A review of cluttered cookbook shelves reveals a surfeit of fetchingly illustrated, full-color books of contemporary cuisine, and a shocking lack of titles dealing with the real history of gastronomy. This compendium of Elizabethan recipes, gathered and annotated (and, we might add, carefully tested) by Ruth Anne Beebe is not only historically accurate (and in places downright fun) but also usable. For in addition to a rich selection of the transcribed original Elizabethan recipes, Beebe has provided modern formulations, including ingredients and measurements. And there is much more to this cuisine than the expected meat and Shepherd's pie; here is fascinating advice on how herbs were used to flavor and preserve, how ale was brewed, and how to "fry and egge as round as a ball." In addition to the recipes themselves, the book offers sample menus, a glossary, index, and a host of elegant and wonderfully evocative period woodcuts all printed in red.