Author Archives: William Rubel

The History of the Garden Dandelion

Firstly, I love dandelion. It is one of the most delicious vegetables. Why dandelion is not a standard on the grocery shelf along with other tiller weeds, like lettuce, chicory, and cabbage is difficult for me to understand. But, there … Continue reading

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Flour Mills on the Seine, Paris

This is an eighteenth-century print of a flour mill floating on the Seine with Notre Dame in the background. Until well into the nineteenth century mills were attached  bridges that crossed the Seine and smaller mills, like the one in … Continue reading

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Cooking a Road-kill Raccoon

This is the first time I have skinned and butchered road kill. Yes, I was apprehensive. But the raccoon was young, small by raccoon standards, had no visible injuries from having been hit and was clearly  healthy. I looked up … Continue reading

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Yeasted Bread and Good Health

A wonderful massively interesting trade card for Warner’s Safe Yeast circa 1885-1890. To this day, companies sell products by creating fear and then offering a solution. This ad falls squarely in the fear mongering tradition. It would not have seemed … Continue reading

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Flatbread with Olive Oil

I was at an event the other night at the California Academy of Sciences. Cocktail party talk. In that context I was asked what I am so often asked, “What is your favorite bread.” It sounds flip, but it is true. My favorite bread is the most recent one I’ve made. Continue reading

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Early Modern Kitchen Garden References

This post provides references to three works mentioned in my talk to the Farm to Table  New Orleans International Symposium, August 204, 2013. If you attended my talk I do encourage you to write to me with questions and comments. … Continue reading

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Making Cake from Bread Dough circa 1880

I’ve been reading the bread section from The Thrift Book: A Cyclopaedia of Cottage Management, a British book published in the 1880s. It is interesting for being written during a transitional period in home baking when bakers were shifting to tinned breads. … Continue reading

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Planting Wild Dandelions

I have been growing dandelions in my garden for many years. Where I live in Northern California they are green all year. When they are watered and cared for the plants produce big luscious leaves. I rarely include them in … Continue reading

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Spit Roast Bread — The Kneaded Loaf of 1823

Today, as part of my work on the glossary section of the history of bread I’m writing for UC Press, I have been researching the British Northern dialect term knodden cake, and its Standard English parallel, kneaded cake. I’m still … Continue reading

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Writing a History of Bread for UC Press!

I would like to announce that I am now under contract with UC Press for a comprehensive history of bread. This work work, due in October 2016, expands on the history I wrote for Reaktion Books, Bread: A Global History … Continue reading

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