Teaching Recipes: A September Series (Vol. II)

Students in a "Domestic Science" course, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce Ohio (1915).  Image courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. "Domestic Science class." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 12, 2015. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-f3af-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
College students in a “Domestic Science” course, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce Ohio (1915). Image courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. “Domestic Science class.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 12, 2015. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-f3af-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

A year ago this month, we ran a special series at The Recipes Project, highlighting the ways that recipes could be used to teach students of all kinds – primary, secondary, graduate, and postgraduate – about the lives and experiences of people in the past. The series proved to be so popular that we were determined to do it again, and now we’re proud to present another slate of posts about recipes in the classroom. During the entire month of September, we’ll be featuring posts about all of the innovative and engaging work that our Recipes Project educators are doing in using recipes as pedagogical tools.

This year we’re highlighting culinary history. Bringing food and drink into the classroom is almost always popular with students (no matter how old they are!) but managing the mechanics as well as the messages of these lessons can be challenging. Our authors are going to share their insights about the most effective ways to teach about historic cookbooks, ingredients, foodways, and methods of cultivation and production. We’ll start the month with a post by food historian Ken Albala, who will talk about his experiences in teaching hearth- and open-fire cooking. If you’re not quite ready to kindle flame in your own classroom, we have plenty of other posts for you to try: Erika Rappaport will discuss education, empire, and her use of “Mrs. Beeton’s Mango Chetney”; and Ben Wurgraft will share his thoughts about the ways that recipes can convey information to students.  We’ll also learn about the ways to use recipes as teaching tools in very large classes – David Fouser writes about teaching recipes in the Western Civ survey – and also in smaller, more intimate groups – such as Jennifer Munroe’s use of recipes in an Attending to Early Modern Women seminar. We’re especially pleased to feature two posts by two authors who taught recipes to primary- and secondary-school students: Evelien Bracke (who will talk about her “Technologies of Daily Life” program in Wales) and Carla Cevasco (who is writing about an American high school “Teach-In”).

As many of us are busy preparing syllabi and lesson plans for the upcoming academic year, we hope that the series will be timely. Twice each week, you’ll be able to glean information about the best ways to bring recipes to your classrooms, lecture halls, seminar tables, and conference sites. And let us know what you think! We’re very eager to learn about your own work in teaching recipes.


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