The 20 February 1896 edition of the Goulburn Evening Penny Post carried this advertisement:
“Recipes of Lenten Dishes”
Is the title of a little book very appositely published by Messrs. Angus and Robertson, Mrs.
Wicken, lecturer in domestic economy to the Sydney Technical College, is the writer. The book contains over a hundred pages of useful recipes principally devoted to the preparation of fish, but there are others dealing with sauces, vegetables, pastry, soups, savouries, eggs, and sweets. Housewives will find the information of value.
Mrs Harriett Wicken, who taught Domestic Economy at the Sydney Technical College, had written the recipes for Phillip Muskett’s 1893 The Art of Living in Australia, and in 1885 had published the well-received Kingswood Cookery Book. Lenten Dishes was well-reviewed. It was ‘a neatly turned out little book which Catholic housekeepers will find of great use to them during the Lenten Season’, said the W.A Record, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Perth’. But its appeal was not limited to Catholic housekeepers. ‘Most of these cookery books are the despair of modest housewives, whose larder is limited. Not so here.’ declared the reviewer for the Parramatta-based Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate. ‘Mrs. Wicken seems to have laid herself out more especially for just this class — and surely it is large enough to be considered. For instance, the ingredients for one dish are one egg, half a gill of milk, salt, and pepper. Is there any housewife whose larder does not contain these materials ?