Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Nicki and Isabel's "Jelly Filled Doughnuts"


Happy Pokémon Day! February 27th is the anniversary of the first two Pokémon games’ release in Japan, and it’s a minor holiday in my house, as a fun excuse to make Pokémon inspired food, watch some Pokémon shows or movies (we’re going to watch Netflix’s new Pokémon Concierge this year!), and get excited about upcoming games and releases. This year, we’re making a Pokémon Sword and Shield inspired burger-steak curry and I’m making a dessert from the Pokémon Cookbook by Victoria Rosenthal. It’s one of my favorite fandom cookbooks – all the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, to get around the awkward question of where does the meat in the Pokémon universe come from? 

But that’s not all we’re making! Ever since Nicki and Isabel were released, I’ve been dying to do a post about them and Pokémon’s infamous “Jelly Filled Doughnuts”, better – and more accurately! – known as onigiri.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Nicki and Isabel's Unofficial Simpsons Feast

Long time, no see! To put it bluntly (and to get some of the where have you been, and where are you going? Out of the way), Covid really did a number on my enthusiasm for continuing this blog. Between needing to cut down on trips to – sometimes multiple – grocery stores for specialty ingredients and being locked inside with only Jess to help me eat stuff, not to mention a truly awful apartment and everything else that came along with the pandemic years, any enthusiasm I had for exploring food history pretty much shriveled and died.

And then we – finally! – moved back to New England so I could take a job as a museum curator at a small institution on Cape Cod, so that obviously took up quite a bit of our collective brainspace.


I didn’t do much with my doll collection during the last few years either, even with the introduction of the 1980’s Courtney Moore and 1920’s Claudie Wells, but an announcement about some even more recent historical characters got me excited about firing up my stove in a way I hadn’t really felt in years.


I’m talking, of course, about fellow Millennials Isabel and Nicki Hoffman.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Caroline's Hasty Cornmeal Pudding

The breakfast of choice for most of your favorite historical characters!

Some recipes are so incredibly simple that they can stick around as a staple on family tables for generations. Take hasty pudding for example: this simple hot breakfast would've been an easy option for Caroline's mother or grandmother to whip up for breakfast, and it's something Caroline could learn to make herself as soon as she was old enough to be trusted near an open fire. 

But this dish has a much longer history, and is an appropriate breakfast for characters well beyond Caroline's time. Read on to find out more about the history of this breakfast staple!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Emily's Wartime Berry Shortbread & VE Day Tea Party

It's the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war in Europe!

Happy VE Day! Today marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, and I've been looking forward to this day literally all year. Longer than a year, because what a good opportunity to revisit some of my favorite wartime recipes with a celebratory party with historian friends! 

Unfortunately, the party turned into me, my wife, and our cat (and Molly and Emily), but I think we still managed to make it a nice occasion. Read on to see more pictures, and learn how to make this simple, ration friendly twist on shortbread.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Addy's Cherry Pie

You weren't the only one who had to celebrate their birthday in quarantine this year...

Alright, so, my plans for this post are definitely not what they originally were. Actually, my plans for this entire month (and the rest of the foreseeable future!) have been really thrown off, and I bet we all can guess why. 

(COVID-19, for anyone who's reading this years in the future, or jumping forward in time to 2020 and wondering where everyone is.) 

I had grand plans for this month, with lots of cool historical recipes to share, and then grocery stores started emptying of the supplies I needed, my job was threatened by closures of repositories and libraries we use to conduct research for our clients, and everyone got a little worried about going outside for any reason, meaning last minute trips out to get one or two niche ingredients seemed ill advised at best and generally really, really irresponsible. Needless to say, I've also been pretty bummed out, and mental health struggles makes doing stuff that requires a lot of energy - like making content for this blog! - hard. 

But I'm lucky that I'm still healthy right now, currently still (fingers crossed) employed, and am quarantined with my awesome wife, who made Addy this awesome birthday pie I'm going to take a minute to share with you. Read on to see some more pictures and some pie facts.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Nellie's Corned Beef and Cabbage

Name a more iconic March dinner. I'll wait.

This is probably one of the stranger St. Patrick's Day I've ever celebrated, but fortunately I managed to get out and get my hands on a brisket to share this traditional favorite with all of you well in advance of panic buying and social distancing. 

Corned beef and cabbage is one of the most iconic holiday dishes, but many people are quick to claim it's not "authentic" Irish cuisine. Much like spaghetti and meatballs and chop suey, corned beef and cabbage is rather an American spin on a traditional Irish dish. That doesn't make it less authentic, just that it's a staple of a community that isn't centered in Ireland itself. Read on to find out more about this tasty dinner I wish I got to enjoy more than once a year!

Friday, February 28, 2020

Gabby makes President Obama's Favorite Chili

An unusual but tasty spin on chili!

Our final entry in our Black History Month series comes from the personal archive of the Obamas! To share it with you, I brought out Gabriela McBride, AG's first Black Girl of the Year character. Gabby runs for student body president in her third book, so besides being a modern girl who would have grown up during the Obama administration and probably been incredibly excited to see girls like her living in the White House, she felt like a good fit to share this unique but tasty recipe for one of my personal favorite foods. Read on to see what's for dinner with Barack and Michelle!