The Seven Kinds of Catsup (Ketchup) You’ll Meet in a 19th Century Cookbook

Mushroom Catsup (Ketchup) Ad from Mrs Beeton's book of household management

As I’ve discussed before, in the olden days, catsup/ketchup was about much more than tomatoes. Cookbooks from the 18th and 19th century are ripe with recipes for catsup/ketchup that contain ingredients that are decidedly non-ketchup ingredients, like walnuts, anchovies, and oysters. In the early 19th century cookbook The Cook’s Oracle, author William Kitchiner shares seven […]

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Van Gogh’s Olive Tree Paintings

Olive Grove - Vincent Van Gogh (1889) from Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of my blogging hobbies (“blobbies”?) is using CC Search from Creative Commons and the Flickr Commons to look up images connected to my blogging. Most recently, the search term was olives. Olives were on my mind after a visits to an olive grove and olive oil processing facility. Not surprisingly, I found a handful of advertisements […]

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Sacramento Murals: A City’s Stunning Surfaces (Gallery)

Detail of Maverique Style House mural, I Street between 20th and 21st. Portrait by Love Ponci, other features by Meme, Reds, and Beth Emmerich

(Disclosure: I received a discount on the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) registration fee in exchange for writing three posts about my experiences at the conference.) It was a long hot drive to Sacramento for the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) — a searing 95 F and increasing traffic intensity as I reached the city’s outskirts. Construction and […]

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Decorative Letters In 1880s-Era Good Housekeeping Magazine

Decorative letter W from 1889 Good Housekeeping

Before magazine designers and editors could use lots of photos to enliven their pages, they needed other methods.  In the late 19th Century, Good Housekeeping used decorative initials at the start of each article. Unlike typical initials, these weren’t simply larger or more ornate, but were creative depictions of letters that related to the magazine’s themes, […]

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