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The Cook Not Mad

Updated on October 8, 2013

My Review of The Cook Not Mad

The Cook Not Mad is a fascinating collection of recipes from 1832. It was the first cookbook to be printed in Canada and contains 'receipts', not all recipes for some hilarious things. First are the cooking 'reciepts' then some on a wide array of topics from dying woolens, to how to burn coffee, to keeping clear of bedbugs.

It is interesting to see the thoughts and attitudes of the time. Check out the preface - I have included a section of it as a quote below.

They used many ingredients that today we know to be poisonous or cencerous (just a slower poison).

The 1973 reprint, which I have, is in a hideous orange and brown. I have no idea what colour the original was, but I like to think it was the same.

A weird read.

I just had to try out some of these 'receipts'.

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Part of the Preface to the Book

To meet the objections that may be raised against this little production on the ground of its containing many directions for getting up our most common repasts, let it be remembered that not a few young women enter upon the duties of the wedded life without having been scarcely initiated into the mysteries of the eating deparment, and therefore to them the most trivial matters on this head become of importance. The mose wholesome viande may be converted into corroding poisons.

Books by Roy A. Abrahamson - Vote for your favorites, or add any I missed.

Actually the cook book does not have an author shown anywhere in the title. BUT, someone on Lit Link seems to know it is him, and Amazon does credit him with the book.

Yorkshire Pudding

No Fail and Very Easy

The method of cooking yorkshire pudding in the book, the Cook Not Mad is super easy and I have never had a failure with it.

Stir in a bowl - 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of flour an 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I use water instead of milk to accomodate my daughter's milk allergy and they come out just as well. Stir until just mixed - it will be lumpy.

Put grease (fat, butter, margarine or oil) in each of 8 custard cups - about 2 teaspoons in each. You can also use a 12 muffin cup tray - it takes about 1.5 teaspoons of grease in each. Pour in batter.

Place in a COLD oven. Turn heat on to 450 degrees and bake for half an hour. Do NOT open the door during this time.

Take out and poke to release the steam. Turn off the oven and put them back in for 10 minutes.

That's it, that's all - and it works great every time.

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Household Hint Extracts from The Cook Not Mad

Here are a couple of homely tips from the book. Thee samples are wuite simple and at least do not involve substances that we now know are harmful. btW a 'rotton stone' is polishing powder.

#260 To Clean Brass

Take a rag wet with spritis turpentine, and dabble in rotton stone and rub your ornaments after whch finish with a dray rag and rotton stone.

#260 To take Mildew out of Linen

Take soap; and rub it well: then scrape some fine chalk, and rub that also in the linen; lay it on the grass; as it dries, wet it a little, and it will come out at twice doing.

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Postscript of utmost importance

If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

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