Author: Lisa Smith

Day 8: What is a Recipe?

A lovely summer day ahead–what awaits us on Day 8 of ‘What is a Recipe?’ Lots of videos! And also bread and gingerbread, and more! Let’s kick off with a blog post that takes us on a trip to Wales… Lisa Tallis, from the Special Collections and Archives at the…

Boundaries: Reflections on Day 5

By Lisa Smith, with Rosie Redstone I found myself thinking of the importance of limts and boundaries throughout the day: What is the importance of place and time for a recipe? How does the way in which we record a recipe shape our experience of it? What is the significance…

Day 4: What is a Recipe?

On Tuesday, we had a lively discussion about favourite ingredients, interpreting changes in recipes, the role of expertise and tools, growing saffron, growing potatoes, the best cows for milk, and making bread, Folger Library highlights… We also had medieval friars practicing alchemy and time-travelling cookery here at The Recipes Project.…

Cooking With Anger

By Rob Wittig and Mark Marino As part of the ‘What is a Recipe?’ Virtual Conversation, we’re pleased to introduce a story-telling game, called Cooking with Anger. And you can play it in the comments below! We’ll keep bumping the post up so you can play from now until the…

Tracing Recipes to Kill Vermin

By Lisa Smith Among the papers of the Newdigate family of Arbury Hall (Warwickshire), I found a pile of loose eighteenth-century recipes. The recipes are practical in nature: remedies for minor ailments, plasters and such for home renovation, medicines for animals, and poisons for killing vermin. It was the poisons…

UK Medical Heritage Library

By Lisa Smith This just in: the UK Medical Heritage Library is now available. From 28 October, it will be fully integrated into Historical Texts, but for one glorious day — TODAY — it is completely open. I spent yesterday at a Live Lab workshop hosted by JISC in which…

The Heroine of the Cookbook Story

By Rachel Rich Every cookbook tells a story about itself, and the imagined reader it addresses is the heroine of that story. In the nineteenth century, following recipes meant embarking on a quest for respectability, stability and family happiness. The author offered guidance, and the reader was warned of the…

Recipes in Manuscript Miscellanies

By Eve Houghton As several scholars have noted, early modern recipes do not only appear in recipe books. Ink recipes in particular are a staple of the commonplace book, as Adam Smyth has pointed out; and as Alun Withey has written on this blog, “[i]t was not uncommon to put…

Scenes from an Anglo-Norman Kitchen, Part 1: Mutton, Parsley, and Pagan Gods

By Winston Black In this two-part post, I will explore several aspects of recipes, cooks, and kitchens as they appear in a twelfth-century herbal. This work gives us rare and valuable evidence for cooking in Anglo-Norman England. Devotees of medieval cooking have a variety of surviving cookbooks to use. Among…

Constance Hall’s ‘Carrott Pudding:’ A Rendition

The following post is by an undergraduate student, Jessie Foreman, who worked with me on a research placement this summer, as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme at the University of Essex. She spent part of her time transcribing early modern recipe books for the Early Modern Recipes Online…

Tales from the Archives: The Lighter Side of Magic

In September, The Recipes Project celebrated its fourth birthday. We now have over 470 posts in our archives and over 117 pages for readers to sift through. That’s a lot of material! (And thank you so much to our contributors for sharing such a wealth of knowledge on recipes.) But…

Keeping up Appearances: Economy vs. Extravagance in Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery

By Sophie Hill, with Rachel Rich In their final year of study undergraduate at British universities produce a 10,000-word piece of original, primary source research, called the dissertation. It has been a great pleasure for me this year to supervise Sophie Hill’s dissertation. Sophie spent her year trawling through old…

Dr. Sloane’s Advice in the Recipe Manuscripts of Henrietta Harley

By Lucy-Anne Judd As part of my research exploring regional examples of receipt book manuscripts, I was intrigued and excited to discover here in Nottinghamshire further evidence of individuals recording the advice of Dr. Hans Sloane in local manuscripts such as those of Henrietta Harley (1694-1755), Countess of Oxford and…

Describing Seething Meat in the New World

By Cynthia D. Bertelsen Building on my last post on picturing New World foods in Thomas Hariot’s A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia, I now turn to the textual descriptions of those foods. After listing a number of food items and comparing them to…

Human Milk as Medicine in Imperial China: Practice or Fantasy?

By He Bian What does milk have in common with blood? According to Kou Zongshi (fl. 1110-1117), author of Bencao yanyi (Extended Interpretations on Materia Medica), they are basically the same vital fluid produced by the female body at two critical moments in a woman’s life. While the first menstrual…

Controlled substances in Roman law and pharmacy?

By Molly Jones-Lewis Let me begin with a passage from the Digest of Roman Law within the section on the Lex Cornelia on murderers and poisoners (D.48.8.3.3): It is laid down by another decree of the senate that dealers in cosmetics[1] are liable to the penalty of this law (the…