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Steampunk Tea Party: Cakes & Toffees to Jams & Teas - 30 Neo-Victorian Steampunk Recipes from Far-Flung Galaxies, Underwater Worlds & Airborne Excursions,
Created by ggrihn on 8/27/2014 6:06:07 PM

by Jema 'Emilly Ladybird' Hewitt

Reviewed by Gregory G.H. Rihn, Steampunk Chronicle Literary Editor


I found the idea of a Steampunk cookbook intriguing, and so, when Jema Hewett’s Steampunk Tea Party won a Chronicle Reader’s Choice Award, I had to look it up. I was most pleased.Steampunk Tea Party

If there were an award out there somewhere for “most charming cookbook,” Steampunk Tea Party would be a likely winner. It is lavishly photographed, not only of the foods and drinks, but people and settings that would make it a nice “coffee table” art book, as well as a useful book to introduce your friends to what “Steampunk” is partly about.

Steampunk Tea Party really is a complete guide to entertaining, with amusing themed presentations that would make for most enjoyable gatherings, such as “Aboard the Airship Elegance,” “The Scientific Chateau,” “A Curious Picnic,” and others. Ms. Hewett has also provided a host of new recipes, which put a distinctly Steampunk flavor to a traditional Victorian pastime. I look forward to making and sampling such dishes as “Venusian Delight” (absinte-flavored Turkish Delight), “Mechanical Box Cake,” “Lunar Regimental Chutney,” and “Time Traveler’s Tart,” among many more.

The recipes are mostly quite simple and clearly presented, and there is a “Resources” section telling where some of the more exotic items of gear can be found.

The only word of caution I would propagate is that, Ms. Hewett being a Brit, there are a few terms in need of translation for the Colonial reader. Most people who have done any continental cooking will know that “icing sugar” is powdered sugar, and “caster sugar” is granulated sugar: however, “jam sugar”, a pre-mixed combination of sugar and pectin, is probably unfamiliar, not to mention impossible to find in the USA. “Corn flour” means cornstarch, and not corn meal. These small differences add to the charm of the book, in my opinion, but it does mean that the reader should read and understand the recipes thoroughly before launching into one.

I highly recommend Steampunk Tea Party as being fun to read, enticing to look at, and a likely source of inspiration and innovation for your own next party or gathering.

Steampunk Tea Party

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