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The Art of Cuisine: “Such Lawless Cake”

Photo: The Moonshiner’s Daughter, N. Brock, 1900

“I was usually left with her while both families went to church on Sabbath mornings and well remember being escorted by her down to the cool hoarding cellar, past the wine closet to a mysterious cupboard of her own, where she dealt me such lawless cake and other goodies, that even a child of four knew it for excess, sure to be followed by disaster later in the day.”
- Emily Dickinson’s niece, Martha Dickinson, on her aunt’s love of cake.

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The Austerity Kitchen, like Walter Benjamin’s chronicler, hews to the principle that she ‘who recounts events without distinguishing between the great and small, thereby accounts for the truth, that nothing which has ever happened is to be given as lost to history.’ The Austerity Kitchen applies this principle to matters culinary and gustatory in the interest of bringing to life the context, aesthetics, and practices of our cultural heritage past and present.

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