Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' a Gift to Young Housewives

Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' a Gift to Young Housewives

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by Elena Molokhovets
     
 

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"Joyce Toomre... has accomplished an enormous task, fully on a par with the original author’s slave labor. Her extensive preface and her detailed and entertaining notes are marvelous." —Tatyana Tolstaya, New York Review of Books

"Classic Russian Cooking is a book that I highly recommend. Joyce Toomre has done a marvelous job of translating this

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Overview

"Joyce Toomre... has accomplished an enormous task, fully on a par with the original author’s slave labor. Her extensive preface and her detailed and entertaining notes are marvelous." —Tatyana Tolstaya, New York Review of Books

"Classic Russian Cooking is a book that I highly recommend. Joyce Toomre has done a marvelous job of translating this valuable and fascinating source book. It’s the Fanny Farmer and Isabella Beeton of Russia’s 19th century." —Julia Child, Food Arts

"This is a delicious book, and Indiana University Press has served it up beautifully." —Russian Review

"... should become as much of a classic as the Russian original... dazzling and admirable expedition into Russia’s kitchens and cuisine."—Slavic Review

"It gives a delightful and fascinating picture of the foods of pre-Communist Russia." —The Christian Science Monitor

First published in 1861, this "bible" of Russian homemakers offered not only a compendium of recipes, but also instructions about such matters as setting up a kitchen, managing servants, shopping, and proper winter storage. Joyce Toomre has superbly translated and annotated over one thousand of the recipes and has written a thorough and fascinating introduction which discusses the history of Russian cuisine and summarizes Molokhovets’ advice on household management. A treasure trove for culinary historians, serious cooks and cookbook readers, and scholars of Russian history and culture.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banned in Molokhovets's native country since the Russian Revolution, this gastronomic standard for pre-Revolutionary upper- and middle-class Russian households has been impressively translated and edited by food historian and Harvard research associate Toomre. Translations of more than 1000 recipes recall foods central to Russian life: cabbage with butter and crumbs, potato pudding, Beef Stroganov, babas , piroq , pashka . Toomre's substantive introduction presents ``not a history of Russian cooking per se, but rather an impressionistic reconstruction of household conditions.'' She charts a range of elements, from the purpose of each of the four or five daily meals and the sleeping conditions of servants to the once privileged status of the potato. Toomre also assesses the influences of foreign peoples, such as the techniques of the French and the foods of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as modern approximations for arcane measurements. Much more than a re-creation of a lost time or a rumination on changing culinary tastes, this book is an important contribution to Russian history. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253212108
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Series:
Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies Series
Edition description:
Annotated
Pages:
704
Sales rank:
787,285
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.50(d)

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Julia Child
Classic Russian Cooking is a book that I highly recommend. Joyce Toomre has done a marvelous job of translating this valuable and fascinating source book. It's the Fanny Farmer and Isabella Beeton of Russia's 19th century.

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Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nice book. You might want to combine this one with the Tastes and Tales from Russia, if you decide to build a small collection of Russian cook / culture books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Old school Russian recipes. Very interesting to try to follow the recipes and to just learn about how they did things back then.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What Mrs. Beeton was to Britain, and what Martha Stewart now is to the US, Elena Molokhovets was to Imperial Russia. Her cookbook was more than just the best collection of recipes for Russian Cuisine, it is also a look at how Russian households from the palaces of Petersburg to the bourgeois of Briyansk were run. Though the recipes are sometimes impractical('It is important to buy your breem still living from the arctic waters'), and dated ('Send your maid to the ice house for 2 grouse'), not one recipe is boring to read. There are many useful recipes, though they all presume that the cook has good french cooking technique. (The soup recipes are an ugly disaster if you can't clarify stock). If you are interested in historical cuisine, if you are interested in old russia, or if you just want the best recipe for blini available, this book is a must have.