Dear readers far and wide,
It’s been a big year here at the Recipes Project. As 2015 draws to a close, it seems a right time to reflect a little on our joint research efforts. 2015 has been a year of exploration and expansion for The Recipe Project. The over 100 posts which we collectively penned this year showcase the place of recipes in contexts across the pre-modern global world and the myriad of innovative ways in which project members study and analyse these short texts. It has been amazing to be part of a virtual research community and to participate in conversations on such diverse topics as recipes in the classroom, beer, reconstruction, dung and gold!
As always, our editors and guest editors have treated us with a number of guest series. Carla Nappi continues to blog on her series ‘Translating Recipes’; Hillary Nunn and Rebecca Laroche remind us of the myriad of questions which one might ask a single manuscript source; historian and herbalist Ann Stobart explored the working of herbs; and and Sietske Fransen and Saskia Klerk have started a new series on ‘A Manuscript of Dutch Medicines’ which take us to the world of alchemy, books and medicine in the early modern Netherlands.
Laurence Totelin kicked off the 2015 thematic series with a month of posts on recipes in the ancient world, Amanda Herbert curated the annual September Teaching series and Amanda Moniz and her authors brought us stories from the cutting edge of food history in the wonderful series “Historical Recipes as Sources“. We are already working hard on commissioning special series for 2016 – so watch this space!
Before I go grab that mug of glühwein and some more of that hot roasted salmon brötchen at the Christmas market (Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, see photo below), I wanted to end my post with a round of congratulations and thank yous.
You might have noticed our new look this year and our new resources section (inc. the ever handy Zotero bibliography). For that, we should give a big hand to Lisa Smith and her student assistants Chelsea Clark and Erin Spinney.
Many of our contributors completed book projects this year, so if you have time over the holidays, check out Meredith Ray’s Daughters of Alchemy, Laurence Totelin’s Ancient Botany, Olivia Weisser’s Ill Composed or Marieke Hendriksen’s Elegant Anatomy. (Apologies if I missed anyone’s book, let me know and I’ll update the post).
This year, a record number of graduate students have contributed to the blog, sharing their research gems with our community and continually reminding us of the vibrancy of our field. This is a shout out to them – click here to see some of their work. Two of our regular graduate student contributors, Sally Osborn and Katherine Allen, received their PhD’s this year – so many CONGRATS!!
In other work-related news, two of the Recipes Project editorial team also moved jobs this year. Founder and co-editor, Lisa Smith is now Lecturer of Digital History at the University of Essex and our social media maven Laura Mitchell moved back to Toronto to join this cutting edge digital history initiative at the University of Toronto. Another editor, Amanda Herbert is currently the inaugural Molina Fellow in the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences at the Huntington Library working on her new project “Spa: Faith, Public Health, and Science“.
Finally, you might recall that The Recipes Project was nominated for the British Society for the History of Science inaugural Ayrton Prize for outstanding web projects and Digital Engagement. Well, alas we didn’t win (but many congratulations to the winners – the Voices of Science Project) but we did come second! Over the year, the site has seen more than half a million visits and we average around 15,000 unique readers a month. So, a huge thank you to everyone – our contributors, our readers, our twitter followers and more – for making 2015 such a wonderful year for recipe studies.
Now, recipe fans, let Mrs Beeton be your inspiration. It’s time to go back into that kitchen (or stillroom or your basement brewery) and test out some recipes over the holidays. The Recipes Project will be on break until January 5 when Carla Nappi will kick off the 2016 edition. In the meanwhile, don’t be shy, share those recipe stories on twitter!
Wishing you all a fantastic recipe-filled holiday,
Amanda, Elaine, Laura, Laurence and Lisa