Armed with only ten days of vacation this year, it seems that I must abandon my exhaustive list of tasty travel to dos and pursue time travel. I was introduced to Miss Connie, a longtime reference librarian at the Library of Congress, before Christmas. The Washington Post call the “unsinkable Molly Brown and the energizer bunny slackers in comparison” and rightfully praises her amazing mind. She makes me want to request a refund from every academic institution I have ever attended, or better yet, thrash myself for not paying attention. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I was lucky enough to spend last Saturday looking through the stacks of cookbooks in the library’s basement.
From grocer’s manuals to hostess guidebooks to war-time recipe collections, every tasty (and not so tasty) culinary topic is accounted for. Thus, my 2014 quest was born: bring back old recipes (the good, the bag, and the ugly) and learn a little bit about the indulgences and struggles of the everyday tummy throughout the ages. I am hoping to start with a Roman favorite, then cover the first chocolate chip cookie, a 1920s diet (before summer), and continue on from there.
With each post, I will site the cookbook and post a bit of context (many of these books can be viewed online through the Library of Congress website). I don’t want to stray from my original intent so all of the recipes will be connected to a place that one would want to go. Ultimately, my hope is to ensure, when time machines come along, I select the tastiest era possible (when being chunky was a sign of eternal beauty).