Sunday, October 25, 2020

Day of the Dead - Dia de Muertos

Sugar skulls were sold in market stalls (1908 image). Other items for the family alters include candles, Pan de Muerto (a sweet yeast bread), mole and other foods. Several upcoming virtual events are listed below. Some give history and make one of the items such as a sugar skull artist. Dia de Muertos is Nov 2 with activities beginning on Oct 31.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Acorn Mush - Wiiwish - in a basket, stone from a fire and Indigenous foodways talks


Incredibly, the steam was from a rock heated in a fire, then stirred in the Wiiwish... IN a basket. The pounded acorns and water eventually thickened and the basket was not burned.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Notice to Milkman!

Quarantine sign tacked to the front door during the Typhoid Fever epidemic of 1911, ordered that the milk bottles were not to be exchanged or the milkman would be fined $5 to $100 (currently $75 to $1500). 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Do you know the Muffin Man's... little bell? October 15 start of street selling, and free chocolate

The "tinkling" of the muffin sellers' small bells commenced on the fifteenth of October until Spring. Some associated the high tone to the colder weather; a writer in 1832 disliked the sound ever since childhood. Ofcourse there were other bells - church, postman, town crier, dustman - but Parliament tried, unsuccessfully, to ban the the muffin men's bells before 1851. and chocolate? ...more at the end.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Drink up! Tapes of past talks on beverages and 25 virtual talks in October

There is no denying it... there are more and more virtual talks about drinks as our Covid lockdown continues. Grog (yes, grog by a Naval museum), beer, whiskey/whisky, gin, cocktails, teas and chocolate. Many talks include recommended  samples - either mailed or picked up locally. And even beer games done museum style (Penn Museum of UPenn). Tapes, then the October talks.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Peach Chutnee, India and Mrs. B. C. Howard

Jane Grant Gilmor Howard (1801-1890) wrote the charity cookbook Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen in 1873. This "East India receipt" is spiced with finely chopped garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, mustard seed, salt, cider vinegar, sugar and raisins. She had several family connections to India.

Friday, September 18, 2020

6 series of talks and 90 virtual talks now thro October

There are several interesting food history series in October that I want to bring to your attention. Signup just started for Folger and Newberry libraries "Food and the Book: 1300-1800." A conference next week on "Material Culture of Sugar in Early New England" is at Historic Deerfield. Also the British Library’s "Food Season," "Masterworks of Japanese Tea Culture," and a series by Enfield Shaker Museum. "Food History Seminar" by Institute of Historical Research has 6 talks. Next week a talk on the study and redoing of the 1739 kitchen at Newlin Grist Mills. October already has over 70 talks.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ideas for local business pair-ups in virtual talks with museums and tour companies

More and more talks provide the option to buy a box of samples (beer, alcohols, tea) or ingredients to make along with the talk. Starting Oc 9, Plimoth Grist Mill (yes, the one with the Mayflower) will have a virtual mill tour then 3 more dates making cornbread, Indian Pudding and pancakes using its cornmeal, which can be picked up or shipped. It is a great way to support small businesses, and small businesses (ie. cheese shop; tea shop) are even presenting virtual talks.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Bacon racks held soap, paper bags of herbs, ropes of onions, rennet and... meat

Bacon or meat racks hung from the ceiling beams in front of hearths in Great Britain. By 1823 "every kitchen" had the racks which were also an "impediment to upright walking." Image from 1758.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Dr. Clarissa F. Dillon - One Cool Colonial series

Clarissa F. Dillon, the authority (she wrote the book!) on 18th century kitchen gardens, is introducing us to unusual plants and their uses in true quarantine fashion - virtually. We get to follow along as she tends her period correct garden at the 1696 Thomas Massey House, see the end results (medicinal, cosmetic, and yes, as food) and delight in Clarissa’s vast knowledge, sharp wit and great sense of fun. She is One Cool Colonial... in 10 minute episodes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Archive listing of past virtual talks during Covid lockdown

The original calendar post will maintain the current and future virtual talks listing and other materials Calendar of virtual talks. This post is to "archive" all (including not taped) virtual talks on the events list from the past months.  Many talks are not taped, so only a third of the talks have tapes to view and marked in red as Tape. Those which are taped will be placed in the various categories (ie museums, culinary groups, subjects) on the other post... when I have time. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

19th century Naples lemonade stand - shrine

This image, from 1840, shows one of the flamboyant stands in Naples which "look much like the shrines of the Madonna in other Italian cities."  The stands sold "orangeade and lemonade mixed with snow." Complete image, below.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Oral and written history project on foodways during quarantine

The Center for Food and Culture is collecting oral histories and also written answers to online questions (if you prefer) on comfort foodways during the pandemic. Help them... and future researchers... by participating HERE.

Monday, August 3, 2020

17 Freezing Pots, Sorbetieres, Ice Cream Makers & Freezers from 1751 to 1916 in Ice Cream History

The cylindrical sorbetiere and scraper was still sold in 1903.  But in the 1840s models were patented with paddles to churn the cream or milk as it froze. I've put some pictures I've collected of a wide variety of styles of ice cream makers  together to easily compare and contrast. Many of these images, with descriptions, are in future (Walker, Gouffe) or past posts (Fuller HERE) and 5 descriptions in 'Gunter's Tea Shop' with more posts HERE.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Food Day Canada - Aug. 1

Let's show support for our Canadian friends and "Cook like a Canadian" on their #FoodDayCanada. Their catchy "Put Canada on the Menu" with recipes and nice photos are on the official website HERE And remarkably, cooking in a First Nations wooden box.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lady Baltimore Ice Cream and Spun Sugar Webs

Owen Wister's popular 1906 novel was followed the next year by a Lady Baltimore Cake recipe, and in 1909 the Lady Baltimore Ice Cream appeared. picture of LB cake

Monday, July 13, 2020

World Heritage Sourdough Library

The remarkable Puratos World Heritage Sourdough Library in Belgium was created by the Puratos company to "safeguard the sourdough biodiversity and preserve the sourdough heritage and baking knowledge."  It opened seven years ago.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Strawberry Fritters 1755

If you are able to get large strawberries, this sounds like a delightful recipe to try.  John Nott had a delicious fried beet recipe with a wine batter from 1723, so next year I'll try earlier to find some sturdy strawberries.    

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Free JSTOR

JSTOR - Individual Account - free -100 articles per month through December 31, 2020.  It is a collection of scholarly journals, ebooks, and images. Home page HERE.    Special offer HERE


Constantly updated post on upcoming virtual talks, workshops, etc.  HERE

Monday, June 22, 2020

Fig lemonade

This is a lemonade for hot weather - like Switchel or Shrub - very tart (only 1T or a teaspoon of honey).  Alexis Soyer called it a "Cooling Lemonade" in 1849, and a later cookbook author named it "Picnic Lemonade."  The vivid pink color happens instantly when lemon juice is added to the liquid from boiling the figs and yellow of the lemon peels.