01 May 2021

Onion Love

Q. What are the superstitions that link romance and onions of all things? . A. It’s not everyday that one draws a natural link between romance and onions. As Jonathan Swift wrote in his poem ‘Onions’: … ‘For this is every cook’s opinion, No savoury dish without an onion; But,

03 Apr 2021

Creme Eggs: Yes Or No?

Q.  It’s time. The Easter Bunnies are starching their bowties and dusting their baskets. Question is: will you be glad to receive a yellow-yolked, chocolate creme egg? Yes or No? . A. We’ll start by admitting that we are unabashedly, pass the purple foil, ready the sweetest buds: Yes. But,

24 Feb 2021

Drinking Toast

Q. Was or, gasp, is there such a thing as toast water? . A. One thing is clear: toast water is all over Victorian to early 20th Century recipe and potion books. Albert A. Hopkins starts our toast post with his 1919 guide: ‘Home Made Beverages. The Manufacture of Non-Alcoholic and

04 Feb 2021

Hot Chocolate. Or is it Cocoa?

Q. It’s chilly at night; we’re bundled up in our houses. If ever there was a time for hot chocolate.. or is it cocoa? What’s the difference? . A. While both can be deliciously warming, hot cocoa is made from ground, roasted cocoa beans with sugar, while hot chocolate is

13 Jan 2021

The Good Luck Bagel

Q. What are some of the many superstitions people have that involve bread? . A. Well, I’ll start with a personal experience … If there was a theme to be put on our wedding troasts, it would be my lifetime of klutzy mishaps, and my mountain-biking husband’s extreme neatness. “Liz,”

06 Jan 2021

The Foods They Craved

Q. Which foods have bewitched well-known historical figures? . A. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s wrote mounds of  letters – to his wife ‘Stanzi’, to friends, to family. Amongst all the interesting details, we get a keen peek into appetites of the day. One meal that Mozart craved from a young age?

23 Dec 2020

The Mystery of Mince Pie

Q. So, what exactly are mince or mincemeat pies? Plenty of people who have eaten them at holiday parties aren’t so sure. . A. We see mince pies featured in multi-layer meaning nursery rhymes: Little Jack Horner Sat in a corner, Eating a mincemeat (or Christmas) pie He stuck in

07 Dec 2020

Literary Love Potions

Q. What are the ingredients in some famous literary love potions and how do things work out post-ingestion? . A. Short answer: herbs, flowers, hard to find nature bits. And, not well. One-way love potion are Illegal, of course. But even those literary couples who decide to drink love potions

14 Nov 2020

Most Romantic Food

Q. Which types of food do people see as most romantic? . A. Well, thanks to Betty Crocker’s  Dinner for Two Cookbook, we know what a romantic dinner looked like in 1958 North America. ‘Thousands of homemakers’ revealed their go-to dishes. Betty Crocker Romance i. Broiled steak ii. Roast beef

19 Oct 2020

Worst Halloween Candy

Q. “Trick or treat!” With each new open door came chatty adults – some beghouled – and new household noises, smells, and Halloween lighting. If we were lucky, friendly dogs would come bounding up to meet us. But, one key question remained: what would these strangers drop in our goodie