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Chicken, Oysters, and Time Travel

“To smother a Fowl in Oysters,” advises the first American cookbook author Amelia Simmons, “fill the bird with dry Oysters, and sew up and boil in water just sufficient.” These instructions, from her 1796 volume American Cookery, are bound to make most modern stomachs revolt. We like our surf and turf well enough when it’s steak and lobster, cooked separately, […]

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The Benjamin Franklin Diet

“A Full Belly is the Mother of all Evil,” Benjamin Franklin counselled the readers of his 1743 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack. For some mysterious reason this aphorism hasn’t had the sticking power of some of the inventor’s more famous sayings, like “he who lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas,” or “fish and visitors stink in […]

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