Cooks, Kitchens, and Places: Josephine’s Tale

Since modern photography only came into being around 1816, when Nicéphore Niépc combined camera obscura techniques and paper with photosensitive qualities, the faces of so many people will never be known to us. Those of the rich, the powerful, and the occasional peasant – thanks to artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder – we their…

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Shopping for Food in the 19th Century, or, You’ve Got it Real Easy Nowadays, You Know

Claire Howland* opened her left eye, squinting at the mottled ceiling of her bedroom, the peeling paint accentuated by the feeble morning sunshine. Groaning, she remembered something about the upcoming day, market day. She hoped that the new Irish maid, Kate, had prepared the boarders’ breakfast, oatmeal porridge thinned with milk from the stringy cow…

Boarding House Food in Lagos, Nigeria

In Africa, boarding houses enjoy a popularity resembling that of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries in the USA, for the same reasons. More reasonable in cost than buying a house or living in an apartment, a boarding house also eliminates the need to worry about food preparation. Many students, such as those attending school in…

Boarding Houses, Fodder for Popular Culture

Boarding houses, a slice of the folkloric American food story ... American food icon James Beard grew up in an Oregon boarding house operated by his mother.  And New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne cut his teeth in his mother's Mississippi boarding house kitchen. In a way, we’re still feeling the impact of those…