Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen is a public food history project. Funding from a University of Pennsylvania GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation helped Marissa launch this project in June 2014 with her co-founder Alyssa Connell. In July 2015 we published an essay about our method in Archive Journal. Follow my ongoing culinary and archival exploits on this site, Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @Rare_Cooking
Cooking in the Archives sets out to find, cook, and discuss recipes from cookbooks produced between 1600 and 1800. This project is situated at the intersection between the practice of modern cooking and the history of early modern manuscript and printed recipe books. I believe these recipes belong in the modern kitchen as well as the historical archive. After all, what are recipes if not instructions for cooking?
The site’s header image is from UPenn Kislak Center MS. Codex 252, [Recipe Book], 32 (verso). One day, I will cook it.
15 thoughts on “About Rare Cooking”
Very cool blog! I was so delighted to stumble upon this, as my grandmother’s cookbooks are a linchpin of Penn’s rare cookbook collection http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/28/nyregion/esther-b-aresty-92-collector-of-rare-books-on-the-culinary-arts.html and she wrote several cookbooks herself based on the recipes in her collection. Growing up, she would occasionally serve our family 18th century dishes (like mustard soup!) I look forward to following your research.
We’re so glad to hear that you’re reading! The collection is truly fabulous. Let us know if we cook any of your grandmother’s favorites.
Love this blog! I work at the 92nd Street Y in NYC and would love to speak with you both about developing a live event around this.
Please let me know the best way to contact you. Thanks !
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I like this area titled “Rare Cooking”. But it is suggested you qualify it: Rare British or English cooking/cuisine.
Or do you plan digging into the archives of French, German or….Chinese cooking? 😀 There’s a whole world out there that’s incredible and very exciting that the rest of the English speaking world hasn’t bothered to translate into English.
Someone recced this over on facebook. This is a great project and a fantastic resource. Thanks so much!
I stumbled across the Washington Post article about your project, and have enjoyed reading through the recipes in your bold. What a fun project!
I also found it in WaPo–to bad they NEVER list site names! Found you anyway and am delighted! I often think of all the folk in the kitchens–managing the fire, grinding, pounding, sieving to make these things. Now we can make them by ourselves–thanks to our machines.
I too saw a reprint of the Washington Post article in the Watertown Daily Times. I have modernized old recipes for years and I find your posts invaluble. My favorite cookbooks are Martha Washington’s, Perfection Oil Stove Cookbook, circa 1910 and Watertown’s own “The Cook Not Mad”, 1831 here: http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/coldfusion/display.cfm?ID=notm&PageNum=1
I found this site from the CNN article and can’t express how much I love both the concept and execution! I love trying old recipes and delighted to see you both experimenting with them and sharing the results. I can’t wait to break some of these out for my next smorgasbord soirees. Let historical novelty reign! Thank you both! ~Michelle
I love this idea. 🙂
Awesome blog! I studied History at the University of Guelph (Canada), and I’ve even set up my own ‘historical cooking’ blog. During my time at Guelph, I read a lot of British recipe books from the university’s fantastic archival collection. Your blog is starting to bring back those memories! Have you ever tried an apple dumpling recipe from the late 18th century? I found an amazing recipe in one of those books, and I’ve recreated it several times (takes most of the day though). I’m sure you girls have access to more recipes than me, but I think you should look into it!
Awesome blog! I studied History at the University of Guelph (Canada), and I’ve even set up my own ‘historical cooking’ blog. During my time at Guelph, I read a lot of British recipe books from the university’s fantastic archival collection. Your blog is starting to bring back those memories! Have you ever tried an apple dumpling recipe from the late 18th century? I found an amazing recipe in one of those books, and I’ve recreated it several times (takes most of the day though). I’m sure you ladies have access to more recipes than me, but I think you should look into it!
What an amazing blog! Such a great concept and wonderful execution! I love that you type out the originals as they are written! Thank you so much! Definitely a new favorite.
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