Food is the key to life!

Welcome to a project near and dear to my heart. As an archaeologist I set out to look at the remnants of early agriculture, hunter gathers and the dishes they prepared. I honestly started with only these intentions in mind, however, the project took on a life of its own. I found myself not only understanding the food but the “dishes” that people enjoyed through their hard work. Eating was certainly a lot more complicated and difficult in the past. One simply did not roll up to the grocery store and pick things off the shelf.

To date this project is still ongoing, and I have compiled a collection of just over 400 original recipes that have been put to the test. I have recreated each dish using the “recipe” provided when possible. I have also employed original ingredients, techniques, cooking vessels and utensils to complete the dishes when possible.

The collection spans several thousands of years and a good number of cultures across the globe. I have archived recipes from approximately 2500 BCE to the 20th century. Some of these recipes include my own family’s Romany background and other GTR recipes passed down orally over the past century and a half. a

Along the way I have discovered many of the ingredients used have been lost to time, omitted or changed to suit the tastes of those preparing them as they are passed down. Some “recipes” like Elizabethan Lavender Cake were nothing more than a string of ingredients barely hanging on to exist to this day.

Over the years this project has been a labour of love. Through cataloguing as well as experimenting with preparation ingredients and stories have become intertwined and taken on a life of their own. All these interesting dishes need to have a place in our collective memory and preserving them is important, so they are not lost to history. My long term goal is to compile all the recipes into a book.

The one thing we ALL have in common is the love of food & family no matter the culture. These two things will always be the binding elements we share as human beings.