Filed under cooking

Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Sometimes I find references to items which I really need to see to understand. Fortunately some museums have handling exhibitions which help. This was a Tudor exhibit at the recent doors open day. This is a trencher, a precursor of plates. It’s only a few inches across as they did not have all the food … Continue reading


The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

This is an article from Saturday’s i paper by Paul Gallagher which goes beyond the usual hype of diets. I had heard of Dr Malhotra’s work, and he provides a rare insight into the problems of modern healthcare. Dr Aseem Malotra is still on a mission. Almost 2 decades into a medical career that has … Continue reading

Europeans and Tomatoes

Atlas Obscura comes up with some pretty amazing stuff, but history is not their strong point here, complaining about why Europeans did not take to tomatoes and how they fed corn to their cattle. Well, the most obvious thing that occurs to me here is that when the New World was discovered, Europe was … Continue reading

Harvest Home, Monmouthshire, 1796

This is from a wonderful book I’ve just discovered, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife 1796-1797 account of a single year written by Anne Hughes who lived in the remote countryside near Chepstow, Monmouthshire. It’s wonderful as it is written in her dialect, which is sending my spellchecker into meltdown, but you can hear the speech … Continue reading

Feeding the Poor, 1795 England

I’ve been dipping into Humphrey Jennings’ wonderful collection of historical sources, Pandaemonium. It’s a huge tome and was as major inspiration to Danny Boyle and his colleagues in staging the opening for the 2012 London Olympics. I seem to be doing a similar thing here – presenting documents as images to – I hesitate to … Continue reading

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies

Apologies for my laxity of late, have been struck down with the dreaded lergy rather badly. Yesterday I was still off my food so decided to try my local Chinese takeaway. When I entered a tiny boy was sitting smiling at the till, and it was a few minutes until an adult appeared to take … Continue reading

Is God a Vegetarian?

This is an intriguing article by Christopher Catling in the latest Current Archaeology. He cites the latest discoveries that the builders of Stonehenge feasted on pork and beef, but offered cheese and yoghurt to the gods. Possibly dairy products had some ritual importance, or it may be that the colour white represented purity. He also cites … Continue reading


These feature several times in William Holland’s Paupers & Pig Killers. Parson Holland objects to his servants going to collect them, and notices parishioners arriving at church with black mouths from eating them in pies. But they are more than just a pleasant outing for the locals: “Few in Sunday School, all gone gathering Hurtleberries. … Continue reading

The Beefsteak Club

Eighteenth century London became famous for its many chop houses, coffee houses and especially clubs whree gents could drop by to catch up with the latest news and gossip whilst chowing down to some seriously carnivorous food, mostly beef. This is from a wonderful magazine, reduced from a full size book by English Heritage, Images … Continue reading