From the Farm to the Kitchen: The History of Food & Drink


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Presentation to library faculty & staff at an internal training day in 2012.

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  • Talk about Mrs. Beeton—large catalog of books posthumously; recipes and advice encyclopedias (large genre of these types of books: Mackenzie, Mary Randolph, Catharine Beecher) covering aspects of farming, gardening, cooking, managing servants, and other “domestic arts.” On the flip side are manuals specifically for servants which included instruction not only for daily tasks, but how to present themselves, what to expect, and how to be indispensible.
  • Also talk about Thomas family receipt books; white men/women taking credit and profits for slaves works
  • Whip ’n Chill: One of the most popular desserts of the sixties, Whip ’n Chill was a strange one, similar in texture and taste to mousse, but with a faint tang of chemical design. Its ingredient list reads like a toxic waste dump posting: propylene glycol monostearate, sodium casienate, acetylated monoglycerides, cellulose gum, hydroxylated lecithin, sodium silicoaluminate and sodium stearoyl-2- lactylate. During the sixties, the artificiality of Whip ’n Chill had a novelty appeal. People still believed in the space age, and Dow Chemical Company’s motto was “Better Living Through Chemistry.” With the end of the space-age, Whip ’n Chill’s novelty was replaced with horror when people began to realize just what they had been eating.- Taken from:
  • I guess we might call this “Access, Digitization, and the Future of Historic Food & Drink.” (Does your brain hurt yet?)
  • Cocktails and what I call the Modern “Age of Entertaining.“ Cocktails have a long history going back to the early 19th century. The more modern age of entertaining began following WW2. Technology made it easier for women to spend time out of the kitchen, mingling. Canapes, appetizers, and theme parties were on the rise.Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent, Fannie Farmer, 1911. used for putting to sleep people with fevers!
  • From the Farm to the Kitchen: The History of Food & Drink

    1. 1. From the Farm to the Kitchen: The History of Food & Drink CollectionKira A. Dietz, Archivist and FoodieIn-Service DayMay 17, 2012
    2. 2. Amuse-Bouche
    3. 3. The First Course, Or “Gathering Ingredients”The Originsof theCollection
    4. 4. The History of Food & Drink Collection• Peacock-Harper Collection• Culinary History Collection• Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Collection• Cocktail History• And more!
    5. 5. The Second Course,Or “The Three R’s” Receipts, Recipes, and Remedies
    6. 6. Although it varied, ingeneral, Civil War POWsreceived very limited rations.They found any number ofcreative ways to supplementsoup or beans and moldingbread.
    7. 7. The (Abominable) Frosted Sandwich
    8. 8. The Joys of Jell-O, 1963
    9. 9. In addition to homeremedies, the 19th andearly 20th century sawa flood of pamphletsand newspaperadvertisements forcommercial cure-alls(or cure-most-things).
    10. 10. The Third Course,Or “Just Who’s Running This Place?” Household Management and Domestic & Social History Frontis piece from The Williamsburg Art ofTitle page from The Virginia Housewife, 1846 Cookery…, 1947
    11. 11. HouseholdManagement& DomesticHistory
    12. 12. Race and KitchenPolitics
    13. 13. Gender Stereotypesand the DomesticSphere“There is no sincererlove than the love offood.” -George Bernard Shaw
    14. 14. Sidebar: Thecookbook as artifact
    15. 15. The Fourth Course, Or “Why Everyone Needs a Set of Meat Flash Cards”Education, Dietetics, and Nutrition
    16. 16. “Susie and Calcium” from the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and NutritionLiterature Archives. This is one of several booklets for children about theimportance of different vitamins in the diet.
    17. 17. 1961 National DairyCouncil pamphlet (thisis just about actualsize, by the way!) forwomen looking to lose(“Mrs. Plentiful”) andgain (“Miss Slender”)weight.
    18. 18. Know Your Cuts of Meat!
    19. 19. Know Your Cuts of Meat!
    20. 20. Know Your Cuts of Meat!
    21. 21. Die ÖsterreichischeHausfrau: Ein Handbuchfür Frauen und Mädchenaller Stände, AnnaBauer, 1891(The Austrian Housewife: AHandbook for Women andGirls of all Levels)
    22. 22. “Uncivilized man takes hisnourishment like animals,--as it is offered by nature;civilized man prepares hisfood before eating, and inways which are in generalthe more perfect the higherhis culture.” -Food and Cookeryfor the Sick andConvalescent, 1911
    23. 23. From Modern Dietetics (1951), when butter was a food group, and there was a lot to know about the egg!
    24. 24. The Fifth Course, Or “How Jell-O Found a Way Into Our Meals”Technology, Food Processing and Food (D)Evolution
    25. 25. “The agricultural revolution led to another major advancement in food preparation, helping to usher in the idea of cooking to improve taste. Up to that time, cooking was primarily used to make food digestible or to remove toxins, but after the advent of agriculture, cooking became less of a pure necessity and more of an art.” -Modernist CuisineCommercial spice grinder, c. 1898
    26. 26. New chicken brooders andincubators, c. 1900
    27. 27. “We may find in thelong run that tinnedfood is a deadlierweapon than themachine-gun.” -George Orwell
    28. 28. “Any woman with a little ingenuity or none at all canmake an almost endless variety of these fruited dessertsby changing their form or using different flavors of Jell-Oand different fruits.” (1917)
    29. 29. Marketing Jell-O took all kinds of forms from its early days in the 1890sto the modern era. Prior to 1940, however the most common seemed tobe small pamphlets that came attached to packages, were given away orcould be sent away for cheaply.
    30. 30. Modernist Cuisine offersinteresting newtechniques , plustheories about currentand future trends.
    31. 31. The Sixth Course, Or “When Will My Food (Resources) Be in Pill (Online) Form?”Access, Digitization, and the Future of the History of Food & Drink
    32. 32. After Dinner Cocktails (“Wait—Did she say cocktails?”) “Lives, without doubt, have been saved by the use of champagne.”Cocktails and the “Age of Entertaining”
    33. 33. 1940s Entertaining 101: Better Homes & Gardens
    34. 34. “The most attractivesalads are remarkablefor their simplicity.Salads should taste asgood as they look.”From the 1941 Better Homes andGardens Cookbook
    35. 35. There was somethingfor everyone in the“age of entertaining”:Fondue for teenparties…
    36. 36. Economical liverand onions withpineapple, tomato, and greenpeppers salad forfour,
    37. 37. A giant burgerfor dad and thekids,
    38. 38. Celery for themom on a diet,
    39. 39. And chicken-lesschicken dishes forthe perfect dinnerparty.
    40. 40. Introducing:The History ofthe American Cocktail
    41. 41. The Bacardi Cocktail Party Book, 1971
    42. 42. The Bacardi Cocktail Party Book, 1971
    43. 43. “Can I Get You Anything Else, Or Would You Like the Check?”Questions, Comments, or Recipe Requests are welcome!