Minnehaha Cake, Chicago World’s Fair (1893)

Today’s recipe is brought to you by The World’s Fair Recipe Book by J.F. Landis, which featured over 600 recipes for food, medicine, remedies for various human and animal ailments, etc. Because it was published in April of 1893, I would assume it was sold at the Columbian Exposition (“Chicago World’s Fair”) beginning the following…

Almond Milk the Medieval Way: Pt. 2

This is part two of a three-part series of medieval almond milk recipes. Part One includes some background information about the important role that almond milk played in medieval cooking. If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest reading  Almond Milk the Medieval Way.   Today’s almond milk recipe comes from a medieval cookbook called…

Almond Milk the Medieval Way

“Take peeled almonds, crush very well in a mortar, steep in water boiled and cooled to lukewarm, strain through cheesecloth and boil your almond milk on a few coals for an instant or two.”
– Le Viandier de Taillevent

Hallowe’en Salad, a Retro Gelatin Treat

To celebrate Halloween, I thought I’d do something a bit more modern. This recipe is most likely from the 1930’s or 1940’s, though the image source (chronicallyvintage.com) suggests the possibility of it being even later. There are a few clues that indicate 1940’s or earlier: the font, ingredients, and the spelling of the word Hallowe’en….

Salat, an Aromatic Medieval Salad

It may or may not surprise you to learn that people in the Middle Ages ate salad. And they ate it often. Unlike today, salads weren’t for calorie-conscious women on diets. Salads were very common meal starters and were loaded full of herbs and aromatic vegetables found in every household garden. Salads were not only genuinely enjoyed…

Egredouncye, a Medieval Sweet and Sour Dish

Sometime around the year 1420, a Master chef (or chefs- nobody seems to know exactly who) compiled a bunch of recipes in a manuscript now known as the Harleian MS 279. This manuscript, combined with a few others, was later published as Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books by Thomas Austin in 1888.  Today’s recipe is from Volume One! Egredouncye, or Egredouce (pronounced…

The Tragic Life of ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor

We view the past through our own moral lens, often finding ourselves at odds with the views of people long gone. When we find that our modern sensibilities contradict the opinions of past communities we should ask ourselves why that is. Are we more enlightened? Are we better people? Or are we simply basing our modern…

Elizabethan Jumbal Biscuits

Two of my all-time favorite things are history and food so I thought, why not put them together? Perhaps the easiest way to experience and connect with the past is to eat authentic ancient food. Since such dishes can be hard to come by, our best option is to make them at home! A (very) brief overview of Elizabethan food During the Elizabethan…

Hydraulis, Hydraulikon

The story of the pipe organ begins in the 3rd century BC with the invention of the hydraulis.

An Ox Died. The Making of The Oregon Trail

Few video games have made such an impression on generations of school children as The Oregon Trail. As an elementary student in the ’90’s I vividly recall looking forward to “computer lab,” which was basically Oregon Trail Quiet Hour with a few desperate minutes of Mavis Beacon typing lessons thrown in to justify all the wasted educational time. The…