More News–and War Food News!

So, this summer has clearly gotten away from me. Due to impending space limitations, I was working on moving the blog to a new site, hosted by the library. That came with some delays and the new blog isn’t ready to go yet. Then, as I mentioned in June, we moved to some new systems in May. As usual, things got done, but not the things I intended. Then suddenly, it was the first week of class. As a matter of fact, I just taught my first session of the semester to a food history class! Which then reminded me I need to get back to blogging (it’s also my week to post on Special Collections’ other blog!). There’s still space for more pictures here, though, and I’ll be doing my best to get back into routine while I sort out other details for the new blog site in the background. So, a couple more updates and then a new item to share!

First: We have a new website! Our address is still https://spec.lib.vt.edu/, but you may notice an updated look. We are still working on many parts of the site and expect to be migrating some content for a while yet–either to the site or other tools we have in Special Collections. We appreciate your patience while we do so–it may mean some things are a little harder to find, but it will be worth it in the end! In the interim, if you’re looking for something, contact us and ask! We’re here to help.

Second: Colleagues are trying to plant dangerous ideas in my mind and I may be exploring a new medium to talk about one or two aspects of food history in the near future. Stay tuned for more on that.

Third: There’s going to a Peacock Harper Culinary History Friends Committee event here at Newman Library in October. More information will be forthcoming, but for now, consider marking your calendars for Friday, October 4th, at 5pm, especially if you like tomatoes!

Okay, on to new stuff!

Ta-da! Earlier this summer, we purchased this poster (close ups coming). It’s a World War I baker recruitment poster, c.1917:

Wanted! 500 Bakers for the U. S. Army (also 100 cooks) If you can bake bread Uncle Same wants you–if you can’t bake bread, Uncle Sam will teach you how in a Government School. A bakery company consists of 61 men so that you and your “pals” can join the same unit and bake and break bread together. Enlist for the war-bakers pay $33 to $45 per month Ages 18 to 45 Cooks pay $36 per month with clothing, food, quarters and medical attention.

We haven’t done a lot of research into this item just yet, but I love the visuals of it and wanted to share. We had a World War I and food exhibit up in the spring and this seems a good continuation of that theme. (And I was just talking about food and wartime in the class session earlier!)

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Food Blog Round-Up

It’s your loyal archivist/blogger Kira here. I’m out of the office for part of the week, so I’m going to cheat on this week’s post.  Rather than feature an item from the collection (don’t worry, we’ll be back to normal next week!), I thought I’d do a quick blog round-up.  Because when I’m not working or writing blog posts, I’m reading them. Some blogs I follow are news related, some culture related, and some are just plain fun. There are lots of individuals interested in food culture and history who find creative ways to blog on the internet. So, if you’re looking for a one-time read, or a new blog to follow, here are a few from my feed reader you might want to check out:

  • NPR’s food blog, The Salt, mixes food news, food culture, and usually, on Mondays, some pretty hilarious mockery of sandwiches (I can relate!).
  • Interested in Southern food culture? The Southern Foodways Alliance blog focuses on food projects, people, trends, and events.
  • We aren’t the only library with a food blog either! La Cocina Historica focuses on the Mexican Cookbook Collection at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
  • Food as a Lens is the work of a history/foodways professor who writes about food traditions from around the country.
  • 1972: The Retro WW Experiment. Retro Mimi recreates 1970s Weight Watchers recipes in her own kitchen and shares her adventures along the way. Some of what she makes might look VERY familiar to recipes you’ve seen here!
  • The Mid-Century Menu. Blogger Retro Ruth has a project that makes me wish for more time in the day! Each Wednesday, she posts her experiences making a mid-20th century recipe at home. On Fridays, she’s now testing out vintage cocktail recipes, too.

These are just a few examples. There are many, many more food blogs out there and you can find them with the click of a mouse. If you follow a food blog you think I should know about, leave a note in the comments below! I’m always on the lookout for a new read.

Happy reading!