Author: Jess Clark

‘Dwale’: A Medieval Sleeping Drug in a Seventeenth-Century Receipt Book

Elizabeth K. Hunter As part of my research into early modern sleep disorders, I have been examining the wide variety of sleep remedies available in England at the time.  Browsing through the manuscript receipt collections at the Wellcome Library in London, I came across one with this unsettling title: To…

Cassava: A Contested Good

Brandi Simpson Miller The widescale adoption of cassava in Ghana today has its roots in the nineteenth-century transition away from the slave trade to the “legitimate” trade in the palm oil that lubricated British industry. Cassava was introduced to the Gold Coast in the seventeenth century and flourished in the…

One of Many Ways for Macanese Aluar

By Mukta Das Aluar de Anita Lei Tao 1 cate de farinha ½ cates de assucar pedra 6 taels de farinha pulu 3 cates de amendoas 5 cates de pinhao ½ cates de manteiga 3 cocos (metade para santem)[i] – Albertina Borges, M d C., Receitas culinárias macaenses, 10 March…

A Black Rooster and the Angel of Dread: Jewish Magical Recipes Against Fear

By Andrea Gondos Illness and a desperate longing for wellness and healing defined Jewish magical recipes books, written in a thriving manuscript culture of practical Kabbalah that existed alongside printed works in Jewish communities of East-Central Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.[i] These manuscripts, many of them cherished by…

What We’re Reading This Fall

By Jess Clark The abundance of fantastic historical writing—from insightful social media and blog posts to traditional academic monographs to op eds—means that most of us aren’t lacking interesting things to read. At times, though, I can’t help but feel that I’m missing out on important pieces, new books, or…

Tales from the Archives: GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON, HAIRDRESSER

The Recipes Project has over 800 posts in our archives and over 200 pages for readers to sift through. That’s a lot of material! With so much excellent material on the site, it’s easy for earlier pieces to be forgotten. Tales from the Archive allows us to revisit some of…

On Paratext, Cookbooks, and No Useless Mouth

By Rachel Herrmann Before I entered the final stages of revising my first book, No Useless Mouth: Waging War and Fighting Hunger in the American Revolution, I had tried for reasons of sanity to compartmentalize the fun food stuff from the work food stuff. And then I came up against…

Winning the War with Eau de Cologne

By Jess Clark a part of the Perfumes Series In August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. As many historians compellingly argue, the Great War was a point of major military, political, and socio-cultural disruption. This extended to commercial relationships between Britain and Germany, as firms suddenly found themselves at…

Regulations and Realities: Standardizing Diets in British Prisons

By Jess Clark I was recently in the British Library, and among the sources that came across my desk was a small, thin text published in 1902: Manual of Cooking & Baking for the Use of Prison Officers. Compiled by Britain’s Prison Commission (est. 1877), it offered suggestions on selecting ingredients,…

Recipes for Waste Reduction

Kesia Kvill In June of 1917, the Canadian Government introduced the Office of the Food Controller under the direction of Conservative Ontario politician and businessman, W.J. Hanna. The introduction of Food Controller during the First World War was part of Canada’s recognition that they were one of the main sources…

Introducing Our New Co-Editor: Josh Schlachet

Interview by Jess Clark As we mentioned at the beginning of 2019, there are a number of exciting new developments happening here at the Recipes Project, including the arrival of three new co-editors. Today I have the pleasure of introducing one of them: Josh Schlachet! Josh is a historian of…

Fertility in the Early Modern Household

Leah Astbury Domestic recipe books in early modern England abound with remedies to promote conception and prevent miscarriage. Frances Springatt’s recipe book, for example, contained a remedy ‘To help conception and strengthen Nature’, taken morning and night.[i] Notably, the vast majority of these receipts were explicitly for women, and in…

The Art of Preserving Eighteenth-Century Cookery Through Interpretation

Tiffany A. Fisk Every day my colleagues and I are asked by visitors to Colonial Williamsburg the following: “You aren’t REALLY cooking, are you?” The purpose of Historic Foodways is to do the work of eighteenth-century cooks by using and understanding the techniques, equipment, and recipes from the period. We…

Tales from the Archives: Pen, Ink, and Pedagogy

This month, This Recipes Project is six years old. This September also marks our fourth Teaching Series, first launched by co-editor Amanda Herbert in 2014. This post comes from that first series, as Amanda provides some fantastic advice for bringing recipes–and more specifically ink–into the classroom. By Amanda E. Herbert I teach an undergraduate…

Do Objects Lie? Teaching About Food, Material Culture, and Evidence

Carla Cevasco During my most recent move, I observed (while sweating, and swearing, and trying to keep the packing tape from sticking to itself again) that kitchen items occupied more boxes than any other category of my possessions. Not even books could compete with the weight and bulk of my…
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