Monday, July 20, 2009

Taking a bite out of history



One of the stranger things that I like to do is cook things in a traditional manner. What I mean is historical recipes that might use techniques and ingredients we would now find tiresome and antiquated. This extends to other areas such as clothing, making household items and so on. I find it to be interesting and more importantly it's a way to really get in touch with history. I personally am more interested in the way things were for the average person than I am in big events. It gives you a sense of how things have changed and an appreciation for how people of that period felt about the big events... In short it gives you perspective.

So, when I read my kids Little House on the Prairie I got this book:

And when I could I cooked what we were reading about. Some things I ended up liking and I do them seasonally now. Crab-apple jelly for instance. But we don't always like them. Well, to be honest our processed food taste means we often will find these simpler foods strange and we won't like them. But, it is fun to try them anyway and really get a sense of what life was like for the people making them.

I also like quilting using the more traditional patterns and methods. I have even pieced by hand, and it turned out pretty nice. And you may know that I like knitting, and crochet... I have even tried my hand at tatting (making lace), but I never caught on!LOL

So, I'm sure someday I will find my way to a volunteer job at a living history museum... Maybe I'll be one of those crazy volunteers you see on PBS or TLC when they challenge people to live like people in a given period of history. I would love it!!!LOL But for now I'm off to make a recipe from the book I got at the Living History Farm in Iowa... Maybe brown bread in a coffee can???

9 comments:

Ruqayyah said...

I was so excited to see th Little House on the Prairie cookbook, as soon as I read the first paragraph that is what immediately came to mind! I love cooking things from scratch, and we just recently got a firepit that I am very much looking forward to doing some cooking with. Insha'Allah with more success than roasting halal marshmallows, since Em remarked when presented with a perfectly roasted marshmallow, "I like them raw!"

Digital Nomad said...

You sound just like my mother :) She loves looking for Depression-era cookbooks, because they obviously were strapped for cash and yet had to provide nutritious meals to keep their families healthy. A lot of the techniques they used for stretching food are invaluable in our current economic situation.

That sounds like it would be a really fun job! :D

Umm Yehiya said...

Interesting!
I love history - reading about it, watching movies, imagining it, visiting museums, historical places & sites, etc.
But historical cooking & sewing? Eh, I'm thinking not so much! So hats off to you & your patient immersion! Way to keep it alive! :D
I mostly cook from scratch, but pass on things like making my own jelly, canning...anything that involves a lot of extra steps and time. I DO admire those who pursue these interests, though!
Although brown bread in a coffee can does sound good. :D

Muslim Hippie said...

Do you take disciples? I promise I'll be an obedient one! I said it before and I'll say again... and again. Man you're cool!

Yusuf Smith said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

I was just watching a YouTubed copy of LHOP the other day and was staggered at the ham acting and the liberties it took with the facts. Did anyone see the episode where Mary went blind, and wonder if they really would have left a young blind girl alone with a male teacher in the 19th century? Of course, the bits about Mary staying there for a year and then becoming a teacher, marrying Adam and having a kid is all made up ...

Yasemin said...

Very cute! I love it! I went to a farm recently and saw similar cookbooks for sale, and thought it was so neat. They were 70's era though and had a bunch of fondue recipes LOL. Love you lots.

UmmLayla said...

Thanks ya'll... Sometimes I feel I might be crazy!!!

MH, you make me laugh...

Yusuf, the inaccuracies just never end in these tv conversions of actual history... Don't get me started on the Disney version of Pocahontas!!!LOL

UmmYehiya, patient??? Try obsessive, that would be closer to the truth!LOL

penny said...

Lovely post. When you come to Egypt please visit us.

laura said...

I love cookbooks like that. And finding recipes like that. I haven't had much time to try them out but I have bookmarked many a recipe that some day I will!!!