A Tale of Oil and Pie

It was the best of Mondays, it was the worst of Mondays. I’m on Spring Break – that magical time of the year where students interpret that term as meaning, “fun and random partying in Florida,” non-educators interpret it as meaning, “another paid vacation,” and teachers see it as “a chance to get caught up…

Cooking in Old Creole Days

Each year, the campus library sells off antiquated and withdrawn texts.  This serves two purposes – to generate funds for future purchases, and to give new homes to books that would otherwise sit in silence on a shelf forever.  Most libraries do this, and it’s always interesting to see what books make the cut (to be…

What to Cook

In many ways, I’ve been extremely negative as of late, and in an attempt to “cross back into the light,” as it were, I thought that I should share a recent find with you.  I’m actually quite excited by it all. Some weeks ago, I visited a museum gift shop that had copies of Jane…

Seeking My Creativity Groove

Since I had nothing better to do, I figured that I’d check my bookshelf for that vintage cooking series that I mentioned earlier.  At the very least, I could go through it and see if there was anything worth preparing. The short answer is nope.  Nothing in them that I would cook, let alone eat,…

Happy Class

My students absolutely loved the Manchet.  Their sole criticism mirrored my own – too much salt – but otherwise, they enjoyed it and asked me to bring more at some future date.  Actually, they were tickled that I made Renaissance-era bread for them. This is why I love teaching.

Manchet, 1615

I’m teaching a course on the Renaissance and Reformation, and aside from looking at slide-shows of art and listening to recordings, there’s not a lot that I can do to enliven my students.  Or is there?

Shrewsbury Pan Biscuits, 1958

A while back, I picked up a copy of the Historical Cookbook of the American Negro (Beacon Press, Boston, 2000).  This book is a reissue of a cookbook originally published by the National Council of Negro Women in 1958.  I don’t recall the reasoning behind the acquisition, except to say that there was a point…

The only thing positive about this recent heat spike is that it’s allowed me to consider the various texts I might consult for that literary dinner them that I’d mentioned previously.

A French Surprise

While visiting a local used bookstore today, I came across a volume I’d previously heard of, but had not seen. Specialites de la Maison, published in 1940 by the American Friends of France, is a collection of recipes “written in the first person by Hollywood and Broadway celebrities, artists, socialites, and other noteworthy tastemakers of…

Wheat, Anyone?

I tried those Settlement Biscuits again, but this time using wheat flour.  Nice, but . . . I think I’ll reserve those for special events.  A wheat biscuit isn’t something that I’d have around for casual eating.  Still, it was interesting to try it.  Of course, your mileage may vary . . .

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Plateful of Biscuits

I want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas (or, if you don’t celebrate, a Happy Holiday season)! It’s been a short while since I’ve posted, but that’s because of the hustle-and-bustle of the season. Now that it’s pretty much over, I’m hoping to turn an eye back towards cooking and visiting antique stores. …

Assessing the Great Experiment

I thought that I could master that last vintage meal for March, but between the drama that is work and a few personal issues (including a really irritating visit to my doctor’s office – don’t ask), I wasn’t able to even put together a decent menu, let alone do any cooking.