While scientist Charles Darwin pursued research and theory, his wife Emma Wedgwood Darwin, like many women of her time, kept a notebook filled with recipes, culinary instructions and personal anecdotes about everyday life in the Darwin household. The collection of recipes reflects Emma Darwin’s social position and responsibility for feeding her family, entertaining guests, and maintaining the household. Reading her recipes and notes today offers remarkable insight into Victorian life and includes dishes popular in her day such as: Baked Cheese Custard, Scotch Woodcock, Beef Collops, Chicken and Macaroni, Veal Cake, Pea Soup, Potato Rissoles, Arrowroot Pudding, and Compote of Apples, to name just a few. This unique cookbook offers a rare glimpse behind the dining room doors of one of the Victorian era’s most eminent families.
Weslie Janeway studied history and politics at Barnard College and Brown University. She has worked as a political analyst in banking, investment banking and continued to work in investment (at Sontag Advisory, a boutique investment firm) until 2006, when she and her semi-retired husband moved to Cambridge, England. She lives with her husband and son variously between Cambridge, England, New York City, and the coast of Maine.
Recorded Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at Ina’s.