The Pot

First, get the Pot. You need the simplest rice cooker made. It comes with two speeds: Cook, and Warm. Not expensive. Now you’re all set to cook meals for the rest of your life on two square feet of counter space, plus a chopping block. No, I am not putting you on the Rice Diet. Eat what you like. (Roger Ebert’s Journal)

Roger Ebert teaches us about cooking, eating and food writing in The Pot, and how to use it. Filled with laugh out loud gems and actual practical advice. His book, The Pot and How to Use It. The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, inspired by the article and the hundreds of comments it received, will be released in September.

Excerpt from an emergency addition to an 1887 cookbook

This “card” was added to a cookbook that I own that was published in 1887 in Houlton, Maine. The title pages reads “Tried, Tested, Proved. The Home Cook Book, Recipes Proved and Contributed by the Congregationalist Ladies of Houlton and their Friends.”

As you can see, the card advises that some of the recipes contain [gasp] alcohol. That is well enough, but it is interesting to note that this book is not anonymous so the ladies who “unthinkingly have given recipes containing brandy, wine and cider: six in all,  but six too many of that kind,” are all named. Mrs. Theo. Cary and Mrs. A. H. Fogg certainly strayed in their fruitcake recipes, unlike, for example, Mrs. Bumpus whose recipe had no intoxicating spirits.

It’s a remarkable book to own since it is well sprinkled with ingredients and it’s possible to tell which recipes were used. Just in case you are curious, yes, the recipes with brandy were used and even contain marginal notations.