An appreciation for the past

This week I'm going to do a series showing examples of kitchens of the pasts. This idea came from encountering some people who *gasp* were wondering why some of us have such a love affair with vintage cookbooks. Yes they're out there!

For me one of the reasons is getting that knock down reality check that we all sometimes need when we think we have it hard. I think about the amount of love that the mothers and wives of the past would've had to have had to keep cooking day after day with none of the time saving equipment we take for granted today. It's one thing to say it must of been hard work but it's another to actually see what little they were working with and to imagine ourselves attempting to do it.

We see recipes today that have changed little over the years except in the way they are prepared and that is the part that we forget, the absolutely amazing unsaid preperations behind what are more than a just list of ingredients. To bake a cake in the 17th century meant to do it over an open flame and gauging temperaturing by sticking a piece of paper in and seeing how long it took to brown or sometimes even your hand went in, if you were a good cook. Can you imagine the watching and the waiting, even simple things like the adjusting of temperature took time and work, you didn't turn a knob like today, but had to add more wood or open your flue and you used ingredients that were precious and expensive and couldn't be purchased again if mistakes were made. Such pressure!

So when I come across an early cookbook and see notes about what worked and what didn't, I think that this recipe or this cookbook that I hold in my hands must be good if she went through all that she did and made it. Enjoy and let me know what you think:)

1 comment:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a fun blog! I love vintage cookbooks. My grandmother had a wood burning cast iron stove in her kitchen --she made the most amazing foods using it!

Vintage Cookbooks are for everyone who has ever wanted to bake something special and turned to a modern cookbook and realized they never seem to have all the ingredients at the same time, there're for history lovers that want to feel connected to the past in a way that's missing in history books, there're for the people that love that musty old book smell and laugh at kindle's, they're for people that feel like we as a society have gone a little too far, a tad off course with life and want to get back to the simple and the real, and they're for the people that want to pay homage to all the grandma's and great aunts that did it best!

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