Author Archives: Jon Townsend

Grocer Advertisement from Boston 1732

It can be hard at times to fathom just exactly what and what was not commonly available to folks in the North American colonies during the 18th century, but we do have some written accounts that can help.   Here is … Continue reading

Posted in Ingredients | 6 Comments

Pan Perdu (or as we call it “French Toast”)

Who doesn’t like a nice big plate of French Toast? For me it brings back fond childhood memories of Saturday mornings — usually during the holidays when no one seemed to be in a hurry to change out of our … Continue reading

Posted in Baking, Bread, Recipe, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Simple Biscuits Recipe

April of 2012 we did an episode on 18th century simple biscuits — a wonderful little snack that is somewhere between our modern day cookie and cracker. Here is the recipe from “The Compleat Housewife” by Eliza Smith 1758 Our … Continue reading

Posted in Recipe, Video | 5 Comments

Making Yeast as Practised at Edinburgh

Here is one of the examples of making yeast in the 18th century where they prepare a batch of flour with some boiled hops, then a small batch of barm is added which turns into a large batch of leaven.  … Continue reading

Posted in Bread | 5 Comments

Of Buttermilk and Bread

Buttermilk in the 18th century was different from what is typically available in grocery stores today. It was the dairy by-product left over from the churning of butter. The terms “buttermilk” and  “whey” were interchangeably in many texts and period … Continue reading

Posted in Bread | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Wild Yeast Cultures from the 18th Century

In our 18th Century cooking episode on “Which Yeast” we mentioned several instances of wild yeast cultivation in the late 18th century.  Here is one dating from 1800.  Notice that the author needs to explain this process as if it … Continue reading

Posted in Bread | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Welcome to the New Blog!

Welcome to our blog, The purpose of this blog is to open dialog with readers and to share insights regarding the history of food. Food is a universal connection between people of differing cultures, locations, and ages. It’s easy … Continue reading

Posted in Video | 16 Comments