Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: Cavalier Cooking

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, May 23, 2001

This University of Virginia cookbook probably provides some nostalgia for alumni, but there is nothing otherwise special about it.

AuthorWilliam Butler
Year1987
Length348 pages
Book Rating3

The coolest part in this spiral-bound ‘regional’ cookbook is the first chapter, “A Jeffersonian Menu”: recipes from the cookbook of Jefferson’s granddaughter, “apparently copied from the Monticello cookbook” which is now lost: Oyster Soup, A White Fricassee, Beef a la Mode, Beef a la Daube, Nouilly a Maccaroni, Peas, Turnips, Snow Eggs, Ice Cream.

But you gotta be told: the “cavalier” in “Cavalier Cooking” does not apply to the cooking, it applies to the cooks. These are recipes submitted by University of Virginia alumni (Cavaliers). So, what you get are a wide variety that includes a disproportionate amount of college kid party foods. The appetizer chapter rangers from Austrian Cheese Dinzertart, Mock Blintzes (made with white bread), Cheese Krispies (made with cheddar, tabasco, and rice krispies), through to Fried Wontons, and quite a bit of Southwestern foods. Then there are Wahoo Balls: “Don’t let the chili sauce/grape jelly combination stop you—sounds terrible—tastes great!”

It is a big book with lots of recipes. It has that going for it! And the variety in each chapter remains as above. The chapters are appetizers, soups, meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, eggs/cheese/pasta/rice, breads, salads, desserts, and beverages.

In the end, it probably provides some nostalgia for alumni, but there is nothing otherwise special about it. I actually acquired mine when the alumnus who purchased it realized she hadn’t used it since she bought it ten years past. But the closest she comes to cooking is using her bread machine (and that’s work).

Poor Man’s Cake (Debra Frederick ’80)

  • 1 lb raisins stewed, in 2 cups water 15 minutes,
  • ½ cup shortening,
  • 1 cup cold water,
  • 2 cups sugar,
  • 1 tsp nutmeg,
  • 1 tsp cinnamon,
  • 1 tsp cloves or allspice,
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 4 cups flour,
  • 1 tbsp baking soda..
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Add the shortening to the stewed raisins and cool.
  3. Add cold water, sugar, spices, salt, flour, soda.
  4. Bake in a greased/floured cake pan 45 minutes.

Cavalier Cooking

William Butler

Recommendation: Special Interests

If you enjoyed Cavalier Cooking…

If you enjoy cookbooks, you might also be interested in A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Bull Cook Historical Recipes, Classic Chinese Cuisine, Cooking the Bahamian Way, Country Commune Cooking, Life, Loves, and Meat Loaf, The Art of Korean Cooking, The Casserole Cookbook, The Complete Book of Oriental Cooking, The Complete Bread Cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas, The Healthy Cuisine of India, The New Larousse Gastronomique, Saucepans and the Single Girl, The Northwest Cartoon Cookery, Good Food From Mexico, Laurel’s Kitchen, The Cooking of Vienna’s Empire, James Beard’s Fireside Cook Book, French Bistro Cooking, A Fifteenth Century Cookry Boke, Crockery Cookery, Southern Cooking, The Frugal Gourmet Keeps the Feast, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, French Cooking Simplified With a Food Processor, In Good Taste, Heritage of America Cookbook, Our Favorite Hometown Recipes Vol. II, The Indian Spice Kitchen, Japanese Country Cookbook, La Cuisine Française, Larousse Treasury of Country Cooking, The Natural Foods Cookbook, A Russian Jew Cooks in Peru, Soul Food Cook Book, The Tassajara Trilogy, Pains Spéciaux & Viennoiseries, Whole Earth Cookbook, The Wok: a chinese cook book, Southern Living Cookbook for Two, Lebanese Cuisine, The Art of Syrian Cookery, Popular Greek Recipes, In a Persian Kitchen, The Art of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking, The Southern Living Cookbook Library, The Donna Rathmell German Bread Machine Cookbook collection, The missing indexes, and St. Mary’s Altar Society Cookbooks.