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Civil War Period Cookery (part of The Pelton Historical Cookbook Series) Review by Amy Christy

Robert W. Pelton
Infinity Publishing
1094 New Dehaven St, Suite 100
West Conshohocken, PA 19428

Like many of you, I really enjoy cooking. I'm also a history buff, particularly fascinated with the Civil War time period. It's no surprise, then, that the book Civil War Period Cookery was a joy for me to read. Written by Robert W. Pelton, this fascinating book contains many delicious and historical recipes. You'll find everything from old-fashioned griddle cakes and humble biscuits to hearty main dishes and interesting salads. There are elegant desserts as well as unique beverages. The best part is that these are beloved recipes straight from the families of such notable Americans as Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant.

Perhaps you'd like to try "The Sherman Family's Chicken Fricassee" or "Buttermilk Pie: A Jeb Stuart Favorite," which I prepared and served to my family. Have you ever wondered how Mrs. Thomas Lincoln made coffee for Abe? I bet you didn't know it contained egg white and egg shells! Mr. Pelton must have spent countless hours doing his research on this project. The Civil War-era housewife could whip up a meal by adding a "tumberful" of this and a "kitchencupful" of that. Luckily, Mr. Pelton has converted these unusual measurements into recognizable modern terms!

For each recipe, Mr. Pelton includes historical information and quotes from the person it is associated with. I learned so much about the family and faith of these amazing people. I was honored to think that I was preparing the same dish that someone like Abraham Lincoln enjoyed. I was surprised at how many unusual recipes this book contained, such as "Rhubarb Punch--Favorite of Henry Ward Beecher" and "Squash Biscuits as Made by the Rosecrans Family."

So treat yourself and your family to a meal like those eaten long ago in the Civil War period. Pull up a chair to the family table of these brave heroes, leaders, and wives. You can cook with your children and read about Robert E. Lee as you flip a stack of "Velvet Huckleberry Pancakes," his favorites, or sit in your porch swing and pour yourself a nice cool glass of "Clara Barton's Mint Lemonade." Within the pages of Civil War Period Cookery, you'll be getting not only cherished recipes but also biographical sketches of these brave men and women who shaped our American history. This would be a perfect accompaniment to a Civil War Unit Study and a delight for the cookbook collector.

Product review by Amy Christy, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2007