I never thought my love of history and cooking would lead me to this. I loved cooking from childhood, when my Mother would make the house smell wonderful with the delicious meals she produced. When I had a family to cook for, the specter of severe allergies to common food additives was the goad that forced me to look at historical cooking.
Historical cookbooks tied in nicely with my love affair with the past, but they brought challenges unique to the time they were written in! Learning different measurement systems was just the beginning of my fascination. The food stuffs, the serving techniques, the meanings of the foods and their presentations, the cultural accommodations for times of food plenty and scarcity all began to pique my interest. That lead to my Master’s degree in History.
Having the opportunity to demonstrate cooking and foodways from the 1700’s solidified my interest. I was hooked. I am an unrepentant hearth cook. But it is not just the craft of cooking that interests me. It is the history. Cooking tells us a lot about the people and the places and times they lived in. Their aspirations, fears, understandings and hopes are all spelled out in their cooking. How we view their views tells us a lot about us—the mirror works both ways.
This blog grows out of my expanding research about the foodways of the 1700’s English world. I am partial to the Chesapeake region, and English cooking right now. The future may see that mutate. As always, cooking morphs. You are welcome to follow along with me.