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Baking Recipes from the Wives & Mothers of Civil War Heroes, Heroines & Other Notables Review by Amy Christy

Robert W. Pelton
Infinity Publishing
1094 New Dehaven St., Suite 100
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
Toll Free: 877- BUYBOOK

Women have been baking bread for ages, and if you have made it yourself, you know the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands for your family. My favorite time period is the 1800s. I picture the women of that era in their kitchens as they prepared baked goods for their families and for the heroic leaders and soldiers of the Civil War. Good baking would have been a challenge in those days and would have involved trial and error as women sometimes dealt with poor-quality ingredients and woodstoves. Still, they managed to create everything from humble cornbreads and biscuits to elegant cakes. Such successful baking recipes are featured in the book Baking Recipes from the Wives and Mothers of Civil War Heroes, Heroines, and Other Notables by Robert W. Pelton.

All of the books in Mr. Pelton's Historical Cookbook Series have been a joy to read! The history, photographs, and recipes make this not only a unique cookbook but a wonderful addition to a homeschool library as well. This is a large book with over 350 pages, including a section for recipe notes and the measurements used back then, along with their modern equivalents. Each recipe page contains historical facts about the person or family it is associated with. There is a photo, a short biography, a quotable quote, and a little-known fact about the person. You'll peek into their family life, military careers, and faith, as well as their family kitchen.

Charming historical tidbits can be found within the pages of this book. Did you know that in the South, if you were served cold cornbread, it was a sign that you were not welcome? We also learned that a coin was often placed into dough before baking, and whoever found it in his or her piece of cake was believed to have good luck!

Your family can enjoy the "Whole Wheat Bread" that was a General Sherman favorite, or the "Graham Bread" that Edmond Kirby Smith often ate. There are many biscuit recipes, as well as crackers, dinner rolls and muffins. Perhaps you'd like to try "Fruit Cake- Abraham Lincoln's Favorite" or "Ginger Snaps- A Davis Family Favorite." There is also quite an assortment of delectable cakes, cookies, and pies to choose from.

I am very impressed with Mr. Pelton's knowledge of this period in American history and his diverse collection of recipes. I cannot imagine the countless hours of research it must have taken to produce such an amazing book. Baking Recipes from the Wives and Mothers of Civil War Heroes, Heroines, and Other Notables would be perfect for a Civil War unit study, or for any cookbook collection. All the recipes we tried turned out great, and we learned fascinating things as we prepared them. I highly recommend this book and all the others in this series.

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