In conjunction with the Culinary Historians of New York,
the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden presents
What We Can Learn from Manuscript Cookbooks?
with Stephen Schmidt
Thursday, November 13
Time: 6:30 pm Check-in and reception | 7:00 pm Lecture
From the middle of the 16th Century to the beginning of the 20th, English-speaking women (and a few men) compiled recipe collections in bound notebooks. These manuscript cookbooks hold a wealth of information absent from most printed cookbooks, such as clever shortcuts, ingredient substitutions, the types of meals at which dishes were served, and fashionable ways of presenting dishes. Steven Schmidt will discuss how reading manuscript cookbooks can give us insights into food trends, styles, and practices of the past. His talk will discuss the many fascinating things to be learned from manuscript cookbooks and the complicated relationship between them and printed cookbooks. A festive sampling of old English and American dishes will be served, including a cheese casserole, a mixed vegetable tart, and a celebratory yeast-raised “great cake” weighing twenty pounds.
Stephen Schmidt is the principal writer and researcher for the Manuscript Cookbooks Survey, a website featuring a database of pre-1865 English-language manuscript cookbooks held in U.S. libraries and other institutions. The project is supported by the Pine Tree Foundation of New York.