LESLIE, ELIZA. Eliza Leslie (1787–1858) was an American cookbook writer, poet, editor, and author of fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. Although her primary literary activity focused on belles lettres, Eliza Leslie is remembered today mainly for the cookery books that launched her career as an author and earned her a national reputation as one of the most popular and influential American food writers prior to the Civil War.
In 1828, Leslie edited and published Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, a collection of recipes she had compiled many years earlier while a student at the cooking school of Elizabeth Goodfellow in Philadelphia. The book was an instant success and quickly assumed its place as the first bestselling cookbook in the United States. This was followed by Domestic French Cookery (1832), Directions for Cookery (1837), The Lady's House Book (1840), The Indian Meal Book (1846), the first cookbook devoted entirely to corn recipes, New Receipts for Cooking (1854), and The New Cookery Book (1857), this last title being a massive reworking of her New Receipts. Many of these books popularized regional American foods (such as terrapin and okra) at a time when America was searching for a more distinct culinary identity. Of these, Directions for Cookery is generally considered Leslie's most influential culinary work, since it remained in print well into the 1880s.
Eliza Leslie's success has been attributed to several factors working in tandem: improved female literacy; a growing urban middle class in need of instruction on points of cookery according to American taste and ingredients; and the proliferation of the cookstove, the technological revolution upon which all of Leslie's recipes are based.
See also Goodfellow, Elizabeth; Maize.
Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 11, pp. 185–186. New York: Scribners, 1933.
James, Edward T., ed. Notable American Women, vol. 2, pp. 391–393. New York: Scribners, 1971.
Manuscript Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
William Woys Weaver
Take a large slice of ham (cold boiled ham is best) and two pounds of lean fresh beef. Cut all the meat into small pieces. Add a quarter of a pound of butter slightly melted, twelve large tomatas pared and cut small, five dozen okras cut into slices not thicker than a cent, and a little cayenne pepper to your taste. Put all these ingredients into a pot, cover them with boiling water, and let them stew slowly for an hour. Then add three quarts of hot water, and increase the heat so as to make the soup boil. Skim it well and stir it frequently with a wooden or silver spoon.
Boil it till the tomatas are all to pieces and the okras entirely dissolved. Strain it, and then serve it up with toasted bread cut into dice, put in after it comes out of the pot.
This soup will be improved by a pint of shelled lima beans, boiled by themselves, and put into the tureen just before you send it to table.
FROM: Directions for Cookery, 32–33. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1837.
"Leslie, Eliza." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 16, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/food/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/leslie-eliza
"Leslie, Eliza." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. . Retrieved July 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/food/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/leslie-eliza
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.