History and cooking are two of my main interests, and I’ve been fascinated for years with the history of cooking.  When I was about 14 a family friend gave me a collection of historical recipes published by the British Museum; my next acquisition, picked up during my undergrad career as a Classical Archaeology major, was a 1950s translation of Apicius’s ancient Roman De Re Coquinaria.  Within a few years I found my stack of cookbooks expanding in size and scope and definitely taking on “collection” form.  I rescued a volume of 70s casserole recipes from a roommate’s Salvation Army box, began scouring thrift stores for kitschy cookbooks and photocopying the family sauce formulas in my mom’s recipe box.

This collection, however, was gathering dust on my shelves: I tended to buy these books, flip through and marvel at black & white plates depicting aspics and roasts, and then forget about them.  On occasion I’d find a recipe I thought I’d like to try…but I usually got distracted by colorful, easy-to-use Martha Stewart Cookie/Cupcake books.

Eventually, I decided this must stop: I will dig back into the culinary past to look for recipe gems and curiosities, and I will document my efforts here.  I’m not Julie Powell – I’m not setting this up as a challenge.  Think of me rather as a Cookbook Indiana Jones scouring the strata of my shelves in search of any number of Holy Grails: the best refrigerator cookies from the 50s, new flavor combos from Ancient Rome, esoteric country-style forcemeats.

To get in touch: celia@cookbookarchaeology.com

Some Press:

SaveurFinalist, 2011 Best Food Blog Awards (for “Best Cook-Through”)

Life Lift: The Oprah Blog – Sweet and Savory Rhubarb Jam featured in “6 New Ways to Use Rhubarb”

Foodista – Tzatziki featured in “Cool as a Cucumber: 10 Ways to Beat the Heat”

Foodbeast – Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Curbly: DIY Design – Modern Art Cupcakes

Food2Share – Regular guest