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Recomended Books on Fireplaces and Chimneys and Other Stuff


The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking & Housekeeping Book

by Anne Carter Zimmer

Anne and her husband, Fred, are friends, used to be neighbors and our house is filled with Fred's delightful paintings. Now it is sometimes filled with the aromas inspired by Anne's wonderful book of "receipts".

The Zimmers liked their own fireplace and were always interested and supportive of my fireplace habit. Anne's book is perfect for reading and cooking by a fire:

As for roasting, Mrs. Randalph declared that "no meat can be well roasted except on a spit turned by a jack, and before a steady clear fire - other methods are no better than baking." More than fifty years later Mrs. Tyree agreed, although she did deign to explain how to cook wild birds in a stove oven without "that stovy taste."

....and on brick ovens......

Shrinking households, the proliferation of the cast-iron stove, and manufactured leavenings all played a part in the rise of the layer cake, too. Forty eggs went into Martha Custis's receipt and thirty into Nelly Custis Lewis's Black Cake, a fruit cake and arguably the lone modern survivor of the Great Cake. (The "Mrs. L." who contributed it to Mrs. Lewis's cookbook may have been Mrs. Lee.) But after the Civil War fewer people needed or could afford such huge concoctions. The large brick ovens of cooking fireplaces gave way to the smaller ones in stoves. These, being more easily regulated, were better adapted to the quicker, more precise baking requirements of chemicals such as baking powder.

- Jim Buckley

Order "The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking & Housekeeping Book" Today!

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