Leisler Institute Presents a Library Local History Talk on Cookbooks as Historical Documents

The Jacob Leisler Institute, in cooperation with the library and the Gotham Center for New York History, presents A Taste of Change: Hand-Written Cookbooks as Documents of Social and Family History by Peter G. Rose on Thursday, June 21 at 6pm at the library.

Cookbooks and scrapbooks tell us a lot more than just how a dish is made. What recipes are included often give us an indication of the family’s ethnicity and how that ethnicity was retained over generations through the continuation of customs and celebrations. Using her knowledge of Dutch customs and food history, culinary historian Peter G. Rose will discuss examples of such recipe/scrap-books, dating as far back as the late seventeenth century. They show the continued identification with the forebears, but also the gradual assimilation. Photographs of pages in cookbooks as well as seventeenth-century paintings will illustrate the talk. The audience is encouraged to bring old family cookbooks/recipe boxes and a discussion of the importance of saving such items is part of the program.

Ms. Rose is the author of nine books on the Dutch influence in America and on Hudson Valley food. She has lectured on a variety of topics related to Dutch and Dutch-American culinary history recently at: The University of Amsterdam, but also at The National Gallery; The Smithsonian Institute; Harvard University’s Fogg Museum;  New York University; the New York State Library; the New York Historical Society; as well as more than a hundred other historical societies and libraries in New York State and various museums in the Netherlands, including the Mauritshuis National Picture Gallery in The Hague.

A question and answer period and refreshments will follow the talk. For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

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