books, childhood, history lesson, little house on the prairie, winter

Scarlet fever and other Little House stories

We're battening down the hatches here in Rhode Island: there's a blizzard on the way! Josh and I both have a snow day (it never gets old), and we're planning on waiting out the storm with movies, books, and cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.Winter storms always make me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long… Continue reading Scarlet fever and other Little House stories

american frugal housewife, health, history lesson, homesteading, medicine, oregon trail

Old-fashioned remedies for everyday illnesses

hyssopFor the past week I've been battling a stubborn cold, drinking gallons of tea and piling up the tissues like Typhoid Mary.* Apparently it's impossible to avoid being sick when you work with middle school children, and all the more impossible when those students like to hang out with the toddlers on their snack break.… Continue reading Old-fashioned remedies for everyday illnesses

baking, fall, history lesson, holidays

The "First" Thanksgiving (III)

Last week we looked at some of the myths surrounding the original Thanksgiving. We've explored how the Pilgrims were not, in fact, Pilgrims, and how the First Thanksgiving wasn't the homey, pastoral scene we're taught in school. Today we'll look at the final piece of the puzzle: the idea that the Native Americans and the English… Continue reading The "First" Thanksgiving (III)

britain, history lesson, holidays, movies, vegetables

The "First" Thanksgiving (I)

With Thanksgiving little more than a week away, I've had cooking on the brain. No wonder--it's the only national holiday entirely devoted to food (plus, well, giving thanks). Is there anything more wonderful? I decided to honor the holiday by investigating its historic roots.(And, as you know, I can't leave well enough alone.)The results were… Continue reading The "First" Thanksgiving (I)

britain, dining at downton, edwardians, escoffier, history lesson, mrs beeton's book of household management

History 101: Downton Abbey

While Downton Abbey is purely fiction (in all its soap operatic glory), it's based largely on fact. Julian Fellowes, the creator of the show, is known for writing well-researched films set in earlier days of the British Empire (like Gosford Park, one of my sister's favorite movies). Downton Abbey is no different. That intrigue and scandal is… Continue reading History 101: Downton Abbey

adventure, books, cheese, dessert, fall, grains, history lesson, holidays, meat, vegetables

This meal brought to you by Christopher Columbus

Ah, Columbus Day. I'm not sure there's any other secular holiday more filled with angst and mixed feelings than this one.When I was little, we learned the basics of Columbus Day. We sang that catchy song, the one that goes, "In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..." and read picture books about… Continue reading This meal brought to you by Christopher Columbus

books, health, history lesson, michael pollan, settlement cookbook

Nutrition, 1903 style (II)

Yesterday I posted some of my fan-girl thoughts on Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and presented a nutritional table from The "Settlement" Cook Book. Now I'd like to think about what this 1903 table has to do with our eating habits today.The interesting thing about The "Settlement" Cook Book is that it's just the beginning of nutritionism,… Continue reading Nutrition, 1903 style (II)

books, health, history lesson, michael pollan, settlement cookbook

Nutrition, 1903 style (I)

Now that we've gotten comfortable with the sorts of recipes available in The "Settlement" Cook Book, I'd like to take a look at the book's attitude towards food. Before this project (and before I did some serious thinking about food and health), I hadn't thought much about the different ways a person could view food.… Continue reading Nutrition, 1903 style (I)