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Shaker Recipes and Formulas for Cooks and Homemakers Hardcover – 1978
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The Shakers were one of the most unusual splinter groups in the history of American folk and religious life. Ignoring a dismal handicap of scorn and persecution, these hardy people drove ahead into the young New World to establish a number of self-sufficient settlements that continued to grow in size and influence until they gradually became victims of their own conservatism and unflinching probity. Through it all, the Shakers remained faithful to their ingrained traditions of simplicity and utilitarianism, traditions that encouraged the development of new thoughts, new ideas, and new habits of work. Since their activities primarily revolved about the home, just about everything in the area came under their conscientious influence, including farming techniques, architecture, weaving, and cooking. The last category produced a startling number of innovations, the highlights of which are recorded in this volume. The author faithfully set down all recommendations as described in historical documents, and culinary devotees will find her every type, size, and shape of preparations they could ever hope to taste. There are listing of cakes and desserts whose function it was to add a bit of levity to the austere physical life practice by these active people; even a casual glance at their make-up will testify to a mission well accomplished. There are heavier meat & poultry platters & vegetable delicacies that can do full justice to gourmets, gourmands, & epicures alike. And there are special sauces & side dishes that can turn the most mundane of dinners into an exciting experience. All in all, a whole way of life is reflected in these recipes, relying on ingenuity & imagination to make up for much pleasure that was lacking in other quarters. This is not to say that the recipes contained in this remarkable collection are either outmoded or too complicated for modern cooks. All that is needed is basic kitchen equipment & supplies, and easily obtainable ingredients.
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