Here Soyer describes a 'simplified way of making coffee'. The reader is encouraged to save used coffee grounds, and to re-use them the following day. Soyer writes of a tea party he recently attended in St Giles, one of London's poorest districts, at which he offered his hosts a coffee-making lesson. The occasion is described in romantic terms: Soyer is 'received like a princess in a fairy land' into a room ornamented with wall flowers and 'pyramids of muffins and crumpets'.
About Soyer's Shilling Cookery
Alexis Soyer (1809-58) made his reputation as chef at
But Soyer was equally concerned to improve the standard of cookery amongst the poor. A Shilling Cookery for the People is full of practical advice, based on the assumption that many readers could not afford the ingredients for complicated recipes.
The book is typical of Soyer's desire to democratise the rules of cookery - bringing to the masses techniques that in
Much of the book is in the form of personal letters written to friends, creating a cosy and somewhat romantic authorial voice - a stark contrast to Mrs Beeton's militaristic tone.
Soyer devoted much of his life to a number of philanthropic projects. He worked on Irish famine relief, creating the first properly designed soup kitchen. And he worked with Florence Nightingale in the