Instead of a Twelfth Night Cake, waffles were among the holiday's foods in the 17th century, painted by Jan Steen (1626-1679). Click on picture to enlarge
Monday, January 6, 2020
Monday, December 30, 2019
Poets described the food that tenants gave to their landlords: capon at New Years, fish for Lent, fowl at Midsummer, goose at Michaelmas, and a capon at Christmas "for fear their lease fly loose" - lose their lease.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Monday, December 16, 2019
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
An article in the Dec 14, 1850 Illustrated London News described the gathering of apples and the mills for producing cider. In 1820 over 12,200 hogsheads of Devon cider were shipped, double that amount in 1828. Farm laborers were given 3 pints a day.
Monday, December 2, 2019
Monday, November 25, 2019
Opened in 1812, Washington Market remained an extremely busy complex; by the 1860s its many buildings were "battered" and by the 1960s they were demolished. Thanksgiving Eve was packed with shoppers for turkeys.
Monday, November 18, 2019
“A drove of turkeys amounting to nearly four hundred from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania just now passed the door on their way to Washington City. They go at the rate of 8 miles per day. Saturday February 4th 1826 8 o'clock AM"
Monday, November 11, 2019
Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) was born and trained in France, became a famous chef in London, designed the Reform Club kitchen and other cooking equipment. He helped during the Irish famine, and the military during the Crimean War (which shortened his life).
Monday, November 4, 2019
Medieval acorns for pigs - from the Hours of Duc de Berry (1400s), Queen Mary Psalter (1310) and Henry VIII (c1500)
The "Labours of the Months" for November was a depiction of pigs routing under oak trees - with the bottom limbs removed - for acorns to eat before they were butchered. The great Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry (left) was done in the 15th century, The Hours of Henry VIII from c1500 and Queen Mary Psalter c1310 all show swineherds with sticks to get more acorns.
Monday, October 28, 2019
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Monday, October 14, 2019
Monday, October 7, 2019
In winter a pan or container of burning charcoal roasted apples or chestnuts on a tin plate as shown in 1820 by Rowlandson and described in Craig's Cries of London 1804. Sixty years later "Roasted apples used to be vended in the streets... but it is a trade which has now almost entirely disappeared."
Monday, September 30, 2019
Fire pistons, (or fire syringe, pneumatic syringe, instantaneous light-giving syringe) were ingenious devices created out of wood, horn, bamboo, ivory, bone or metal by the peoples of Southeast Asia. The plunger would force the air in the tube to compress and get very hot, thereby lighting the tinder in the base. In Europe they were usually a "scientific curiosity." The fire piston on left was from Borneo.
Monday, September 23, 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Six 'iron blowers' were in the 1818 inventory of Virginia Gov. Preston taken in the Virginia Governor's Mansion, built in 1811. They were long thin tubes with a mouth piece, which were also called ‘fender blower,’ ‘blower,’ 'iron blow,’ ‘blow tube’ or ‘blow pipe.’ Bellows were also available to start or intensify the kitchen fire.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Boys and women sold matches in cities for a modest fee. They whittled pine or cedar sticks, dipped the pointed end in brimstone or bought the matches from match manufacturers from the "low parts of London." By 1827 an author claimed "the itinerant Matchseller, will, of consequence, become obsolete." Pictures from prints and books of "Cries" from London, New York City and Boston...
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Robert Seymour (c1800-1836) drew a series of humorous sketches (including several on pic-nics) from 1834-1836. Picnic problems included being "cow'd," a no trespassing type sign on the riverbank, and items in the picnic basket shifting and breaking.