Here in the southeastern US, the summer weather is sweltering, and it seemed like the perfect time to dig into the Recipes Project Archives for some posts on how best to survive the hottest (northern hemisphere) months of the year.
I’ll start with Sally Osborn’s post about how to make your own ice house. In the eighteenth century, fashionable women and men created these structures in order to provide their households with ice centerpieces and ice cream year-round. If only I’d thought to start this project over the winter…
Many of our authors have written posts about swimming and bathing. Colleen Kennedy explored scented baths in the Renaissance in two posts, “Dipping Your Toes,” and “A Sweet Bath.” Katherine Allen wrote of floating in the pools at Bath in her post on eighteenth-century spas.
Gardening, another popular summer activity, has also been a central theme for many of our authors. Daniel Trambaiolo discussed the cultivation of ginseng in his post on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century East Asian herbal tradition. Jane Draycott talked about Cato’s ancient-world flower gardens in her recent “Flower Power” post. In one of the Recipe Project’s earliest posts, from 2012, Helen King discussed the ways that red plants were used to cure the green sickness. And if you find yourself slapping at summer insects in the garden, I can recommend Stefanie Gänger’s post on Medicine and Malaria in Late-Colonial Lima, which will help to put any modern mosquito troubles in perspective.
Best wishes to all of you for cool breezes, shady green spaces, and lots of ice cream.