The Rules

No, we don’t mean those Rules – you know, the ones that prevent us girls from accepting an invitation from you to dinner on Saturday if it’s issued past Wednesday. No, not the ones that tell us not to talk too much and just sit pretty, either. Certainly not the one which tells us not to discuss The Rules. We’ll discuss them all right, but first, we’ll have to insert the caveat that we believe some rules exist to be… bent… a little.

That said, The Vintage Eats Project will most assuredly need some guidelines. After all, we can’t go about this all willy nilly, making all the whimsical foods that strike our fancy (we intend to make many whimsical foods that happen to strike our fancy).

No, we need organization. Structure. Things that we’re not very good at, the awful enablers and hedonists that we are by nature. Let’s see how the following rules work when we make over these recipes, shall we, and if they aren’t working, we’ll let you know that we’re changing them up :-) Ahem.

Rule #1:

Recipes have to originate between 1880 and 1955. We’re not down with the influx of processed ingredients that entered our food system after WWII and thus, are trying to avoid recipes that contain things like Miracle Whip and maraschino cherries (we’ll take those cherries in our Manhattans, though, thank you). If there’s interest in Civil War era recipes and earlier, we’ll take those on at some other point in the future.

Rule #2:

80% of the ingredients for the recipes have to be sourced locally from where we are when we write the post. Until relatively recently, eaters didn’t have the luxury of globalized goods when planning their dinners. Instead, we’ll focus on seasonality and regionality, in order to get a sense of time and place from each recipe.

Rule #3

The participating cooks, the venue, the author of the recipe and the book’s title need to be named in every post. The recipes in the original must be acknowledged exactly as they’re written the first time around, and then cooked and published in their improved form. And we’ll document with photos.

Rule #4 

We’ll do one or two new recipes per week, from the following categories: appetizers, main courses, side dishes (split into grains and produce), breads and baked goods, and desserts. And cocktails, of course.

Rule #5

When it’s possible, we’ll even dress up according to the era from which the recipe originated. We’ll also tell you a bit about the history, eating rituals, and etiquette that surround a particular dish.

Friends, which category would you like to see populated first? Would you like us to bake or brine, ferment or roast? Let us know in the comments below, if you please, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

We’d like to make an additional shout-out to one of the people integral to the planning and implementation of this project – Barth Anderson of Fair Food Fight. Barth gave Jen her first soapbox upon which to shout about Vintage Eats and local, sustainable food. Head on over to see Barth and toss yourself into the middle of the fair food fight fray. Be careful, though, his wits are dangerous.

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Published in: on 3 May, 2011 at 12:00  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So Jen, do I have this right, You want us to just send a recipe to you, only once it’s been tested? Is there a preferred email to send them? I don’t see a place here to submit. Ken

  2. Or are you going to generate all the recipes? I’m being slow, still morning here! K

  3. Hi Ken-Ken! It’s okay; the wording isn’t clear enough. To clarify rule #3 – if you’d like to participate from afar, send your recipes to us in their original form. We’ll make them over so that home cooks can produce them easily with great results! We’ll also note anything that’s changed from the original recipe to the improved. If you’re interested in hosting The Vintage Eats Project and working with us side-by-side, we happily travel!

  4. Also, Soul Brother, you’re always welcome to come to us :-)

  5. […] at Fair Food Fight? How about our trip to the Pabst Mansion? Are you thoroughly familiar with the rules? What about our motivations for starting this whole […]

  6. […] inspiration from them. Soon, we’ll start adhering more fully to the formula, but then again, that whole rules thing… We prefer to be […]


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