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Jean Mudge Productions: Films, Videos & Books About Historic America

MORE from Jean Mudge: pamphlet


— Amherst, Mass., 16th ed., 2004

ABOUT THIS PAMPHLET: To every 19th century woman, breadmaking was basic. Emily Dickinson was no exception. In fact, her Rye and Indian bread and gingerbread made her more famous in the Amherst of her day than did her poetry. But what she crafted at her writing table was food of a spiritual sort. Poems and notes, like presents from her kitchen, were also sent to friends. Both were tokens of an inner fire of insight or affection. The selected recipes in these pages — whether her own or of relatives and friends — are sometimes combined with her lines. Readers may now taste two complementary sorts of bread from Emily’s hand.
—Text and editing by Jean M. Mudge; recipe testing and modernization by Nancy H. Brose and Julian M. Dupre; publishing details by Wendy T. Kohler; photographs by Lewis S. Mudge.


1 quart flour, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup cream, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt, make up with molasses.

Instructions for today’s cooks:
Cream the butter and mix with lightly whipped cream. Sift dry ingredients together and combine with the other ingredients. (A little more than a cup of molasses is about right.) The dough is stiff and needs to be pressed into whatever pan you choose. A round or small square pan is suitable. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Dickinson family basketDickinson family basket on windowsill of the poet’s bedroom, where ED lowered gingerbread to her niece, nephews, and their friends