Tag Archives: Adelma Grenier Simmons

#ShakespeareSunday

Today is the last day of a yearlong celebration celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare – #BardYear.

Title_page_William_Shakespeare's_First_Folio_1623

First Folio

April 23rd 1616 is the day he died. It might also be the day he was born. We have his baptismal date, so we know he was born by when. But funerals are a bigger deal, celebration wise, in the 17th century then births (infants are considered to be lumps of flesh in search of their humanity; if you live to adulthood, you’re a person).

A quick run through of a few, very few selected Shakespeare and food books:

Shakeontoast

Last one read, first one mentioned – Shakespeare on Toast

I need to find out what the English “on toast” reference is, but it was well written, fast paced and enormously entertaining and informative   (words that belong together especially when dealing with Shakespeare). Not about food, how to read Shakespeare (aloud – they’re plays, not novels!) and other tips, tricks and insights.

And to continue the reverse chronological order in which I’ve read/ discovered them….

Shakescookbook

The Shakespeare Cookbook. Andrew Dalby and Maureen Dalby.The British Museum Press: 2012.

Lovely illustrations from the British Museum collection, like 17th century fruit trenchers…and lots more. Great food, too and adaptations.

fruit trencher BM

Fruit trencher or roundel from the 17th century- not just any wooden plate! from the British Museum

Shakespeare, not Stirred. Cocktails for Everyday Dramas. Caroline Bick, PhD, and Michelle Ephriam, PhD. Perigee Books: NY 2015.

shakesnotstirred

Quite possibly the most fun of the bunch…. Shall I Campari to a Summer’s Day?….Oh, yes!

Shakespeare’s Kitchen. Francine Sagen. Random House NY 2003.

Shakeskitchen

The photo’s in this are lovely and the recipes work extremely well in a modern kitchen, even if one or two are so adapted as to be unrecognizable from their Shakespeare time form….if you like good food, cook it all; if you want good history, cook the ones with period recipe mentioned….

dining with shakesespare

Dining With William Shakespeare. Marge Lorwin. Atheneum: NY 1976. has been part of my life for decades…it was my introduction to food in the time of Pilgrims, and the scholarships – and readability –  have help up well through the decades. I always find something new when I go back.

shakesplantssimmons

Plants of Shakespeare. Adelma Grenier Simmons.   1987. Caprilands Coventry Conn.

I got this little book when I visited Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry Connecticut in the early ’80’s….might be time for a field trip….

Adelma_at_Hilltop

 

 

and this, too!

Shakesflowers

 

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Leading by a nose…..

Herbal Inspirations.

This is the time of year that the garden is just bursting….

and it’s cool enough to want to eat it all!

cuke3

cool as a cucumber – they don’t even realize that their days are numbered

 

Thyme, ready to hang up and dry

Thyme, ready to hang up and dry

oregano

oregano

Basil

Basil

This time of year just plain smells good!

Herbs in the Kitchen was one of the earliest herbal reference book I bought.Herbs in the Kitchen I’m pretty sure I got it from the Paperback Booksmith in Hanover Mall, in either ‘75 or ‘76. It was one of the standards.  I still love it, and get inspired every time I read it.

My modern herbal library- not to be confused with my early modern herbal library – has grown since then.

Helen Morganthau Fox, gardening with herbsMrs Grieve, modern herbal

Eleanour Sinclair Rohde  ESR a garden of herbs I’ve read them and studied and collected all.

AGSAdelma Grenier Simmons inspired trips to Caprilands in Connetitcuct and I was able to attend several of her lectures and workshops, as well as collect her books;

Jeanne Rose’s Herbs and Things, herbsthingsnew_smallwhich nicely bridges the centuries of herbal lore;

Susan Wittag Albert and the China Bayles series. China Bayles even has her own book of herbal days, China Bayles Book of Days. China Bayles Book of DaysYes, a fictional herb guru has her own book!

Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger have written together and separately….

This is a together one

This is a together one

But it’s only recently that herbs and other things you eat that come from the garden can be equal (ish) partners between the covers.

Vegetable Literacy Deborah Madison has her chapters based on plant families…..it’s very different kind of organizing and makes a whole lot of sense. This is from her blog

‘Vegetable Literacy’ is centered on 12 plant families and how they meet in the kitchen. It’s also a cookbook (some 300 recipe). Mostly it’s about connecting the dots between botany and the garden and the cook. People ask me what inspired this exploration and I have to say that I don’t recall a single moment in which that intention suddenly leaped to the fore. It was more like the idea of botanical families and the relationship between them and the kitchen had been there for a long time. Maybe it’s in my genes—my father was a botanist and gardener and farmer among other things. And even though it didn’t occur to me plant anything until I was in my mid-thirties, something must have rubbed off.  And it rubbed off from my botanist brother, Michael, my many farmer friends and the gardeners I have known. Most of all, though, it was starting to garden that made plants and their families come into view with increasing clarity. Once I started to grow vegetables, I saw them in different ways: how much space they need, how large and many their leaves, how similar the blossoms within a family, the possibilities of eating more of them then what we see in the store or even the farmers market—hence the many little pointers about eating the whole plant—and more. The garden reveals the big and sometimes gnarly world that lies behind the pretty vegetable.’

Deborah Madison with allium

Deborah Madison with allium

So, stop and smell the mint,mint close upand the fennel

fennel flowering

fennel flowering

and the borage….

borage

borage

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