Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father’s Culinary Adventures

By Rae Katherine Eighmey
Read by Pam Ward

10.33 Hours 01/16/2018 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (25Tracks)
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    ISBN: 9781538488270

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In this remarkable culinary biography, Rae Katherine Eighmey presents Benjamin Franklin’s experimentation with food throughout his life. At age sixteen, he began dabbling in vegetarianism. In his early twenties, citing the health benefits of water over alcohol, he convinced his printing press colleagues to abandon their traditional breakfast of beer and bread for “water gruel,” a kind of porridge he enjoyed. Franklin is known for his scientific discoveries, including electricity and the lightning rod, and his curiosity and logical mind extended to the kitchen: he even conducted an electrical experiment to try to cook a turkey. Later in life, on his diplomatic missions—he lived fifteen years in England and nine in France—Franklin ate like a local. Eighmey discovers the meals served at his London home-away-from-home and analyzes his account books from Passy, France, for tips to his diet there. Yet he also longed for American foods; his wife Deborah sent over some favorites including cranberries, which amazed the London kitchen staff. He saw food as key to the developing culture of the United States, penning two essays presenting maize as the defining grain of America. Eighmey revives and re-creates recipes from each chapter in his life. Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin conveys all of Franklin’s culinary adventures, demonstrating how Franklin’s love of food shaped not only his life, but also the character of the young nation he helped build.

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Summary

Summary

In this remarkable culinary biography, Rae Katherine Eighmey presents Benjamin Franklin’s experimentation with food throughout his life. At age sixteen, he began dabbling in vegetarianism. In his early twenties, citing the health benefits of water over alcohol, he convinced his printing press colleagues to abandon their traditional breakfast of beer and bread for “water gruel,” a kind of porridge he enjoyed. Franklin is known for his scientific discoveries, including electricity and the lightning rod, and his curiosity and logical mind extended to the kitchen: he even conducted an electrical experiment to try to cook a turkey.

Later in life, on his diplomatic missions—he lived fifteen years in England and nine in France—Franklin ate like a local. Eighmey discovers the meals served at his London home-away-from-home and analyzes his account books from Passy, France, for tips to his diet there. Yet he also longed for American foods; his wife Deborah sent over some favorites including cranberries, which amazed the London kitchen staff. He saw food as key to the developing culture of the United States, penning two essays presenting maize as the defining grain of America. Eighmey revives and re-creates recipes from each chapter in his life. Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin conveys all of Franklin’s culinary adventures, demonstrating how Franklin’s love of food shaped not only his life, but also the character of the young nation he helped build.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An inviting recipe for a Franklin biography and one that is entertainingly presented. It is both well sourced and well sauced. Enjoy!” George Goodwin, author of Benjamin Franklin in London
“We’ve all been taught to believe that only one of the Founding Fathers was a true gourmand. Well, roll over, Thomas Jefferson, because it turns out Benjamin Franklin may be the true founding foodie father of this country.” Alton Brown, author and TV host
“Most intriguing are the many recipes…Well documented, thoroughly tested, and kindly adapted to the modern kitchen, they offer readers the opportunity to imagine their way back into the eighteenth century.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Rae Katherine Eighmey

Rae Katherine Eighmey, an award-winning author and cook, dynamically interconnects food and history. She is the author of seven books including Soda Shop Salvation, Food Will Win the War, and A Prairie Kitchen. Eighmey’s work and research brings the textures and flavors of the past to life and provides a fresh perspective on history. Her blog, What Lincoln Enjoyed Eating, and website, RaesKitchen.net, explore both the historic and contemporary culinary worlds. Eighmey has also won blue ribbons in the Minnesota and Iowa State Fair food competitions.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English