Friday Food: Catharine Beecher’s Recipe for Rhubarb Tart, 1846

Catharine Beecher (1800-1878), the sister of the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, was an early feminist and advocate of women’s education.  Beecher was at the forefront of the home economics movement in the nineteenth century.  She sought to increase the status of traditional women’s work such as cooking and childcare, arguing for its value to society and the need for female education to inform this work.

Beecher published her Treatise on Domestic Economy in 1841.  The book combined useful household hints with Beecher’s radical views on women’s rights and education.  Surprisingly, the book was a great success; fifteen editions were published in the next fifteen years.  As supplements to the Treatise, Beecher published several other cooking and household management books, including Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book.

Ellen’s Pudding, or Rhubarb Tart

From Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book

One pint of stewed pie plant.
Four ounces of sugar.
One half pint of cream.
Two ounces of pounded cracker.
Three eggs

Stew the pie plant, and rub it through a sieve. Beat the eggs well, and mix with the sugar and cream. Stir the cracker crumbs into the fruit, and add the other ingredients. Line your plate with a moderately rich paste, and bake half an hour.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

Don’t miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB will be participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

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