The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Dietary Mores'

Dinner in 18th Century England

February 16th, 2015 · No Comments

Guillaume Apollinaire, in his preface to a French edition of Fanny Hill, offered a look at dinner in that period. He may have paraphrased it from the book (I never read it); at any rate, here it is, in my translation. Here is a description of a fine English dinner in the month of June. […]

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Tags: Books · Dietary Mores

Cooking with Radishes

December 22nd, 2014 · 4 Comments

Let us sing the simple radish, Always chic but never faddish, Sing its praise and not its kaddish, Let us sing the simple radish. Radishes are tasty, inexpensive, crunchy, high in vitamins, and low in calories.  Naturally, this makes them unpopular in the US, where people prefer bland and fatty foods.  Radishes have played an […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores

Eastern Star Menus

February 21st, 2012 · 4 Comments

The Ullage Group has long been fascinated by changing customs in diet.  Foods go in and out of fashion; what we eat is telling. I have here two menus from meetings of the Order of the Eastern Star, both from September 1950, both from Connecticut.  The Eastern Star was founded as an order for wives […]

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Tags: Clubs and Associations · Dietary Mores · Ephemera

Imitation Butter

November 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

I had always thought “imitation butter” was margarine; that is, a spread that imitates butter’s oleaginous properties, and could be substituted if butter was unavailable, or too expensive. This simple gag item, however, reminds me that butter has other qualities as well: in this case, the shape and color.  Greasiness is immaterial, because it’s not […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Diversions


December 6th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The recent neologism “locavore,” meaning “one who eats local food,” has caused some confusion.  Its spelling is not yet standardized; one often sees the variant “locovore.”  Those wishing to use the word are paralyzed by indecision, unsure what to put for that fourth letter. To solve this problem, I propose that “locovore” be treated as […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Suggestions

The Ullage Group Toddy

November 22nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

Cold weather is here; now is the time to relax in a comfortable chair with a hot beverage.  May we recommend the Ullage Group Toddy?  It’s a simple drink: ginger tea, honey, and brandy.  We cannot guarantee that we were the first to combine those ingredients (ginger and brandy are, after all, soulmates), but we […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Suggestions

Recipes from the Shaver Kitchen

October 8th, 2010 · No Comments

Despite his mental problems, Richard Shaver seems to have had a relatively happy marriage with his wife Dorothy, or Dot.  And he always praised her cooking in his letters. Among my Shaver mementos is Dot’s hand-written cookbook.  I’m intrigued by these recipes for fig wine and rhubarb wine.  They sound like some unusual down-home concoctions.  […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Forteana · Microlithomania

Pepper Packets

August 31st, 2010 · 6 Comments

Salt and pepper packets occupy a strange position in our strange society.  In a country that monetizes everything, they’re free.  Everybody knows and uses them; and they pass unnoticed.  Other condiment packets contain commercial products familiar to the condiment-eater: the ketchup and mustard look like the bottles in the store.  Salt and pepper are also […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Ephemera · Liminal Graphics

An Ullage Dozen (16): Bubbles Before They Burst

June 28th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Just do your work and don’t be lazy, Like Giambattista Piranesi. The only drawback of vegetarianism is always being preached at by ghouls. All human speech is monkey chatter; It makes no sense; it doesn’t matter. A woman recently upbraided me for writing a song that didn’t rhyme. I tried to explain that not all […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores · Education

The Ullage Group Kitchen: Chestnut Honey

June 2nd, 2010 · 4 Comments

A few members of the Ullage Group convened this week to experiment with another foodstuff unfamiliar to the dominant American culture.  The subject was chestnut honey: an Italian varietal markedly darker, earthier, and less sweet than the common domestics.  The participants in the study were Doug Skinner, Dr. Mamie Caton, and her associates Susan and […]

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Tags: Dietary Mores