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food history

  • Originally published 12/03/2013

    The Best Job in the Army

    Carole Emberton

    An army marches on its stomach, and the commissary corps had to feed it!

  • Originally published 07/16/2013

    Cookbook dating back to 1690 reveals Georgian recipes

    A hidden hoard of eighteenth century recipes has come to light for the first time in nearly 200 years in a central London archives centre.Staff at Westminster City Councils Archives Centre came across the recipes earlier this year in a digital project where some sources were posted online and began sharing its culinary delights in the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies blog.With more than 350 recipes dating from 1690 to 1830, followers of the online blog will be able to find out how to make dishes such as Veal kidney Florentine, a pastry tart with kidney, apples, lettuce, orange peel, spices and currants, or Mammas Mince Pyes, made with a mince mixture of candied fruits and cows tongue....

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    French learned to make wine from Italians 2,400 years ago

    The French weren't the first to make wine? Mon dieu! But as anyone who has sipped a Bordeaux, Champagne or Burgundy can tell you, the French got pretty good at it once they learned how. And thanks to some molecular archaeology, researchers can now confirm they picked up these skills as early as 425 B.C.So who taught the French the art of viniculture? Probably the ancient Italians, says the man with perhaps the coolest nickname in science research — the "Indiana Jones of alcohol," .The Eurasian grape — Vitis vinifera, the source of 99 percent of the world's wine — was first domesticated about 9,000 years ago in the mountains of the Near East, says McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Later, Canaanite, Phoenician and Greek merchants all played a part in spreading that wine culture across the Mediterranean....

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Local History Buffs Munch on Muskrat in Michigan

    (MONROE, Mich.) — Most of the menu read like a typical buffet, with soup, salad, turkey, pork and potatoes. But the first offering at the annual Muskrat Dinner in Michigan was distinctive: a pot of the rodent’s meat mixed with creamed corn.“Most beginners are a little hesitant to dive in, especially when they see the carcass laid out on the plate,” said Ralph Naveaux, who helped organize the event. “But those of us that have been raised on it, we just adore them. It’s almost an addiction.”Members of the Algonquin Club of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, and other muskrat aficionados — about 80 in all — made their way to the Monroe Boat Club, 40 miles south of Detroit, for the recent event....

  • Originally published 02/22/2013

    Culinary exhibitions add life to museums' period rooms

    The period rooms in art museums have the mustiest, dustiest of reputations. They are often seen as the cultural equivalent of grandma’s overstuffed couch that smelled like a fleet of cats....The traditional period-room model has been the dollhouse, but without Colonial Dame Barbie. Furniture and objects were arranged just so to set the scene for a particular era and then cordoned off for years. Museumgoers did not stumble over one another to take a peek.But some museums have discovered at least one secret ingredient to make their potentially snooze-inducing rooms more palatable to the public: a chef of sorts. Meet Ivan Day, a British food historian who is helping museums satisfy the public’s growing interest in food in all of its cultural manifestations. And why food? That’s because the hardware of cooking and dining usually make up a big part of museums’ decorative arts collections....

  • Originally published 03/28/2016

    Orrin Hatch's Embarrassing New York Times Op-Ed

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    Senator Orrin Hatch took to the New York Times op-ed page to try to make the case for the Senate refusing to take up President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. It didn’t go well.

  • Originally published 10/04/2013

    Cooking at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater [INTERVIEW]

    Robin Lindley

    Ellie Henderson. Photo courtesy the author.Elsie Henderson, who cooked at the famed Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater outside Pittsburgh, turned one hundred on September 7. Ms. Henderson worked for Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann, the Pittsburgh department store magnates, and later their son Edgar jr. (he preferred that jr. not be capitalized) for more than 15 years. Asked what contributed to her longevity, she said simply: “Good food.” Ms. Henderson’s kitchen was a hub of activity at the unique Fallingwater house, hailed as the most significant private residential structure in the United States Author Suzanne Martinson tells the story of Ms. Henderson and shares her recipes in The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories (with the late Jane Citron and chef Robert Sendall; University of Pittsburgh Press).