Author Archives: William Rubel

A Fine Basic Madeleine Recipe from 1893

Who doesn’t love a madeleine?  The recipe I’ve used since I first bought the New Larousse Gastonomique (1977) is its recipe for plain madeleine.  that makes it almost 40 years since I bought the book new when it came out. What I like … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amanita Muscaria Toxicity and Vinegar Preserved Mushrooms

A look at an historic mushroom text. “In 1879 mushrooms were exported from Japan to the value of 243,440 yens. The yen is equal to 99.7 cents. Among the northeastern tribes of Asia fungi are largely used as food. One … Continue reading

Posted in Wild Mushrooms | Leave a comment

Zadock Steele, starving, eats too much bread.

Zadock Steele  was captured by Mohawk Indians allied with the British in a raid in Vermont in 1780. It was called the Royalton raid. Zadock was transferred to British custody and eventually escapes. Starving, he and a companion are taken … Continue reading

Posted in Common Reader | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Kitchen Gardens | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Hearth Cooking | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Bread | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Baking in a wood fired oven | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment