A highly original and responsible presentation of a large group of 19th century recipes from many sources, including Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book (New York, 1846) and Edibilia: A Cook Book of Valuable Private Receipts by the Ladies of Christ Church in Indianapolis, 1873. The geographic range is wide and the content varied, but this book is not merely a curiosity. Ms. Oddo takes the recipes seriously and with intelligent and sensitive adaptations is able to highlight useful and imaginative combinations of ingredients -- particularly in puddings, meats and fish, vegetables and pastries. Although some recipes are archaic -- the possets, the caudles, the rennets, etc. -- the studious cook can learn something about interesting mixtures; and there are plenty of bread and jam/jelly/preserves recipes for the natural foods enthusiast. With sections on home management and remedies, a stimulating collection for the experienced cook who food-shops with judgment and enjoys opulent dining.