I love being a culinary archeologist and preservationist. Finding recipes and techniques from old cookbooks, or better yet, other people, is pretty thrilling. I’ve always viewed cooking as an ancient and mystical art. Turning flour, milk, fat and salt into delicious biscuits through nothing but the power of heat is just short of alchemy.
I know, unlike turning lead into gold, there is an actual science to cooking. But the food produced and eaten seems to be infused with the spirit of the generations before hand. Their experiments with the recipe, their joy with the food, the conversations they had over the dinner table are all infused into every biscuit.
That final recipe, whether scribbled on paper or printed in a book, has some unquantifiable quality.
That’s why I’m scouring the internet for some old recipes about how to make vinegar (why do you want to make your own vinegar, you ask? Because I like making things on my own. Haven’t you been reading this blog?) I’ve found a bunch of stuff about the science of yeast and fermentation and acid, which all appeals to my inner nerd, but I want a recipe that’s been handed down from parent to child. I want a recipe that has some soul behind the science.
So I’ll continue my search, updating you periodically, but if anyone out in internet land has an old recipe or knows where to get one, your help will be extremely appreciated.