Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
From the introduction:
“This book aims to outline the workings of the 17th century kitchen at a variety of social levels… The information is based around a detailed study of period cookbooks and a sample of hundreds of period probate inventories… Most surviving equipment is very hard to date accurately although a few pieces do contain a date, particularly firebacks.”
This volume covers sample kitchen inventories; the fire, including fuel, cooking places, and chafing dishes; the oven; boiling; frying; roasting; and “broyling,” grilling and toasting.
Staplebound pamphlet. 52 pages