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The 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book
by Fannie Merritt Farmer
  This is a facsimile edition of the original Fannie Farmer Cookbook - a perennial bestseller first published in 1896. A pioneering work in the culinary field, it was the first cookbook to provide level measurements and easy-to-follow directions.
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At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook
by Melinda and Robet Blanchard
  The next best thing to actually living on an island paradise is being able to bring a bit of paradise home. Bob and Melinda Blanchard shared their own “paradise found” in their book A Trip to the Beach, the true story of the couple’s adventures as they escaped civilization to open a restaurant on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Now in At Blanchard’s Table, the couple extends the celebrated warmth and hospitality of their acclaimed restaurant, and its delicious menu, to our homes. The happy result is a cookbook that’s as much a pleasure to read as it is enjoyable to follow. - US dollars - Canadian dollars - British pounds - Euros - Euros

New England Cooking

New England Cooking Uses the Best Ingredients

New England cooking combines the traditions of British regional cookery with that of the Native Americans. The result is a distinctive melding of Old and New World cuisines using the freshest ingredients - and a dash of Oriental spices. As the base for many settler expeditions into the interior, New England has also had a strong influence on cooking throughout much of the United States.

Native Americans used many staple ingredients unknown to European colonists. These include corn (maize), beans, yams, pumpkins and maple syrup. Bartholomew Gosnold's expeditions to the "islands of New England also found bountiful fruit and game:

'Strawberries, red and white ... much bigger than ours; rasberries, gooseberries, whortleberries, and such an incredible store of vines ...; also many excellent springs of sweet water, and a great standing lake of fresh water. Here are also in this Island, great store of deer ...'

The sea also provided its own harvest for the early settlers. Cape Cod was named after the teeming cod found in the area - salted codfish became a staple food. As well as cod, haddock, striped bass, bluefish, flounder and shellfish were common. Clams remain a New England speciality. Softshell clams may be served as "steamers" as an appetizer or light meal. Hardshell clams, or quahogs, can be served raw. And, of course, New England clam chowder is world-famous.

Accordingt to Brooke Dojny (The New England Cookbook):

"By the mid- to late-1600s, the basic elements of an emerging regional cuisine were in place.

"More than the imported foodstuffs, it was the ingredients indigenous to the New World that defined the character of this cuisine. In addition to the all-important corn, a colonial larder might include beans, cranberries, blueberries, wild plums, pumpkins and other squash, maple sugar and syrup, wild mushrooms, wild turkeys and other game birds, venison, oysters, hard- and soft-shell clams, eels, cod and other finfish, and (eventually) lobsters."

She goes on to describe their cooking style:

"Cooking in big cast-iron cooking pots slung over the hearth, colonial housewives borrowed directly from Native Americans such dishes as corn and bean succotash, cornmeal cakes and stewed cranberries." They also adapted some of the traditional British recipes they had brought with them for boiled met dinners and custard desserts, "created new versions of seafood chowders, and invented dishes such as New World beans, slow-cooked with maple over damped-down coals. They roasted wild turkeys and other game birds, and they baked their beloved English pies - filling them with maple-sweetened pumpkin and stewed native blueberries."

Influences on New England Cooking

New England cuisine also carries memories of Portuguese cooking, derived from 19th immigrants who crossed the Atlantic from the Azores and Madeira to join the great fishing fleets of Nantucket. Not surprisingly, tunafish appears on many restaurant menus in Cape Cod and the islands. Like the British, Portuguese immigrants also had a taste for Indian spices such as cinnamon, ginger, mace and cloves. These flavours are still found in many dishes.

New England Cookery Books

There are many books on New England cooking with widely different interpretations of what this means.

Brooke Dojny's The New England Cookbook is a modern classic, covering 350 recipes. She is an experienced cookery writer, a New England native and has an engaging and authoritative writing style.

The children's author Tasha Tudor maintained a 19th century way of life in Vermont, and her illustrated collection of recipes, The Tasha Tudor Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage reflect an old-fashioned way of cooking. Many of her recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. Her soups such as 'potato and onion', 'pea soup', cream of mushroom', draw strongly on British traditional cooking - although the potato was unknown in Britain until New England was settled.

For a completely authentic 19th century cookbook you can not do better than Fannie Farmer's 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book available as a facsimile edition.

In complete contrast, The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook, draws on recipes from the Black Dog Tavern on Martha's Vineyard. This restaurant has been feeding huge numbers of residents and summer visitors since 1971, with their breakfasts gaining cult status. Their recipes are clearly based on New England traditions and make use of plentiful local ingredients in delicious and imaginative combinations. Where else would you eat broccoli in an omelet? In fact, their advice on how to cook omelets is second-to-none. Other breakfast favorites include Eggs in the Grass (poached eggs over asparagus with hollandaise sauce), "M" Go Blue (banana and blueberry pancakes), and Huey, Louie, Andouille (pepper, onion, and andouille sausage omelet).

Main meal dishes include: Quahog Chowder, Crunchy Pecan Chicken with Lemon Sauce, Caramelized Scallops with Smoked Chili Cream, and Seared Tuna on Watercress Salad. For desserts try Fudge Bottom Pie, Blueberry Pudding with Lemon Sauce, and Black Dog Ginger Cookies.

More New England articles:

Islands of New England

The New England Cookbook: 350 Recipes from Town and Country, Land and Sea, Hearth and Home
by Brooke Dojny
  In 350 recipes and plenteous anecdotes Brooke Dojny portrays the way New Englanders cook today.  Collects recipes that encompass a wide range of dishes, from oysters-on-the-half-shell to blackberry patch cobbled cobbler, with stories about the entire area included in sidebars.
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The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook
by Joseph Hall, Elaine Sullivan
  To start a summer's day, tourists and native islanders alike line up for hours for The Black Dog's bountiful breakfasts. Now you can make these same meals at home: the lusty Huey, Louie, Andouille omelet or glorious Mango Blueberry Pancakes. Lunch is equally popular at the Dog, and you can enjoy the famed Quahog Chowder, a New England classic, or their equally delicious, though more exotic, Hot and Sour Soup. The Black Dog's chefs will teach you how to prepare classic New England starters like Stuffed Quahogs and even how to open a clam with no fuss.
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The Tasha Tudor Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage
by Tasha Tudor
  These traditional recipes recall an old-fashioned New England lifestyle. They include summery picnic salads, hearty winter soups, and breakfast treats like Great-Grandmother Tudor's Cornbread, Blueberry Coffee Cake, and Butterscotch Rolls. Her main dishes - Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Sage, vegetable-laden Beef Stew, and Salmon served with home-grown peas - are the prelude to her irresistibly rich desserts, including a luscious dark chocolate torte and English Toffee Bars.
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