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Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' "A Gift To Young Housewives"

"Joyce Toomre... has accomplished an enormous task, fully on a par with the original author’s slave labor. Her extensive preface and her detailed and entertaining notes are marvelous." ―Tatyana Tolstaya, New York Review of Books"Classic Russian Cooking is a book that I highly recommend. Joyce Toomre has done a marvelous job of translating this valuable and fascinating source book. It’s the Fanny Farmer and Isabella Beeton of Russia’s 19th century." ―Julia Child, Food Arts"This is a delicious book, and Indiana University Press has served it up beautifully." ―Russian Review"... should become as much of a classic as the Russian original... dazzling and admirable expedition into Russia’s kitchens and cuisine."―Slavic Review"It gives a delightful and fascinating picture of the foods of pre-Communist Russia." ―The Christian Science MonitorFirst published in 1861, this "bible" of Russian homemakers offered not only a compendium of recipes, but also instructions about such matters as setting up a kitchen, managing servants, shopping, and proper winter storage. Joyce Toomre has superbly translated and annotated over one thousand of the recipes and has written a thorough and fascinating introduction which discusses the history of Russian cuisine and summarizes Molokhovets’ advice on household management. A treasure trove for culinary historians, serious cooks and cookbook readers, and scholars of Russian history and culture.

Series: Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies

Paperback: 680 pages

Publisher: Indiana University Press (July 22, 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0253212103

ISBN-13: 978-0253212108

Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 10 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #232,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #16 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Russian #524 in Books > History > Asia > Russia #4331 in Books > History > Europe

I seriously dislike when translators change the nature of books by seletive translation. "Oh, I don't think this sections is interesting. Let's not bother translating it." This book only includes 25% or the recipes in the original. No kidding; most of the recipes have been removed. The translater also has the audacity to remove the author's name from the spine of the book. Instead she puts her own name there as if the book was written by her. What kind of person would do such a thing? The book also contain a longer, scholarly, and fairly interesting introduction by the translator.The book is still valuable for the historian who wants to know more about life in Russia 100 years ago. You certainly can cook from this book, even though the translator kind of wonders why you would do such a thing. You should know that the translator must be as as far removed from being a foodie as possible. There is not a single word signalling that the author has any kind of passion for food. So for the cook who wants to cook Russian food you just have to accept that the translator removed 75% of the recipes. The back of the book lists the title of all the removed recipes.It looks like we will have to wait for the full translation of this book.Another not so good book is The Art of Russian Cuisine, which has taken a lot of recipes from Molokhovets book. However, since this book was written by an exiled Russian in the 1980s, it is quite dreary reading. The choices of recipes included are a product of the author's Soviet upbringing. Not at all the strange and interesting dishes found in Molokhovets book.

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