Janet Fahey, Richard Foss and Kirstin Olsen

Susan Ridgeway provided a preview of the 2011 JASNA AGM to be held in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as a recap of the 2010 event in Portland, Oregon.

Attendees enjoyed an authentic period meal at the Los Angeles Country Club.

Violinists serenaded the crowd during lunch.

Vice President of Programs Carla Washburn organized the event.

Winter 2010

Wassail and Plum Pudding:
Cooking in Jane Austen’s England?

December 4, 2010

Los Angeles Athletic Club


Kirstin Olsen — Cooking With Jane Austen
Richard Foss — Drinking With Jane Austen
Janet Fahey — Jane Austen’s Pantry


In her book Cooking with Jane Austen, author Kirstin Olsen showed how Jane Austen used her experience with domestic concerns to animate her works. In her talk, Olsen illustrated the preparation of recipes for the dishes featured in these novels, especially Fanny’s dinner with the Grants in Mansfield Park, and discussed the social implications of the timing of dinner, the type of food served at different meals, and the rivalry between French and English styles of cooking.

Richard Foss, food historian, journalist, author of science fiction and raconteur is a restaurant reviewer and instructor in Elizabethan history and culinary history at Osher Institute/UCLA Extension. He is a member of the board of the Culinary Historians of Southern California. In Austen’s day, he explained, the beverage a host offered his guest said something about the social status of each, and the subtle rituals involved might not be obvious to a modern reader. Foss discussed domestic and imported libations of Austen’s era, and the social connotations of each.

JASNA-Southwest’s Janet Fahey is also a member of the Culinary Historians of Southern California. For the Winter 2010 meeting, she researched recipes from original sources and developed the authentic period menu enjoyed by attendees at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. She also created the souvenir menu booklet that every guest took home from the event. Her talk focused on the foods Jane Austen had available to her, and their geography and history from the Stone Age to the 19th century.

Swiss Soup Meagre
Choice of Roast Turkey with Bread Crumb Stuffing, Broiled Salmon with Caper Herb Sauce, or Martha Lloyd’s Vegetable Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
Parsley Red Potatoes
Green Beans, Carrots and Pearl Onions in Butter
Mrs. Bates’ Baked Apples & Gingerbread “Cakes”
Christmas Pudding

The meal concluded with a toast to Jane Austen on the occasion of her 235th birthday, with a specially prepared holiday Wassail.