Agriculture Experiment Stations & Food History

I’m posting on both Special Collections blogs this week, so I’m all about food! On this blog, we’re looking atthe intersection of agriculture experiment stations, recipes, and meal planning. And a work by a man named George Washington Carver.(If you want to see the latest History of Food and Drink post about sandwiches, you can view it here. Either way, you’re going to hear about peanut butter. 🙂 ) Here’s a bit ofThree Delicous Meals Every Day for the Farmer from 1916. (And no, that’s not a typo–“Delicous” is how it appears on the title page and throughout the text.)

George Washington Carver served as the director of theTuskegee Institute’s Agriculture Department from 1896 until the time of his death in 1947. During his tenure, he published numerous bulletins, including this one.Three Delicous Meals Every Day for the Farmerbegins with an introduction about the relationship between people and food, including what he saw as some of the issues of the time. The majority of the provides a plan of three meals a day for one week.

What grabbed my attention was the “Explanatory” section at the end, which includes recipes for eight dishes that are among the planned menu. There is a focus on simplicity, economy, and (re)use. “Granulated Toast” is basically breadcrumbs which can be used in a number of other ways and in other recipes. “Bacon Puffs” are made from a piece of the bacon that’s already been used at least once. Carver’s recipe for “Nut Sandwiches” means using whatever kind of nut or nuts you have available, peanut or otherwise. These are easy, satisfying, sustainable (if a bit repetitive) dishes meant to appear over and over again in meal plans and they require (mainly) ingredients that were available on the farm.

You can see the full version if you pay us a visit. Or, you can find it online through the Tuskegee University Archives Online Repository here: