The Story

The Rooted Cook is primarily my online manuscript cookbook — the place where I keep most of my own recipes as I develop them. I post them here to share them with friends. (You’re a friend, right?) I’ve written and designed them for ease of use and reference, not as entertainment or as basic cooking instruction — I’m assuming you already know your way around a kitchen. As I have time, I’ll post articles with more thorough background or instruction about ingredients or techniques. And because I’m also a food historian, I occasionally post articles about food traditions or the historical or cultural background of a dish.

You can read more about manuscript cookbooks and the design of this site in About the Rooted Cook.

—David Walbert

What’s New

Shrewsbury cakes

These are not your ordinary cookies. They’re lighter and less sweet than modern cookies, delicately flavored, and made without chemical leavening, in a style that goes back more than 300 years to England (where they were named for the town of Shrewsbury). This version is essentially the “Shrewsberry Cakes No. 1″ from The Carolina Housewife, a charity cookbook compiled by Sarah Rutledge of Charleston, South Carolina, and first published in 1849. (more…)

Sloppy joes

This is not high cuisine, but it’s good, it’s quick, it doesn’t use any unnecessarily processed foods, and I can make it from what’s likely to be in my freezer and pantry at any given moment. (more…)

Quick-braised carrots

This technique is meant for storage carrots, the sort you get wrapped in plastic from the grocery store in January. We tend to eat them raw and unthinkingly, but this will boost the flavor and, without much work, make them a legitimate part of a meal. (more…)

Ginger-orange cranberry sauce

Given that cranberries are available fresh and cheap all fall and into early winter when all the other berries are gone, and given that they freeze beautifully, I don’t see why they’re relegated to Thanksgiving and the occasional loaf of cranberry-nut bread. Cranberry sauce goes well with all sorts of foods besides turkey. Pork and sauerkraut, for example, even lentil soup — anything rich and hearty that needs something tart to cut it. (more…)

Almond wafers

Light, crisp or chewy as you prefer, perfect with sorbet, ice cream, or a lemon or orange pudding or pots de crème. (more…)