Favorite Photos and Recipes from The Little Women Cookbook

Just the other day, I received my one advance author’s copy of The Little Women Cookbook. As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited. The official pub date is October 1, but it’s nice to get an actual copy into my hot little hands. The book’s designer and photographs did my recipes proud. It’s just so gratifying to work with such a great publisher (Harvard Common Press) again.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy (Christmas presents, anyone?) ordering before the official publication date (10/1) is a good idea. Amazon’s prices fluctuate — when you put your order in, you guarantee that the price won’t go up. And if the price goes down, you’ll get the lowest price between the day you put your order in and the actual pub date.

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you.

1. Hannah’s Turnovers

 

Hannah, the March family’s Irish cook, makes hot turnovers for the March sisters to warm their hands on their way to school or work each morning. The turnovers then serve as a snack later in the day.

These flaky pastries are made with a cheese and butter crust surrounding a sweet jam filling. I love serving them at weekend breakfasts (with scrambled eggs), as an hors d’oeuvres, or with a bowl of soup instead of a side bread.

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2. Spice-Trade Deviled Eggs

 

Think the food in 19th-century New England was bland? Not so! Salem, Mass., was the epicenter of the spice trade in the U.S. — and in the book, Laurie’s grandfather is a merchant in the spice trade.

These great little hors d’oeuvres have a spicy filling, and are topped with a touch of chutney. And yes — the March family would have had access to chutney — indeed, cookbooks at that time mention chutney often.

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3. Amy’s “Pickled Lime” Sugar Cookies

 

Remember what a fiasco Amy causes when she brings pickled limes to school to boost her popularity with the other girls? Things don’t go so well. These sweet, buttery cookies with their sweet-tart lime frosting are a tip of the hat to the lesson Amy learns when she tries to use food as a status symbol rather than a way to authentically connect with people.

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4. Mr. Bhaer’s Fruit and Nut Trifle

 

In my opinion, the best scene in the book is when Jo seeks out Mr. Bhaer, searching for him in town in the rain. As they talk around their love for each other, he mentions that he wants to buy fruits, nuts, and oranges to treat the March family to something nice before he leaves for the American West. I’ve folded all of Mr. Bhaer’s treats into a lovely trifle — a popular dessert at the time.

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5. Amy’s Chocolate-Sauced Cream Puffs

Quite possibly my favorite quote from Little Women comes when Amy sails away to Europe:

So Amy sailed away to find the Old World, which is always new and beautiful to young eyes, while her father and friend watched her from the shore, fervently hoping that none but gentle fortunes would befall the happy-hearted girl, who waved her hand to them till they could see nothing but the summer sunshine dazzling on the sea.

Doesn’t that just send shivers?

A few recipes in the book are luscious desserts Amy would have encountered during her travels. Amy loved French chocolate (there’s another scene in the book when she wants to treat all her art-school classmates to French chocolate and other delights). Hence, these cream puffs (aka profiteroles) would fit right in.

I hope you enjoyed this little preview. Want more? Here are a few recent articles:

Blanc-Mange, Little Women, and a Pre-Order Bonus

Announcing … The Little Women Cookbook

Thanks for your interest! And above all, thanks for reading Chez Bonne Femme.

 

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