The best part of this project, for me, was not worrying about getting something wrong. Generally, when large projects are assigned there are strict rules to structure it against. This time, because we were all figuring out what the parameters should be together, we got to learn more about what we were doing. If, at the beginning, Professor V knew what materials were available for us to find, we wouldn’t have thrown our nets as wide and come up with such diverse topics. Our project would have turned out more like a traditional anthology—a collection of travel narratives, personal letters, and maybe a few sermons for flavor. Instead, we have music sheets, newspaper ads, and recipes, along with a few of the traditional letters and narratives.
The most difficult part of this project was finding sources to explain the recipes. Finding why colonists ate certain foods was relatively easy, but deciphering the explicit instructions was challenging. The time when these recipes were written, anyone who would be reading them was quite experienced, or else was being taught by someone who was. Because they had no restaurants to stop at on their way home, or deliveries to order, there was at least one mildly talented cook in each household. This resulted in vague recipes that assume a lot of knowledge on the part of the reader. An added difficulty is no pictures or drawings. I am just finding my feet in the kitchen, so I had to do a lot of research to figure out a few of Harriott’s instructions. It didn’t help that the recipes themselves weren’t always for dishes that we eat today. Pinterest was a huge help in guiding me, so I at least knew what the recipes were supposed to look like.
Overall, I really enjoyed this project and it made me even more interested in cooking. But I don’t think I’ll become a literary historian anytime soon.

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