both the history and the recipes are meticulously researched.

Apparently one of the residents of 97 Orchard Street used to wake up early on Fridays and bake 20 challas to give away to the needy. I was inspired by her example.

This week, I gave three extra challas to the women who helped me pull together a celebration for my building last Sunday.This was partially an act of graciousness, and also so I wouldn't have to worry about what to do with the other half of the challa during Passover.
Wendy, my downstairs neighbor lent me this treasure of a cookbook. It was published in 1899. the recipes seem to come from both housewives as well as the fanciest chefs in America.
Some of the recipes are homely, like the bread soup made out of bread crumbled into a bowl with salt, pepper, water and a bit of cream. Other recipes are incredibly elaborate, like the teeny fish in aspic that is arranged to look like the fish are leaping in the aspic. The recipes are accompanied by wonderful engravings. My favorite shows a woman standing on a chair while she makes spun sugar. I hope that Wendy won't mind if  I don't return this book for a few weeks.

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