Influential Mid-Atlantic Cookbooks (Part 4)

my piano

A photo of a Stieff piano makers mark.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry in Maryland

By Frederick Philip Stieff

This is an amazing book and an inspiring idea that led to its creation. The author, Stieff found himself with a great deal of free time on his hands during the height of the depression, so he went all around the state of Maryland collecting recipes of the food he loved.

This was a man who was passionate about food in an era when people often did not have enough to eat. What we got was one of the greatest cookbooks ever to be written on Mid-Atlantic cuisine.

The books title is taken from the eighth chapter of Ecclesiastes, the fifteenth verse: Then I commanded mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, drink and be merry.”

Frederick Stieff left his families piano company in his quest to find out how to make the great food of the Mid-Atlantic region, the book is just a collection of recipes from all walks of life, from the rich, manor houses to the crab shacks and bars, they are all here. This book is just that a collection of recipes, there are many duplicate recipes for dishes showing the variety of styles which were in practice at the time.

There is also a historical note here, not only does the book capture the essence of the cuisine of its day, but it also contains a great deal of local folklore involving food in the region. There are also some illustrations which would never pass today’s PC environment. The depiction of blacks in the cartoons is less than flattering.

The recipes are collected from all over the state and therefore include more than just the usual coastal cuisine that most people think of when they think of Maryland. I would like to call a comprehensive book on Mid-Atlantic cuisine “Beyond Crab Cakes,” as that is all anyone thinks about when they think of Maryland.

There is a wealth of information contained within this book and it is inexpensive to buy, I would highly recommend this book as an addition to any cookbook library, and a must have for someone wanting to learn Mid-Atlantic cuisine.



About midatlanticcooking

Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 20 years. Painter, writer and traveler.
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2 Responses to Influential Mid-Atlantic Cookbooks (Part 4)

  1. babso2you says:

    Sounds like a lovely cookbook! I just wanted to thank you for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you find it fun and entertaining! – b

  2. Pingback: Influential Mid-Atlantic Cookbooks (Part 5) | midatlanticcooking

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