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This week A Taste of the Past recreates a classic master cookbook of the Italian vintage "The Silver Spoon" with the help of the editor Emilia Terragni of Phaidon Press. Emilia expounds on the challenges that face a culinary historian in translating a 60 year old cookbook from Italian into English; from recipes where much was assumed and thus lacking direction, to differences in stoves, measurements and more. This episode is sponsored by Hearst Ranch.


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Linda Pelaccio visits The Fabulous Beekman Boys at their farm to discuss The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook on this week's episode of A Taste of the Past! Tune into this program to learn about the nostalgic properties of family recipes, and what makes an "heirloom" dessert. Hear how Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell relied on their hometowns in North Carolina and Wisconsin for regional inspiration. Find out about the history of Beekman, New York, and why it's the perfect setting for a new handmade culinary resurgence! Hear about some of the specific recipes from the book, as well as the Beekman Boys' artisanal production endeavors! To learn more about Linda's visit with The Beekman Boys, visit HandPicked Nation. Thanks to our sponsor, BluePrint Cleanse.

"What family doesn't have that one dessert that your mother or grandmother makes that everyone loves?" [2:00]

"With Southern recipes, you don't actually cook anything. You take Nilla wafers, cover them in whipped cream, and put them in the fridge for two hours!" [4:55]

-- The Beekman Boys on A Taste of the Past


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What foods were historical figures like Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, and Leonardo Da Vinci eating during their lifetimes? On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio chats with Tori Avey- author and food writer- and the editor and curator of TheHistoryKitchen.com! Tori, who also serves as the chair for the IACP Food History Section, became interested in history through her grandparents, and was always fascinated by the kitchen. Hear how Tori combined her two loves by researching Jewish cuisine, and how that research fueled TheHistoryKitchen.com. Later, hear Linda and Tori talk about the importance of referencing primary sources in culinary history. Follow the recipe below to bake one of Emily Dickinson's favorite cakes! This program has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures. Thanks to Four Lincolns for today's music.

"It's really important that the research be solid on the site. I have open comments; I want readers to be able to interact with the content." [9:45]

"One of the things that really fascinates me is connecting to a historical person and seeing what they were eating or cooking." [12:50]

-- Tori Avey on A Taste of the Past

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Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake

2 cups flour

1 tsp cream of tartar + 1/2 tsp baking soda OR 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cream of tartar + baking soda OR baking powder. I used my antique sifter to get in the "Emily Dickinson" mood.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till the mixture is light and fluffy, and the sugar is well incorporated into the butter. I did this by hand, the old fashioned way, like Emily Dickinson would have. It took several minutes. You can do it much faster with an electric mixer.

Mix in the eggs, then the milk.

Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir till just incorporated. A thick batter will form. Do not overmix.

Fold in the shredded coconut. If your shredded coconut is dry (not fresh), rehydrate it with a little warm water and drain well before mixing it into the batter. Again, don't overmix.

Spread the batter into a small loaf pan.

Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes on the middle rack of your oven till cooked through and golden brown around the edges. Test with a skewer or toothpick for doneness in a few places-- if the toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter sticking to it), it's done.

The cake is not overly sweet, which was perfect for me (I don't like my desserts too sweet). If you want to sweeten it up, use a bit more sugar, or use sweetened coconut instead of regular coconut. Enjoy!


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