Reading the Booklist and Library Journal cookbook reviews with greater interest lately. After my effort writing a compendium of kitchen disasters for my sons, I'm interested in the idea of cookbooks as social history. This find dates from 1922, before my father was born. It was his mother's:
Hot button topics include arranging a butler's pantry, and whether finger bowls are needed when fruit is served at breakfast.
Dad's mother knew to put a spoonful of duck fat in the holiday sauerkraut to make it shine. Williams Sonoma's catalog offers gourmet duck fat for the discerning shopper. I feel vindicated, empowered. Across generations duck fat will prevail!
The world's population can be divided into two groups--those who appreciate the culinary contributions of duck fat and those who do not. Just before serving, a tablespoon of duck fat is added and a little sprinkling of flour to give the kraut a nice shine.
The first Christmas we were married, my spouse announced having a jar of duck fat in the refrigerator was disgusting, and he was not going to allow it. If I’d shot him then, I’d be out of prison now, but I wouldn’t have three wonderful sons who have learned to enjoy sauerkraut with roast turkey or pork roast. Should they need advice on arranging their butler's pantry, I'll be prepared.
© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder