The Cook’s Dilemma: How to Cook During a State of Siege, via Your Pantry

First, look at your pantry. If it is bare, you’ll need to act fast, as supplies – at least in my neck of the woods – are dwindling fast. I’m going to assume that you’ve prepared for the coming weeks and months with swiftness. The following list is only a suggestion. And to cook many … More The Cook’s Dilemma: How to Cook During a State of Siege, via Your Pantry

The Joy of Bibliographies

Compiling bibliographies is a bit like blowing bubbles, for you never know how big the bubbles will be or how far away they’ll float through the air. Or where they’ll land. And that’s the exciting bit about bibliographies. You can’t know when you set out on the journey where you’ll end up. If you compile … More The Joy of Bibliographies

From Mother Russia with Love: The Domostroi

Cabbage soup and gruel are our food. (Shchi da kasha, pishche nashe.) ~~Russian peasant proverb Trying to ferret out tidbits about Russian food history can be tough going. Aside from the language barrier, anyone interested in Russian culinary history suffers from a major weakness: there is a terrible lack of written material contemporaneous with Forme … More From Mother Russia with Love: The Domostroi

The Expert (French) Cook in Enlightenment France: A Review

If you scrutinize sixteenth-century Dutch artist Pieter Aertsen’s painting, “The Cook in Front of the Stove,” you will see a rather stereotypical image of servant cooks, one that persisted in popular memory in Europe until well into the nineteenth century. Sean Takats, assistant professor of history at George Mason University and codirector of Zotero, attempts … More The Expert (French) Cook in Enlightenment France: A Review

Ats Jaar: Possible Origins of the Practice of Pickling in the Antebellum American South

A little prickle of recognition, a sense of déjà vu — that’s what happened when I turned to page 86 of A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770 (1984, edited by historian Richard J. Hooker*). There it was: “Ats Jaar, or Pucholilla.” My first thought was, “What is an Indian … More Ats Jaar: Possible Origins of the Practice of Pickling in the Antebellum American South