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The Mask is Ripped from Dickens

Two new biographies reveal opposite sides—good and evil—of the great author. Throughout Charles Dickens’ life, the Tiny Tim of his childhood warred with his cruel Scrooge-like impulses. Here we present a further, culinary side to Dickens.

Christmas Dinner 72dpi
Christmas Dinner 72dpi
PRLog - Oct. 25, 2011 - NEW YORK -- Two new biographies reveal opposite sides—good and evil—of the great author. The biographies show that throughout Charles Dickens’ life, the Tiny Tim of his childhood warred with his cruel Scrooge-like impulses. “Becoming Charles Dickens” concentrates on the writer’s early years, including 1835, when his first Christmas story, “A Christmas Dinner,” was written. In this story, recently published with new illustrations and recipes by Red Rock Press, Dickens draws the family he wished his could be like.

Few readers today realize that most of Dickens’ Christmas stories, including a Christmas Carol, were actually ghost stories – some perfect for Halloween. “A Christmas Dinner” includes a recipe perfect in its colorful orange presentation for a light meal on Halloween before the onslaught of candy.

The recipe for Cheese Rarebit was featured in an 18th-century British cookbook known to have been kept in the Dickens’ kitchen by his wife Catherine. Here in the 21st century, culinary historian Alice Ross has updated the recipe for the modern cook, included below.

To learn more about the Red Rock Press book, please visit http://www.ADickensChristmas.com.


An English Rarebit

Cut a handsome toast of Bread without Crust, and shave a good Quantity of Cheese very fine.
Set a Tin Oven before the fire, and have in Readiness a Glass of red Port Wine.
Toast the bread carefully on both Sides, then pour the Wine upon it, and turn it.
When it has soaked up the wine spread the scraped Cheese thick upon it, lay it in the Oven, and place it before a good fire; the Cheese will do very quickly and very finely. Send it up very hot. There are three Ways of toasting cheese: the first is the genuine Method, and those who are fond of Cheese prefer it to either of the others.
One would think nothing could be easier than to toast a Slice of Cheese, and yet not only in private Families but at Taverns we see nothing is done so badly: The Directions here given are easy to be observed, and they will never fail to send it up either Way mellow, hot, well done, and with the bread crisp and soft.
-Martha Bradley, “The British Housewife” (London, 1756)


Toasted Cheese
Serves 8

8 thick slices of bread, with crusts removed
24 ounces port wine *(If making for children, apple juice can be substituted for wine)
1 lb. cheese: Stilton or cheddar, grated

Cut thick slabs of bread, remove crusts, and toast on both sides in a broiler.
Pour the wine on the toast quickly.
Spread the cheese thickly atop the toast, and return to the broiler until it is melted.
Serve immediately.


Dan Kleinman
Red Rock Press


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Source:Red Rock Press
City/Town:New York City - New York - United States
Industry:Books, Food, Lifestyle
Tags:dickens, christmas, halloween, new york times, biography, bigraphies, charles dickens, Catherine Dickens, cheese rarebit
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