A Gift to Young Housewives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Elena Molokhovets)
Jump to: navigation, search
The 1917 edition of the cookbook

A Gift to Young Housewives (Подарок молодым хозяйкам, Podarok molodym khozyaykam) is a Russian cookbook written/compiled by Elena Ivanovna Molokhovets (née Burman)(Елена Ивановна Молоховец). It was the most successful book of its kind in 19th- and early 20th-century Russia.[1] Molokhovets revised the book continually between 1861 and 1917, a period of time falling between the emancipation of the serfs and the Communist Revolution. The book was well known in Russian households during publication and for decades afterwards.[2]

Classic Russian cooking[edit]

The original series went through more than 20 editions and sold more than 295,000 copies. The book gave instructions for elaborate dishes like suckling pig, Madeira cake, and hazel grouse. Other recipes included soups, fritters, tortes, mushrooms, aspics, mousses, and dumplings. There were also instructions on making jam, mustard, and vodka. Although the number of recipes varied by edition, there were as many as 3,218 in the 1897 edition.[3] The 1904 (24th) edition contained 4163 recipes.[4] In addition to recipes, the book covered cooking techniques, utensils and cooking equipment, stoves and ovens, household management, relations with servants, menus for feast days, and nutrition; it also gave time- and money-saving hints.[3]

Table of Contents (1904)[5][edit]

Part I

- Foreword

Chapter I

- Tables of measurements, preparation methods, and description of cuts of meat

Chapter II

- Menus for modest meals

- Cold hors d'oeuvres

- List of breakfast food for adults

- Refreshing meals and drink

- Breakfast for children

- Evening food

- Refreshments for dances

- Desserts

- Food for students

Chapter III

- Soups

Chapter IV

- Dishes served with soup

Chapter V

- Sauces and gravies

Chapter VI

- Vegetable and greens dishes and garnish

- Mushrooms

Chapter VII

- Beef, veal, lamb, suckling pig, pork, rabbit

Chapter VIII

- Domesticated and wild fowl

Chapter IX

- Fish

Chapter X

- Salads for meat and fish dishes

Chapter XI

- Pies and pates

Chapter XII

- Dishes in aspic & cold dishes for breakfast and supper

Chapter XIII

- Puddings, charlottes, souffles, light pies, etc.

Chapter XIV

- Dishes with apples

Chapter XV

- Crepes, Bliny. Dishes with eggs

Chapter XVI

- Pelmeni, varenniki, pasta, etc.

Chapter XVII

- Cereal, Mush

Chapter XVIII

- Waffles, horns, other sweet dishes

Chapter XIX

- Sweet pies,puff pastries, etc.

Chapter XX

- Ice cream, cremes, mousse, compotes, etc.

Chapter XXI

- Tortes

Chapter XXII

- Mazurkas and small pastries

Chapter XXIII

- Vegetarian table


- Fasting table

Chapter XXXVII

- Examples of table settings and food presentation


- Corrections and additions

Part II

Chapter XXXIX

- Babas, sweet buns, strudels, etc. served with tea

Chapter XL

- Paskha and colored eggs

Chapter XLI

- Sweet rolls

Chapter XLII

- Jams (varenye), jellies, syrups, preserves

Chapter XLIII

- Juices

Chapter XLIV

- Gravies

Chapter XLV

- Vodkas, liqueurs, punches

Chapter XLVI

- Kvas, beer, mead

Chapter XLVII

- Preparation of vinegar, mustard, vegetable oil, various grains, and cornstarch

Chapter XLVIII

- Dairy butter, cheese, milk,cream, eggs

Chapter XLIX

- Yeast and bread

Chapter L

- Various preserves (canning)fruits and berries

Chapter LI

- Preserves (canning) vegetables, mushrooms and greens

Chapter LII

- Preservation, reconstitution, salting, marinading, and smoking fish, domesticated and wild fowl

Chapter LIII

- Preserves of beef, veal, lamb, and pork

Chapter LIV

- Five plans for comfortable apartments

- Kitchen arrangement & equipping

- Kitchenware

- Newest items for the tea and dining table

Chapter LV

- Cleaning of kitchen, dining, and tea dishes

Chapter LVI

- Alphabetical listing of contents

Public Reception[edit]

During the Soviet era, the book, written for the middle class and aristocrats, was condemned as "bourgeois and decadent", mainly because of its aristocratic tone and obvious disparagement of the lower classes. The book, for instance, says that "fresh roach is not very tasty and barely useful; it is, therefore, best used to feed the servants."[6] Also, it was mostly outdated for the 20th century, as it did not include usage of modern kitchen equipment: refrigerators, electric and gas ovens, etc.

In the post-war USSR, a time when people dealt with food shortages, long lines, and a scarcity of the necessary ingredients, cookbooks were mostly seen as a laughable anachronism.[3] For example, one recipe for babka called for ingredients such as 60 to 70 eggs, which few people could afford at that time. But as life was getting better the need for cookbooks and complex recipes was arising. In 1952 "The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food" was published to replace the outdated "Gift" as an everyday cookbook.

Recently it has been regarded as a historical record, its recipes offering a glimpse into traditional Russian cooking even if politically incorrect by modern standards. For example, Andrew Whitley uses the book to inform his description of historical bread making processes and adapts some of its old recipes with modern techniques. [7]

Joyce Toomre[edit]

Joyce Toomre adapted and translated recipes and other content from the various editions into a 1992 book published as Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' a Gift to Young Housewives.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christian, David (April 1994). "Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives". Russian Review 53 (2). 
  2. ^ Kurlansky, Mark (2002). Salt: A World History. pp. 174–175. 
  3. ^ a b c Visson, Lynn (Summer 1995). "Review of Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' a Gift to Young Housewives". Slavic Review 52 (2): 431–432. doi:10.2307/2501632. 
  4. ^ Podarok molodym khozyaikam, Elena Molokhovets, St. Petersburg, 1904
  5. ^ Podarok molodym khozyaikam, Elena Molokhovets, St. Petersburg, 1904
  6. ^ "A Gift to Young Housewives" (in Russian). 
  7. ^ Bread Matters.