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The Farmer’s Wife Cookie Cookbook
If you are a regular visitor to Mostly Food and Travel Journal (and
why wouldn’t you be?) then you will be familiar with
the series of Farmer’s Wife cookbooks. They are compiled from original
recipes found in the magazine of the same name, published between 1893
and 1939 in Minnesota.
Cookie baking is an ideal introduction to kitchen pursuits. The virgin
cook has no fear with regard to baking biscuits (British term for
cookies). One might worry that a pastry case is a bit too crunchy. One
could have second thoughts about launching into soufflé
production lest they not rise. Well, with cookies the worst has already
happened. For the most part, you want the aforementioned crunch and
The Farmer’s Wife Cookie Cookbook concerns itself with sweet
confections, some of which might be considered as cake or dessert. Bars
and Squares have long been popular in the US and have taken hold
world-wide. Lemon Bars are my favourite from this chapter. It’s a
rather curious recipe demanding a first baking and then the addition of
beaten eggs, sugar, lemon juice and baking powder. The end result is a
tangy bar with a soft top. Just right with a nice cuppa tea.
Crullers are included in this book. It’s not a word commonly heard in
Britain. Although a cruller sounds like it should be a wild seabird it
is in fact a variety of doughnut: a deep-fried sweet pastry dusted with
sugar. These are usually made in strips or braids rather than rounds.
Funnel Cakes are also a glimpse of pure Americana. These comprise a
cake batter run through a funnel directly into hot oil. Think of a thin
delicate version of churros. A favourite at State fairs and such
Maple Syrup Cookies have my vote as a must-try. When it comes to that
rich liquid Maple syrup, to know it is to love it. It has, unlike most
sweet syrups, a real flavour. Don’t substitute corn syrup or Golden
Syrup or the end result of your labours will be entirely different from
that intended. Delicious perhaps, but a shadow of a real Maple Syrup
The Farmer’s Wife Cookie Cookbook is a book to be used. The
measurements are by volume as one would expect from an American
cookbook. This should hold no terrors for the European cook. It’s a
practical method and simple. The recipes have probably been tested by
generations of cooks who would not have had the luxury of modern
kitchen equipment. This is a charming book offering delicious goodies.
Cookbook review: The Farmer’s Wife Cookie Cookbook
Edited by: Lela Nargi
Published by: Voyager Press
Price: $15.99US, £10.99 UK