Author: laurencetotelin

Tales from the archives: Green sickness, red plants

In September, The Recipes Project celebrated its fourth birthday. We now have over 470 posts in our archives and over 117 pages for readers to sift through. That’s a lot of material! (And thank you so much to our contributors for sharing such a wealth of knowledge on recipes.) But…

Scenes from an Anglo-Norman Kitchen, Part 2: Vegetables Cures and a Drunken Cook

By Winston Black, Assumption College In my last post, I introduced the twelfth-century verse herbal of Henry of Huntingdon, Anglicanus Ortus (“The English Garden”). This work is mostly medical in nature, but one poem on the medicinal uses of parsley also contains two culinary recipes for savory green sauces used on…

How to Tend an EMPS Garden

By Nadia Clifton and Breanne Weber In October 2015, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started the Early Modern Paleography Society. Our faculty mentor, Dr. Jen Munroe, recently wrote a post for the Recipes Project about our founding, which inspired us to reflect on…

Masdevall’s ‘Antipyretic Opiate’, or: A Well-Travelled Recipe

By Stefanie Gänger In the late 1700s and early 1800s, not only were medicinal substances exchanged across large distances along the veins of global trade, proselytizing, and imperialism, so too were recipes – practices and discourses about how to prepare or arrange substances, render them palatable, or more ‘effective’. A case…

Transmission of drug knowledge in medieval China: A case of Gelsemium

By Yan Liu One striking feature of classical Chinese pharmacology is the abundant use of toxic substances. Prominent examples are aconite, arsenic, and bezoar. Fully aware of the toxicity, or du, of these materials, Chinese doctors developed a variety of methods to prepare and deploy them for therapy. How was…

The coral and the seal: an ancient amulet against all ills

By Laurence Totelin In a recent post, Sietske Fransen and Saskia Klerk introduced a seventeenth-century recipe whose main ingredient was red coral. That ingredient has made several other apparitions in The Recipes Project posts (see here, here, and here). Perhaps it is time it took centre stage. For coral is…

Local recipes for local people: Reading recipes in the classroom (and the pub!)

By Lucy-Anne Judd As a PhD researcher exploring regional examples of recipe manuscripts in the local archives, I was thrilled when two opportunities to talk about my research with two very different local audiences recently arose. The first, for the wonderful Nottingham PubhD audience, and the other, in a nearby…

Temporality in John Dauntesey’s Recipe book (1652-1683)

by Melissa Schultheis In May and June of this year, I had the opportunity to research recipe books and midwifery manuals at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. One manuscript, inscribed “John Dauntesey 1652,” contains several manuscript copies of printed medical texts, including information on gynecology and alchemy, along with…

Wormy beer and wet nursing in the Roman Empire

As pointed out by Elaine Leong in a recent post, beer is a favourite topic at The Recipes Project. As a Belgian, I felt I should perhaps add something to the subject. As a classicist, however, I rarely encounter beer. Famously, the Greeks and Romans were wine drinkers, and considered…

The funeral of Mrs Potato: a round-up of World War I recipes

A few days ago, while visiting the exposition ’14-18 – it’s our history’ at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, Belgium, one document particularly caught my attention: an obituary notice for the passing … Continue reading →

The funeral of Mrs Potato: a round-up of World War I recipes

A few days ago, while visiting the exposition ’14-18 – it’s our history’ at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, Belgium, one document particularly caught my attention: an obituary notice for the passing … Continue reading →

Say – horse – cheese

By Laurence Totelin Last time I blogged for the Recipes Project, I talked about mares. I’d like today to return to mares, their milk and the cheese made with it. These were not delicacies that the Greeks and Romans themselves … Continue reading →

Horse love pills

  By Laurence Totelin In the seventh century BCE, Semonides of Amorgos wrote his now infamous poem on the races of women, each one worse than the next. The mare-woman is perhaps my favourite, the ultimate high-maintenance lady: Another type a … Continue reading →    

Cold, dry and bald

  By Laurence Totelin A few months ago, I read with fascination – and surprise – a post by Jennifer Evans on the treatment of baldness in the early modern period. According to one of her sources (William Drage, a physician and … Continue reading →    

Garlic and fertility testing in the Greek world

  By Laurence Totelin In my last blog post, I discussed some ancient gender tests. This month, I turn to Greek fertility tests. In the Greek world, women only entered full womanhood upon conception and delivery of a child, preferably a … Continue reading →    

Gender Testing in Antiquity

By Laurence Totelin In my last post for this blog, I examined the role of rennet (in particular, seal’s rennet) in Greek and Roman medicine. As it often happens in research – or at least in mine – once I … Continue reading →