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Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father's Culinary Adventures

by Rae Katherine Eighmey

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Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father's Culinary Adventures
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Overview

Overview

Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father's Culinary Adventures by Rae Katherine Eighmey

In this remarkable work, Rae Katherine Eighmey presents Franklin's delight and experimentation with food throughout his life. At age sixteen, he began dabbling in vegetarianism. In his early twenties, citing the health benefits of water over alcohol, he convinced his printing-press colleagues to abandon their traditional breakfast of beer and bread for "water gruel," a kind of tasty porridge he enjoyed. Franklin is known for his scientific discoveries, including electricity and the lightning rod, and his curiosity and logical mind extended to the kitchen. He even conducted an electrical experiment to try to cook a turkey and installed a state-of-the-art oven for his beloved wife Deborah. Later in life, on his diplomatic missions—he lived fifteen years in England and nine in France—Franklin ate like a local. Eighmey discovers the meals served at his London home-away-from-home and analyzes his account books from Passy, France, for insights to his farm-to-fork diet there. Yet he also longed for American foods; Deborah, sent over favorites including cranberries, which amazed his London kitchen staff. He saw food as key to understanding the developing culture of the United States, penning essays presenting maize as the defining grain of America. Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin conveys all of Franklin's culinary adventures, demonstrating that Franklin's love of food shaped not only his life but also the character of the young nation he helped build.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9781588345981
9781588345981
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
01/16/2018
Pages:
304
304
Sales rank:
88,985
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

RAE KATHERINE EIGHMEY is an award-winning author, food historian, and cook. She is the author of numerous books, including Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen, Soda Shop Salvation, and Food Will Win the War.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Tidbit: Menu for Celebrating Benjamin Franklin All Year Long 7

Chapter 1 Ben's Boston Boyhood 9

Store-Bought Bisquits and Home-Cooked Candles Tidbit: Bringing Light to Boston-Josiah Franklin's Chandlery 18

Bisket Bread Stif 26

American "Biscuit" 27

Ox Cheek Stew 28

"French" Rolls 30

Chapter 2 Lifelong Lessons Learned around the Dinner Table 31

Cucumbers Pickled in Slices 42

Shallow-Pan Quince or Apple Marmalade 43

Pease Pudding 44

Broiled Fish 46

Horseradish Sauce 46

Chapter 3 From Devil to Master: Franklin Becomes a Vegetarian and a Printer 47

Five Culinary Touchstones to his Teenage Years Apple Tart 63

Plumb Cakes 65

Traveler's Gingerbread 66

Cornmeal Hasty Pudding 67

Benjamin's Breakfast 68

Chapter 4 Persuasive Printer's Pudding and Delicious Family Dinners 69

Tidbit: Homes and Kitchens 80

Ragu of "Mutton" 86

Winter Squash Pudding 87

Sodden Sallet 88

Bride Cake 89

Chapter 5 Poor Richard's Vision: Becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise 90

Baked Bread Pudding 102

Forcemeat Balls 104

Herb-Stuffed Ham 105

Chapter 6 Theoretical Discoveries, Practical Innovations 106

Capturing Electricity, Cooking Turkey Turkey Hash 114

Mushroom Catsup 115

Beef à la Mode 116

Cheesecake 118

Chapter 7 A Garden's Eye View of Home and the World 120

Broccoli in Salad 129

Cauliflower with Thickened Butter 129

Kidney Beans in Ragout 130

Pickled French Beans 131

Chapter 8 General Benjamin Franklin 132

Provisioning British Soldiers-Considering Colonial Unity Arrack Punch 147

Soldier's Noodles and Bread 148

Minced Pie 150

Chapter 9 Relishing the Best of Both Worlds 151

British Culture, American Ingredients Pot-Roasted Chicken 169

Penn Family Chicken Fricassee 171

Shrewsbury Biscuits 173

Welsh Rabbit and Stewed Cheese 174

Pilau 175

Pickled "Mango" 175

Chapter 10 On Becoming an American Patriot in London 177

Studying the World and Longing for the Essential Taste of Home Cranberry Tarts 196

Buckwheat Cakes 197

Syllabub and Floating Island 198

Chapter 11 Serving up Statesmanship 200

Four Food Views of Franklin's Paris Tidbit: Franklin's July Fourth Celebration in Passy 213

Two French Sauces 218

Green Peas à la Paysanne 219

Salt Pork and Pumpkin 220

Gâteau of Potatoes 221

Chapter 12 Coming to Terms 223

A Kitchen View of the Year of Peace Lemon Ice Cream 241

Meager Asparagus and Pea Soup 242

Apricot Marmalade 243

Duck with Turnips 244

Chapter 13 Entertaining the Future of the Nation 246

Franklin Returns Home and the Constitutional Convention Wigs 257

Pulled and Hashed Chicken 259

Little Cakes for Tea 260

Chapter 14 Raising a Glass to Benjamin Franklin 261

Rum Punch and Orange Shrub 266

"Spruce Beer" 268

Blackberry Toddy 269

Acknowledgments 270

Notes 273

Bibliography 281

Index 291

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"A new book about Benjamin Franklin covers his 84 years and the food that accompanied them, all based on prodigious research by Rae Katherine Eighmey, a food historian. The account is dense with detail, conveying Mr. Franklin’s tastes, curiosity and inventiveness."
—New York Times

"From his invention of an increased heat stove to a penned essay on maize as the defining grain of America, Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin is an exciting, and rare approach to examining how food fed into the U.S. identity."
—Food & Wine

"Most intriguing are the many recipes that end each chapter. Well documented, thoroughly tested, and kindly adapted to the modern kitchen, they offer readers the opportunity to imagine their way back into the eighteenth century."
Booklist

"So along with a history lesson on Franklin’s life, you’ll get a true taste for what he would have enjoyed, cooked or was served over the course of his lifetime. Unlike anything we eat today, 'They are delicious, evocative, and well worth the small efforts to prepare.'"
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The new book ... delves deep into Franklin’s love of food and drink"
—New York Post

“We’ve all been taught to believe that only one of the Founding Fathers was a true gourmand. Well, roll over, Thomas Jefferson, because it turns out Benjamin Franklin may be the true founding foodie father of this country.”
—Alton Brown, Author and TV Host

“First I enjoyed Eighmey’s Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin as a reader, and I found myself engrossed. Then, as a chef, I immediately put it to the test in the kitchen and was truly impressed. This book offers a new viewpoint on one of our most familiar founding fathers.”
—Walter Staib, A Taste of History host, creator, and executive producer; City Tavern chef and proprietor

“Rae Eighmey’s portrait of Ben Franklin is like a five-star meal prepared by an Iron Chef—it’s irresistible. She reveals a facet of the most lovable of the Founders that other biographers have missed: Benjamin Franklin, Founding Food Hound. And with sixty-two period recipes updated for contemporary cooks, Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin teaches home chefs how to recreate the flavorful specialties of Marie Antoinette’s Paris, George III’s London, and Franklin’s Philadelphia.”
—Thomas J. Craughwell, author of Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée
 
“An inviting recipe for a Franklin biography and one that is entertainingly presented. It is both well sourced and well sauced. Enjoy!”
—George Goodwin, author of Benjamin Franklin in London

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    Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father's Culinary Adventures
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    Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father's Culinary Adventures
    Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
    Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
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    Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
    Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
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    Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
    Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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