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Historical Foodies: The Cookbook of Ellen M. Emlen

Produced by Monica Rogozinski



March 2012

When Tara O'Brien began as Director of Conservation and Preservation at the Historical Society of Philadelphia, she was pleased to find like minded academics of a particular ilk- historical foodies. Fans of the famous Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, O'Brien and a number of staff set out to find new recipes in the HSP's archives. It was in the spring of 2009 that she discovered by complete accident a box labeled "recipe book." This would become the Cookbook of Ellen M. Emlen, a handwritten guide to cooking in the 19th Century. As O'Brien explains, what sets Emlen apart from other cooks of the time is the care, discipline and organization she applied to her catalogue: a table of contents, detailed instructions, and underlined specifications. Join Friday Arts as we learn about this primary document of deliciousness and its mostly unknown author.



Watch Tara O'Brien, Director of Preservation and Conservation Services at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, demonstrating how to restore a book from 1773




A tip from Ellen M. Emlen's Cookbook on how to keep cooked spinach looking bright, fresh and in its natural color