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Tue Nov 29, 2016, 08:39 AM

Happy Birthday Louisa May Alcott: food in "Little Women"

"'Jo! Jo! Where are you?' cried Meg at the foot of the stairs. 'Here!' answered a husky voice from above, and, running up, Meg found her sister eating apples and crying over the Heir of Redclyffe, wrapped up in a comforter on an old three-legged sofa by the sunny window. This was Jo's favorite refuge, and here she loved to retire with half a dozen russets and a nice book, to enjoy the quiet ... .

"There never was such a Christmas dinner as they had that day. The fat turkey was a sight to behold, when Hannah sent him up, stuffed, browned, and decorated. So was the plum pudding, which melted in one's mouth, likewise the jellies, in which Amy reveled like a fly in a honey pot. Everything turned out well, which was a mercy, Hannah said, 'For my mind was flustered, Mum, that it's a miracle I didn't roast the pudding, and stuff the turkey with raisins, let alone billin' of it in a cloth.'

"Then ... Meg ... put on a big apron, and fell to work ... with more energy than discretion. While the cooking mania lasted she went through Mrs. Cornelius's Receipt Book as if it were a mathematical exercise, working out the problems with patience and care. Sometimes her family were invited to help eat up too bounteous feasts of successes, or Lotty would be privately dispatched with a batch of failures, which were to be concealed from all eyes in the convenient stomachs of the little Hummels. Fired with a housewifely wish to see her storeroom stocked with homemade preserves, she undertook to put up her own currant jelly. John was requested to order home a dozen or so little pots and an extra quantity of sugar, for their own currants were ripe and were to be attended to at once. ... Home came four dozen delightful little pots, half a barrel of sugar, and a small boy to pick the currents for her. ... The array of pots rather amazed her at first, but John was so fond of jelly, and the nice little jars would look so well on the top shelf, that Meg resolved to fill them all, and spent a long day picking, boiling, straining, and fussing over her jelly. She did her best, she asked the advice of Mrs. Cornelius, she racked her brain to remember what Hannah did that she left undone, she reboiled, resugared, and restrained, but that dreadful stuff wouldn't 'jell.' ... If John had not forgotten about the jelly, it really would have been unpardonable in him to choose that day, of all the days of the year, to bring a friend home to dinner unexpectedly. ... In the kitchen reigned confusion and despair. One edition of jelly was trickled from pot to pot, another lay upon the floor, and a third was burning gaily on the stove. Lotty, with Teutonic phlegm, was calmly eating bread and currant wine, for the jelly was still in a hopelessly liquid state, while Mrs. Brooke, with her apron over her head, sat sobbing dismally."

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Reply Happy Birthday Louisa May Alcott: food in "Little Women" (Original post)
betsuni Nov 2016 OP
northoftheborder Nov 2016 #1
Liberal Jesus Freak Nov 2016 #2

Response to betsuni (Original post)

Tue Nov 29, 2016, 01:57 PM

1. Loved Alcott's books - read them all many times

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Response to betsuni (Original post)

Tue Nov 29, 2016, 06:24 PM

2. Thank you!!!

I am loving these threads!

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