I love the history of food. Finding out where it came from who used what to make it first. There are many a feud in the culinary world about who invented what and who served it first. Back in a previous post I talked about the origin of the S’more. I like to read old cook books like other people read Nicholas Spark Novels.
Cookbooks are part history, they tell a story of what society was like at the time they were written. What type of food was most desired and how the social customs of that time were incorporated. Think of the 1920’s Prohibition was in swing the war had ended the country was no longer under rationing. The era of Gatsby had ushered in opulent wealth and fine dining parties. The home refrigerator came into existence along with Wonder Bread, White Castle and The A &W Drive In. Packaged frozen foods for home cooks and a slew of candy bars and sweets along with the beverage 7 up. Reading a cookbook from any given era of the past is like uncovering a pharos tomb layer by layer and discovering that 3000 year old honey is still good to use.
I love this process of seeing the way things were and where we are going with food and entertaining. One of my most prized possessions is my Grandmothers recipe box.
It holds a treasure trove of our families food history. The photo above shows my first recipe that I ever shared with anyone written in my Grandmothers cursive. I do not know if she ever made the recipe but I do know she was proud to include it in her collection of recipes that date all the way back to the early 1900’s
The visit from my Mom has spurred conversation about some of the recipes she remembers my grandmother cooking for her as a child. Stories of the friends and relatives that had shared recipes with my Grandmother that she used regularly. We have had some laughs about our perception of disgusting gross ingredients that were used at a certain time in history yet seeing that there are many recipes made with these ingredients. We have marveled at how cooking has changed since my grandmother was young and on so many levels stayed exactly the same. My Grandmother would have been 106 this year. Take for instance the making of a deviled egg. Boil said egg, peel,cut in half remove yolk mix with mayonnaise , mustard, salt and pepper, top with chive , paprika or caper. You can find recipes for deviled eggs through out culinary history but they all are basically the same.
Over a bottle of wine a Board Party and Grandmas Recipes my Mom and I have chosen some old recipes to share with Tripping Vittles readers. The first Is the afore mentioned Board Party. It started with my grandparents and parents in the early 60’s you take a big cutting board and a cheese knife is all you really need. Get yourself some crusty french bread and your favorite crackers. arrange hunks of your favorite cheeses, slices of your favorite artesian meats add some fruit like apples or pears make some deviled eggs and some hummus and or a favorite dip arrange it all on your board and crack a bottle of wine or Champagne and enjoy! The great thing about a board party is it can travel to the tailgate of a pick up truck or the side of a ski slope. It is great next to a fire pit or fireplace. Ever since I was a child this has been our Christmas Eve nourishment while we opened presents.
I look forward to sharing some old family recipes and their history with you along with recipes from some of my old cookbooks and the history that they enclose.