Image Courtesy of Mr. XPK
Ah, the satisfying contentment after a good meal. Perhaps a salad and a sandwich, or tea and a scone, or jellies and cakes. The bite of spices, the richness of sauces, the decadence of sweets.
Every day, we have the opportunity not just to eat to survive, but eat to savor and delight in each mouthful.
Followers of my daily news feed on the website, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have enjoyed more than two years of recipes, and now a steam of 19th century cookbooks. Meats, game, poultry, fish, and plenty of Afternoon Tea ideas, there are plenty of tasty options from the real 1800s to use in our steampunk worlds.
Food makes our lives better, not just for the physical sustenance, but also for the mental and emotional nourishment. We can enjoy the sensations and relish in the flavors and textures of our foods. Primal, perhaps, but taste is one of our five senses and we can use it to enhance our happiness each day.
Food, or more accurately, meals with others, provide the social opportunities to bond with others, to share stories, and generally enjoy ourselves with our friends (some holiday meals notwithstanding). The food brings us together, a common need met with conversation and collective experience.
Aside from the wonderful and less sugared and salted foods of today, recipes from the 1800s can also give us a glimpse into life of the time, and how things changed, sometimes quickly, with the advent of the Industrial revolution. Those recipes are more than just guides to making and eating, they are historical artifacts of when a loaf of bread meant surviving another day, frugality and no waste was ingrained behavior, and working by the sweat of one’s brow was as true and as strenuous as many other jobs.
With our modern day mass production, a somewhat tasty treat is just an arm’s length away. Ingredients overflow the grocery store shelves in the United States and come in bulk packs from warehouse stores. Whole meals can go from freezer to table in minutes. This is all so far removed from 150-200 years ago when all the foods were fresh, cooking was done with a fire, and the mechanical actions provided by sinew and tendon.
While my steampunk kitchen of today uses the latest Industrial Revolution technology, it is ultimately the food, and tea, I share with others which makes my life better.