history of American women through food

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Joined Jul 3, 2002
I subscribe to a daily e-mail service from Powells Bookstore in Portland, Oregon that features a different book title every day based on reader recommendations. Today's book sounds really interesting. It's A Thousand Years over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women by Laura Schenone. There's a publisher's description of the book at Powells site here: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/bibli...7-0393016714-0

Has anyone seen it yet? How is it?

I am a little confused though: a thousand years? American women?
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2004
From the review: (highlighting mine) So I guess Schenone means the thousand years literally, but perhaps not the hot stove. I would be very interested in seeing her sources for these earlier recipes, especially if she gleans recipes from groups with an oral, but no written tradition. How does one know a recipe is an accurate depiction of a thousand-year-old dish, and not instead the "new and improved" version only a few generations old?
 
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Joined Jul 3, 2002
OK, so I just skimmed the review :eek: . Thanks Grapefruit Moon. You've solved my non-mystery :D . And your point about Schenone's sources is well-taken. If I get a chance this weekend, I'll see if I can scare up a copy and take a look at her citations. I still think the idea for the project is excellent, but the amount of time covered seems a bit ambitious even for 400 pages.
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2004
I was thinking about this...one could certainly infer a great deal about the menu from archeological data (all the best data come from garbage dumps, it seems); what plants and animals were used, a (very rough) estimate of some proportions, an idea of what sort of cooking was done based on broken implements. I suppose once one had the basic list of ingredients and techniques (to the extent possible), it might be a simple matter of experimenting to see what tastes good.

I would be very interested in seeing how such recipes (if they are in the form of recipes) were deduced; historiography can be fascinating!
 
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