The Christmas Cook: Three Centuries of American Yuletide Sweets

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9780060552121: The Christmas Cook: Three Centuries of American Yuletide Sweets
From Publishers Weekly:

While Weaver ( America Eats ) deserves thanks for his determined research, a limp handshake may be in order for his use of it. Lengthy, sometimes diffuse historical scene-setting, effected in a labored style, introduces a rather confusing melange of chapters ("Beware of Camels," "Humbug Pie"). The author's "general overview of Christmas feasting in terms of the ideas that shaped the days and the customs that encouraged such monumental efforts in the kitchen" consists of a hodgepodge survey followed by a chapter on how the poor celebrated the holiday, then another on the culinary impact of the Christmas tree--a trilogy neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. The next chapters (save for the last, on arranging "the Christmas table") are more logically devoted to specific genres of sweets--cakes, cookies, puddings and candies. Despite perfectly acceptable recipes for sand tarts, almond macaroons and Saint Nicholas pudding, the book's greatest interest may be as a curiosity. Very few home cooks will have the equipment needed for making "clear toy candies," the patience for "oranges filled with jelly," the time for fruit pound cake--or the stomach for suet pudding. Photographs and illustrations.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Weaver, a food historian and author of the well-regarded America Eats (HarperCollins, 1989), now focuses on our Christmas celebrations since colonial days. He provides general background on Christmas feasting, then explores specific desserts and sweets like plum puddings and edible tree ornaments. The authoritative text, full of fascinating information, is complemented by striking color photographs, reproductions, and illustrations of kitchen tools that are museum artifacts, and Weaver has culled 75 recipes from centuries-old cookbooks and updated them for today's cook. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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