If you’re a fan of the classic novel Little Women, 2019 is a very good year. Writer-director Greta Gerwig is returning to the big screen with her adaption of the beloved coming-of-age story. We’ll have to wait till December for the film, but a new cookbook lets readers bring the world of Little Women to their tables. Food writer and editor Wini Moranville has put together 50 easy-to-make recipes, all updated for the modern kitchen.
The Little Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family contains recipes inspired by specific dishes mentioned among the novel’s pages. These include Buckwheat Pancakes, Milk-Toast, Apple Orchard Chicken, Gingerbread, and more. There are also full-color photos, fun and uplifting quotes from Little Women, and anecdotes about Louisa May Alcott (the novel’s author).
Harvard Common Press, publisher of the cookbook, was kind enough to share two recipes straight from the pages with Girls That Create readers:
A Better Omelet for Marmee
Makes 1 omelet (repeat the recipe for as many omelets as you would like to make)
The boiled tea was very bitter, the omelet was scorched, and the biscuits speckled with saleratus, but Mrs. March received her repast with thanks and laughed heartily over it after Jo was gone.
One morning in June, bored after a few long days of too much time on their hands, Meg and Jo make breakfast for their mother. Sadly, things don’t go quite as they might have hoped for in the kitchen. Follow this foolproof recipe, however, and you’ll make a moist omelet that’s sunny-yellow and bright—and not one bit scorched. “Saleratus,” by the way, is what we now call baking powder.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (4 g) snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) unsalted butter
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, parsley, and salt and pepper until well blended; set aside.
- Heat a 7-inch (18 cm) nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Melt the butter in the skillet until hot but not brown. Add the eggs to the skillet. Shake the pan back and forth while using a fork held with the tines parallel to the pan to gently stir the eggs (the fork should not scrape the bottom of the pan).
- When the eggs are nearly cooked but still wet, stop stirring and continue cooking until the eggs are set. Tilt the pan and use the fork or a spatula to gently roll the omelet, starting from its top edge. If you prefer your omelet more well done, leave it in the pan on the heat for a few moments more.
- Roll the omelet out of the pan and onto a plate, seam side down. Serve hot.
Parisian Cream Puffs
Makes 24 cream puffs (8 servings)
As someone who loved French chocolate (see page 109), Amy would have adored the cream puffs she would surely have encountered while traveling with her aunt in France. However, she would have quickly learned that in that country, they are called profiteroles rather than cream puffs.
Serve these to your chocolate-loving friends. For a real treat, put the warmed chocolate sauce in a pitcher and allow each guest to pour as much chocolate as they desire over their profiteroles.
- ½ cup (118 ml) 2% or whole milk
- ½ stick (4 tablespoons [55 g]) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- Chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, for serving (see Note)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is steaming. Add the flour and salt. Cook while beating with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the first egg is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough is smooth before adding the next. Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F (180°C). Continue to bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer the cream puffs to a wire rack to cool.
- Gently heat the chocolate sauce in a saucepan to a pourable consistency. Slice the cream puffs in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Fill each with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Place 3 puffs on each dessert plate. Serve the plated cream puffs and pass the chocolate sauce at the table.
Note: For best results, use a high-quality chocolate sauce that lists cream in the ingredients.
I’ll end this post with one of my favorite lines from Little Women, which Wini Moranville shares in the cookbook,
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
Happy cooking and reading.
Header photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash
Additional photos provided by Harvard Common Press
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