Cakes & Ale, A Dissertation on Banquets Interspersed with Various Recipes, More or Less Original, and anecdotes, mainly veracious

Edward SPENCER (1844 - 1910)

A long time ago, an estimable lady fell at the feet of an habitual publisher, and prayed unto him:—

“Give, oh! give me the subject of a book for which the world has a need, and I will write it for you.”

“Are you an author, madam?” asked the publisher, motioning his visitor to a seat.

“No, sir,” was the proud reply, “I am a poet.”

“Ah!” said the great man. “I am afraid there is no immediate worldly need of a poet. If you could only write a good cookery book, now! ... What I want,” said the publisher, “is a series of essays on food, a few anecdotes of stirring adventure—you have a fine flow of imagination, I understand—and a few useful, but uncommon recipes. But plenty of plums in the book, my dear sir, plenty of plums.”

“But, suppose my own supply of plums should not hold out, what am I to do?”

“What do you do—what does the cook do, when the plums for her pudding run short? Get some more; the Museum, my dear sir, the great storehouse of national literature, is free to all whose character is above the normal standard. When your memory and imagination fail, try the British Museum. You know what is a mightier factor than both sword and pen? Precisely so. And remember that in replenishing your store from the works of those who have gone before, you are only following in their footsteps. I only bar Sydney Smith and Charles Lamb. Let me have the script by Christmas—d’you smoke?—mind the step—good morning.”

In this way, gentle reader, were the trenches dug, the saps laid for the attack of the great work. (from the Preface)

Genre(s): Cooking

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface DrPGould
00:08:08
Play 01 Breakfast DrPGould
00:13:26
Play 02 Breakfast (continued) DrPGould
00:17:21
Play 03 Breakfast (continuted) DrPGould
00:17:56
Play 04 Luncheon Corrinne LePage
00:15:08
Play 05 Luncheon (continued) Corrinne LePage
00:23:18
Play 06 Dinner aniroo
00:22:01
Play 07 Dinner (continued) aniroo
00:14:10
Play 08 Dinner (continued) DrPGould
00:22:19
Play 09 Dinner (continued) DrPGould
00:21:25
Play 10 Vegetables Tomas Peter
00:18:40
Play 11 Vegatables (continued) Tomas Peter
00:15:20
Play 12 Curries Tomas Peter
00:20:51
Play 13 Salads DrPGould
00:16:15
Play 14 Salads and Condiments DrPGould
00:17:00
Play 15 Supper DrPGould
00:14:36
Play 16 Supper (continued) DrPGould
00:15:02
Play 17 ''Camping Out'' Kurt
00:22:22
Play 18 Compound Drinks BettyB
00:21:35
Play 19 Cups and Cordials BettyB
00:18:56
Play 20 The Daylight Drink Sonia
00:22:14
Play 21 Gastronomy in Fiction and Drama aniroo
00:22:14
Play 22 Restoratives DrPGould
00:21:43