Sunday, May 22, 2022

Barrel butter churns 1758-1805

It is spring, so time for another post on butter. Over the years I have covered butter types and shapes, and a wide variety of churns. HERE. Instead of plunger churns, with the up and down motion, the barrel churns used a circular motion. Pictured is a churn from c1900 of my great grandmother from an eastern PA farm.

Friday, May 13, 2022

More cookbook talks

Eliza Acton (1799-1859) and Isabella Beeton (1836-1865) talk in the British Library series. Alice Urbach’s popular How to cook in Vienna! A cookery and household book for home-style cooking, first published in 1935 (500 pages) was stolen for another book when she was forced out of Austria by the Nazi. "Betty Crocker" first pub. in 1921, Laura Shapiro's book and other talks.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Mother's Day

For the Moms

Le Benedicite (Saying Grace) by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin c1740, in the Louvre.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Fewer muffin street sellers by 1896

The decline of muffin street sellers was described in the following 1896 article. The muffins were still made by older ladies in their poor homes and sold to stores or a few remaining street sellers, who had a hard time making a living. Earlier that century there were 500 muffin street vendors in London with their tinkling little bells, traditionally starting on Oct 15.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter - Pasch eggs, given out at homes in Austria

Chamber's Book of Days 1863, mentioned Pasch eggs in Chester, UK and handed out at the houses in the Tyrol area in the Alps.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Bouilli - beef and soup

Bouilli was popular in France and with Jefferson, whose French chef often made it for White House dinners, and also sold it from his F street home/shop near Mr. Madison's home. Quality pieces of meat were slowly simmered for hours and served seperately, first the soup (broth) then the meat (bouilli). 3 talks on French food.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Poisonous Easter Eggs and Easter talks

Paas Egg dyes, patented 1881, were advertised to "be eaten without fear of poisoning." At that time some eggs were dyed with a biproduct of coal being burned to make gas. Logwood dye was recorded in a 1781 letter ... with pin scratched Battle of Bunker Hill scene.

Sunday, March 27, 2022


Ramps - Allium tricoccum (three seeded garlic, or wild leeks) - are found in the spring and early summer in wooded areas along the Appalacian Mountains. Don't confuse with Lily of the Valley.

There are many small and large Ramp festivals and dinners. West Virginia hosts so many there is a website listing yearly events HERE

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Flour / Grist Mills talks and taped talks

Sharpening millstones (photo on left and in blog post). Wye Mills in Maryland is having three talks on mills and grains. Upcoming talks on London mills, Oliver Evans, 17th cen. water engineering for water gardens & fountains and ... Tide Mills! Several taped talks.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Loft over the hearth in 1846 Ireland

During the Irish Famine, or The Great Hunger of 1845-49, this image of a loft, oddly built over the hearth fire in a County Kerry tenent's cabin was in The Pictorial Times, London.
So what was on the loft?

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Maple sugaring

Native Americans collecting sap, then boiling it in a 1724 image. Two talks are about Native American traditions in Vermont and Michigan.

Several taped maple syrup and harvesting talks, followed by this week's talks.

Monday, February 28, 2022

People's Collection of Wales & Welsh Cakes

The National Library of Wales's A People's Story of Wales is a wonderful collection of film clips, oral histories, books, photos, recipes and more.
Welsh Cakes on griddle over fire.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Valentine Sweets - Chocolate and Candies

Talks on chocolate history and material culture, Cadbury, Hershey, Jews and Chocolate, and the Boston area had over 140 factories for candies. Over the past two years there have been many talks on chocolate, tapes below.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Cattle, Dairy, Cheese, and Butchers virtual talks

There was an interesting talk last fall on "Plymouth Women and the Birth of the American Dairy Business," taped, but there have been, and will be, other good talks. Image: Cattle Market before a large city, 1820

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Bees and Insects - virtual and taped talks

Bee behavior, wax, honey, an entire day of bee talks and two talks on eating insects.
Image of bee tanging, link below.

This weekend there are three symposiums - on Bees, Experimental Archaeology of Medieval & Renaissance Food, and the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food.

Friday, January 28, 2022

African American foodways talks

As usual, here are the talks for Black History Month. More will be added here and on the main Calendar. Farmers & Great Migration. Hercules Posey. Black Women's contributions to America’s Kitchen, and Wiki edit-a-thon. 1890 image of White House cook Dolly Johnson, tape below.
A list of taped talks, then a list of this week's talks.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Banqueting sweets for a Prince of Wales c1610

A very interesting online recipe manuscript with a terrific 4 page list of "Severall sorts of sweet meates fitting for a bankquett" was described in a talk by Dr. Sara Pennell. The recipes include Marchpanes, Rock Candies, Comfeits, Dryed Suckette, Marmallets, Dryed pasts, Past de Jaun, Preserves, Jellies/ Gellyes, Waferes, Bakemeates, Conseits, Serrops...

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Canned goods grown on the farm & Home Ec talks

Some puckish humor from Puck, 1906 - "What we get to eat in the country." Cans of chickens running around the barnyard, fishing for canned salmon, condensed milk in the dairy...

Friday, January 7, 2022

Oat cakes utensils - and Robert Burns

Poet Robert Burns called Scotland the "land o cakes" - oatcakes. So after the article on tools, I want to sneak in some upcoming Burns talks. One talk includes a tour and history of his birthplace, now a museum, and the annual Burns Dinner to celebrate his birth.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Art and food

Vermeer’s The Milkmaid c1660 (left) is his perfect painting in a talk next month. Bellini's Feast of the Gods, 1514 was one of the first to show Chinese porcelain, and another talk is also on Chinese porcelain. Over 2000 images of 16th century Mexico (including pouring chocolate) in The Florentine Codex are being digitized with text and made searchable.