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Google Doodle toasts England's first popular cook, Hannah Glasse

Google’s doodle celebrates the birth of Hannah Glasse, the mother of modern British cookery.

Matthew Cruickshank/Google

Modern English cooking would be nothing without sausages and jelly and trifle (just like American cooking would be nothing with hotdogs and Jell-O and sponge cake). But before Hannah Glasse, English cooking was little more than cabbage soup and mutton (and the occasional eel pie, if you were lucky!). The woman behind one of Britain’s most popular early cookbooks, “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” brought simple and accessible cooking to the masses, both in Glasse’s homeland of England as well as in America.

Google paid tribute to Glasse’s 310th birthday in its doodle on Wednesday, celebrating her contribution to modern cookery, long before Julia Child was on our TV screens. First published in England in 1747 (and later in America in 1805), “The Art of Cookery” was notable for its conversational language and its “plain and easy” recipes. The book brought cookery within the reach of all classes (not just those fortunate enough to have a cook to do the work for them).

The impressive list of 972 recipes in her book also included some of the first known mentions of now-famous foods, including jelly and Yorkshire Pudding. Google’s doodle, illustrated by Matthew Cruickshank, shows Glasse baking a batch of Yorkshire puddings, ready for the Sunday roast. Very British indeeed.

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