March 01, 2004

The Good Stuff Cookbook, Helen Witty

None of these are very difficult recipes, and they're all extra-tasty; one would find the results in fancy wrapping near the checkout stand of a thorough, perhaps a swank, grocery or deli. I think Witty must live somewhere with good gardening and terrible delis. Her Fancy Pantry was even better for a gardener; it has a seasonal index reminding you what to make of what's ripe together.

From Good Stuff, I have been making lots of the Grissini (breadsticks) and baked corn chips, because one recipe calls for an egg-white and the other for an egg-yolk and besides, the oven is already hot. They're all so crunchy! it's so easy to experiment with additions! And I eat them so quickly!

Witty even has a comment on the Early English origins of beaten biscuit, that effortful alternative to the use of saleratus. From p. 111; "flead biscuits" ... were made with flead (a fatty membrane from the innards of a porker) ... the dough was then thumped to a fare-thee-well.

Flead Cakes still current in Kent; check out the Biddenden Cakes in memory of twelfth-century conjoined twins. Flead crust is mentioned in Isabella Beeton's Book of Household Management, too; item 1218.

ISBN: 0-7611-0287-6

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