Anita’s famous tomato chutney

By popular demand, here is the recipe for my famous tomato chutney.  It is somewhat modified from Madhur Jaffrey, An Invitation to Indian Cooking: Sweet and spicy tomato chutney 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (yes, a whole head) a piece of fresh ginger, 2 in long, 1 in thick, 1 in wide, …

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Sup on a Syllabub

I cannot resist this post from the National Library of Medicine’s excellent blog, Circulating Now.

Circulating Now from the NLM Historical Collections

By Anne Rothfeld

Caricature of food consumption; two men and a woman eating ice cream.Les Mangeurs de Glaces, 1825
NLM #A021418

Want an intriguing dessert from the past to satisfy your present day holiday palate? Serve the syllabub: a cream-based treat, mixed with sweet wine and lemon juice, then whipped with cream until frothy, and garnished with a seasonal herb. The acids, which rise from the lemons to firm the cream, then separate from the wine, which sinks into a two-part delectable sweet course. Syllabub, wine mixed with well-whisked cream, originates from the name Sille, a wine-growing region in France known for its sweet wine, and bub, an English slang word for a bubbling drink.

Eighteenth-century English cooks whisked syllabubs into a froth then placed the mixture into a pot to separate. Next, the mixture was spooned through a fine sieve to drain, oftentimes overnight. Before serving to guests, the creamy foam was topped with a splash of…

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More on GMOs

25 May 2015 An update: the Benton County anti-GMO ballot measure 2-89 went down to a resounding defeat in last week's election: you can read an account in the Corvallis newspaper here.  It was not clear to voters that the measure would not ban genetically-related research at Oregon State University (its language indicated a blanket …

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“Can Cookery,” 1928

28 January 2015 At Powell’s the other day, I picked up a pamphlet-style cookbook from 1928 called The Book of Can Cookery, published by Woman’s World magazine. Not to be confused with the modern tabloid magazine of the same name, this Woman’s World began in the late 19th century and ceased publication in 1940. It …

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Why fierce animals are fierce

The eighteenth-century Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738) wrote many books, but among his most famous were his Aphorisms and his Materia medica, both of which were translated and reprinted throughout the century.  They distilled the conventional wisdom of the day and added Boerhaave's own astute observations.  The following observations from Materia medica follow a logic we …

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Playing Chicken

Back in 2012, the US Department of Agriculture proposed new regulations for processing chickens.  These included speeding up the processing line from 140 birds a minute to 175 birds a minute.  At the same time, the number of federal inspectors would be reduced.  This head-scratching equation would supposedly save money and allow inspectors to pay …

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Faith in Foie

Paris, 4 December The first world anti-foie gras day was a few weeks ago, on November 21.  It was not noted by any French newspaper that I could find.  Yet there was a demonstration in front of Fouquet’s, a renowned (and very high-end) restaurant on the Champs-Elysées, that attracted around fifty people.  The animal rights …

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“Allez, allez, allez!”

Marseille, October 27.  Bougainville, end of the metro line, past stations named for colonial heroes, socialists, and Desirée Clary, who was once Napoleon’s fiancée.  In the far north end of Marseille, an area of car dealers, oil pressers, shabby apartments and even more graffiti than the rest of city, is Les Puces, the flea market.  …

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The Ghastly Kitchen

Next month, I'll be giving a talk at the International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ICHSTM) in Manchester, UK.  I recently blogged about it on the conference blog: In 1865, the physiologist Claude Bernard described the life sciences as “a superb and dazzlingly lighted hall which may be reached only by passing …

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