Sign Up

To receive our monthly eNews as well as event notices and other updates, just enter your email address.

   Please leave this field empty
  

Stay Connected
to NYAM

Take a moment to learn more about NYAM's activities and events.

Stephen Schmidt Delivers 2013 Friends of the Rare Book Room Lecture on Manuscript Cookbooks

On May 23, 2013, NYAM welcomed cookbook author and food historian Stephen Schmidt to deliver the 2013 Friends of the Rare Book Room Lecture on “The Best Cake in the World: What Manuscript Cookbooks Tell Us that Printed Cookbooks Don't.”

From roughly 1600 to 1900, Mr. Schmidt explained, many women (and a few men) in the English-speaking world compiled personal recipe collections in bound notebooks. These manuscript cookbooks contain a wealth of information absent from most printed cookbooks: where and from whom the recipes were collected; nonstandard but possibly common ways of substituting expensive or rare ingredients or circumventing tricky or time-consuming techniques; the type of cooking vessel or the size, shape, and number of baking pans used in the preparation of recipes; the management of the fire or oven; the contexts in which dishes were served and the ways in which they were presented at table. Mr. Schmidt explained that sometimes manuscript cookbooks can also tell us which dishes were truly popular and regularly eaten in a period, although in the past, as today, many more recipes were collected than were actually ever made.

Mr. Schmidt’s lecture addressed the pleasure and profit to be gained from studying manuscript cookbooks and also touched on the complicated relationship between these documents and printed cookbooks. Examples of manuscript recipe books and related printed cookbooks from NYAM's rare book collection were on display for attendees to see.

Stephen Schmidt is the principal researcher and writer for The Manuscript Cookbooks Survey, an online survey of pre-1865 English-language manuscript cookbooks held in U.S. libraries and other institutions, and is also a personal chef and cooking teacher in New York City, where he lives. He is the author of Master Recipes, a 940-page general-purpose cookbook, was an editor of and a principal contributor to the 1997 and 2006 editions of Joy of Cooking, has contributed to The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink and Dictionnaire Universel du Pain, and has written for Cook's Illustrated magazine and many other publications. He is currently working on Lemon Pudding, Watermelon Cake, and Miracle Pie, a history of American home dessert with recipes.

The Friends of the Rare Book Room is a special group of contributors who for 60 years have supported public programs in the history of medicine, the acquisition and cataloging of historical scholarly material, and activities that make the Drs. Bobbi and Barry Coller Rare Book Reading Room a center for scholarship in the history of medicine and public health and for the study of books and printing.

To become a Friend of the Rare Book Room, please click here.

 Print   Subscribe

 

Posted on May 28, 2013

Contact:
Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285
gravosa@nyam.org

 

More NYAM News Articles

Contact NYAM Experts

Reporters: to arrange interviews with NYAM medical and urban health experts, contact
Gina Ravosa, Director of Marketing & Communications

(212) 822-7285 / gravosa@nyam.org

NYAM Report - Resilient Communities: Empowering Older Adults in Disasters in Daily Life

Drawing on the lessons of Superstorm Sandy, a new report from The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), “Resilient Communities: Empowering Older Adults in Disasters and Daily Life,” presents an innovative set of recommendations to strengthen and connect formal and informal support systems to keep older adults safe during future disasters.

View report»

View news story»

NYAM Report - Achieving the Triple Aim in New York State: The Potential Role of Hospital Community Benefit

A new issue brief from NYAM, “Achieving the Triple Aim in New York State: the Potential Role of Hospital Community Benefit,” is the first in a series related to promoting a better understanding of Community Benefit in New York State and how it can advance population health.

NYAM commissioned an analysis of hospital community benefit investments by New York State hospitals. The new issue brief analyzes the reported expenditures of NYS hospitals in the categories of the IRS Schedule H report.

Read press release

Read report

More NYAM publications »

Powered by Convio
nonprofit software