Wow! Too cool.
We have a modest collection of cookbooks, both old and modern, as well as secondary resources related to the topic 18th century cooking here in my office. I appreciate being able to read other people’s interpretations of the old recipes, to see how my conclusions line up with collective wisdom. I have my favorites: Karen Hess’s epic annotative work, for instance, titled Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery, and C. Anne Wilson’s classic, Food and Drink in Britain. The Oxford Companion to Food and even the Oxford English Dictionary have also proven on multiple occasions to be invaluable sources of information.
When it comes to research, however, my greater joy and satisfaction comes from the challenge of searching through and deciphering the original texts. Primary research can be difficult. If you’ve attempted it before, you know the biggest challenge is usually access. Most of the books in which I’m most interested are locked away in climate-controlled vaults…
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