Book Review: The Jane Austen Diet

jane-3In the spirit of trying new things, here's a new blog series I've been wanting to dabble in that combines two of my favorite things: books and baked goods. I have cheekily titled the series "baking the books." My goal is to review a book and include a wee recipe that is book-adjacent (or somewhat on theme of the book I'm reviewing). Today's recipe is even handier as it's actually included in the book, the Jane Austen Diet: Austen's Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness by Bryan Kozlowski. While I am a fan of Jane Austen's novels, I would hesitate to call myself a superfan; I haven't read any books about her life or delved into books that run parallel to hers, but when I heard about this one I was intrigued. The term diet here is used to in the more traditional sense of the kinds of foods one typically eats, rather than a restrictive regime. So the book isn't "lose weight the Jane Austen way" (although that does sound like a laugh), but rather an analysis of quotes from her novels relating to healthy lifestyles and some culinary history on the popular foods of the day. It also includes a handful of recipes, like the one I attempted for Bath Buns; which Jane mentioned eating in a letter to sister. What I enjoyed most about the book is the way it makes me look at Jane Austen's writing in a different way. It pulled out quotes and notations from her novels and letters that I wouldn't have noticed or given any weight to in previous readings; so it makes me interested in re-reading some of her novels with fresh eyes and this new perspective. The book was also peppered with interesting historical facts that gave you insight into the way people lived in that era. All in all I enjoyed the book and would recommend to fellow Jane Austen readers who have exhausted the novels and might enjoy something a bit off-beat. As I said before, for my baking part of this post I made the Bath Buns; I followed the recipe quite closely but did substitute strawberries for raisins. I found my dough didn't rise as much as it was meant to and the buns while tasty were a bit dense, so I would double the rising time if I repeated the recipe. Although that said I also have little point for comparison as I've never made nor eaten Bath Buns before! My favorite part of the recipe was the milky glaze which was simply 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar mixed together; I could see that glaze being used on other buns or baked goods in the future!  jane-4 jane-5
*wearing old suspender skirt & Family Affairs puff sleeve blouse*

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