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Old 02-02-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Here I Am

Hi, everyone. Several members had recommended I join this community, and I've finally signed on.

My name is Brook, and I am a freelance writer with gardening and culinary arts among my specialties. I've been cooking, both as a home cook and professionally, since I was 8 years old. Won't tell you how long that's been, but I've seen 11 presidents.

I'm particularly involved with the foodways of colonial North America, and have written two books on the subject. As part of this, along with my bride of 45 years, I run the historic gardens and foodways interpretations at a restored 18th century frontier fort.

I'm greatly involved in the heirlooms movement, have been for nearly a quarter century. So much so, that I won't put a hybrid in the ground, as much for political reasons as horticultural ones.

We live in central Kentucky, on 13 acres, most of which we leave wild. The rest is used for our extensive vegetable gardens.

So, that's a little about me.

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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Welcome. You know, I've never counted, but I see I'm up to eleven, too. Twelve, if you count Truman, but I don't remember him. That's a quarter of those 44 buggers! That's sort of strange.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Well, I was born during FDR's time. But I didn't count him cuz I had no awareness at the time.

But, as the man said, if we consider the alternative......
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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I just ordered Mark Kurlansky's "Food of a Younger Land" from my local library. Descriptions lead me to believe that it is primarily about the 20th century before World War II. Can you recommend any titles that focus more on the 18th and 19th centuries?
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Mark Lurlansky is one of my favorite food historians. Anyone who hasn't read his "Salt" and "Cod" doesn't deserve to call themself a foodie. I haven't read "Food of a Younger Land" as yet. Isn't that the one dealing with the WPA's America Eats project for out-of-work writers?

Let's see, in terms of the 18th century, I'll have to confine myself to titles that are available in reprints. Keep in mind that I'm dealing, primarily, with English cookbooks, because my focus is British North America. Understand, too, that there was no copyright law back then, and many of these books seem samee-same because they pick up recipes and text from each other with abandon.

In order of importance (that is, their usefullness in colonial and federalist times):

1. Hannah Glasse, "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy." First published in 1745, Art of Cookery went through something like 30 editions, and influenced both cooks and other writers well into the 19th century. It's been reprented many times, and copies are readily available.

2. John Farley, "The London Art of Cookery." First published in 1787, it picks up stuff from several earlier works. London Art was particularly popular with those who ran inns, ordinaries, and other food-service establishments. To my knowledge it's only been reprinted once, but is moderately available.

3. Elizabeth Smith, "The Compleat Housewife." First published in 1729, many other 18th century cookbooks were based on it. It was reprinted in 1968, in hardback, then later in soft cover. The hardback is a facsimile reproduction and is harder to find.

4. Amelia Simmons, "American Cookery." Published in 1796, this is considered the first American cookbook. It's important both for that reason, and for some of the insights she provides to period foodstuffs. It's recently been reprinted, again, in softback.

5. Mary Randolph, "The Virginia Housewife." Although published in 1823, it represents Mary Randolph's experiences as a hostess to upscale Virginians. She had been a plantation owner, and ran an upscale boarding house (more like a salon) that catered to the FFVs. Very commonly available.

This should get you started. Your local library might have some of them. If not, they can likely find them through the ILL.

If you want more, I have a list of 23 source materials in the back of both my books.
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Most people spoil garden things by over-boiling them... if they are overboiled they have neither any sweetness or beauty. Hannah Glasse 1745
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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As a regular participant in Living History (1725-1840) events, I would be interested to avail myself of your books. I have always found the early American history of food to be a fascinating subject. While my endeavors to recreate history rarely leads indoors, I find great enjoyment trying to recreate colonial food.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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By the way.....Welcome to D.C.!!
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Waugh! Hoot. Thanks for the welcome.

Living history is how we first got interested in period cookery. Never understood the typical reenactor, who takes great pains to assure everything is accurate, and then throws a couple of burgers on the fire for supper. IMO, you cannot understand a culture if you skip what they ate and how they prepared it. Food, and its availability, more than anything else, can determine world view.

Anyway, if you're interested in my books, contact me privately. If I understand the rules properly, I'm not supposed to promote their sale in the forums.

Or did I read that wrong?
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Most people spoil garden things by over-boiling them... if they are overboiled they have neither any sweetness or beauty. Hannah Glasse 1745
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Welcome Aboard Historic Foodie

Just a short message to say, it is great to have you aboard.

As you know, I too love the historic details of international cuisines, and especially the Mediterranean ... The Conquistadores and the slaves and shepherds of the varying ages, have all had a hand ... in stirring the rich pot ... that is the cuisines of today.

So good to see u on line again.

Margi Cintrano.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Buenos Tardes, Senora,

(sorry folks, private joke that translates as, "wazhappenin' you expatriated old thang)

Can't thank you enough for steering me to this community. What a great site!

grazzi,
Brook
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