Making a Research Reading List

When heading to London for two weeks of research, I wanted to make sure that I was using my time efficiently. Wading through hundreds of manuscripts without a plan sounds delightful, but with only two weeks of work time, I needed to be strategic about my reading list.

I planned to compile a starter list, but leave open enough time and space in the plan for some archival meandering. If I want to spend longer on a manuscript or need to replace a few unproductive ones with something I find out about while working, I don’t want to be so committed to a checklist that I miss what the archive itself wants to present. But facing such a large archive, where do you begin? Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful (or have learned from more experienced researchers).

  • Look at others’ bibliographies. Working in a small but growing field means that I was able to see what manuscripts other scholars had cited. Wendy Wall’s Recipes for Thought was particularly helpful (it’s a comprehensive look at manuscript recipes in British and American libraries), as were Sara Pennell’s articles and Deborah Harkness’s The Jewel House. And they provided call numbers!

Deborah Harkness, The Jewel House (New Haven: Yale UP, 2007) 300-301.

  • Email the curators directly. I provided curators at both the Wellcome and British libraries with a brief outline of my project and asked for their advice. The Wellcome curator pointed me to some featured recipe manuscripts, and a curator at the British Library turned up some really interesting stuff that may be useful to other parts of my project (that he didn’t know about–are curators clairvoyant?). For example: a 1652 letter describing an autopsy, a plague cure from the Marshalsea Court records, and a medical handbook by Thomas Lodge (which may turn out to be the same guy who wrote Rosalynde, which Shakespeare used as a source for As You Like It. Further investigation required.)
  • See what the libraries are featuring. The curator at the Wellcome pointed me to their online portal to manuscript recipe books, and browsing the collection highlights led me to a few anonymous manuscripts I hadn’t known about–one including a number of drawings on the flyleaf.
  • Search call numbers around a known MS number. Both the libraries I’m headed to have huge chunks of manuscript recipe acquisitions, catalogued all together. The call numbers I’ve taken from Wall, Pennell, and Harkness’s bibliographies sometimes include strings of numbers: for example, British Library MSS 45196, 45197, and 45199 are on my list, and most of them are from the same family. It will be pretty easy to request 45198, 45200, and the rest of the 45190 series–perhaps they’re related, or perhaps not. Either way, it’s a way to stumble into new manuscripts.
  • Search by year. This is by far the cleverest suggestion from my advisor, and one that I hope will allow me to read a lot of items not on my list. Instead of targeting individual manuscripts, asking for everything from, say, 1654 will probably pull up manuscripts I didn’t know exist. I’m debating whether to pick years tied to big literary events–for example, do recipe collections after Margaret Cavendish’s Poems and Fancies look any different?
  • Name searches, chronologies. Robert Boyle (chemist and experimental scientist) and his sister, Lady Ranelagh, wrote quite a bit on household matters. Those manuscripts appear in both the British and the Wellcome Library, and doing a name search allowed me to pair them up. Many of the collections are individual pieces, and tracking women’s names is difficult because they changed so often, but it’s worth a shot (and will usually work better for elite writers). Searching by name also works against the misconception that these women didn’t write much–it might just be that we haven’t looked in the right places!
  • Ask curators for search terms. Nobody knows the quirks of the collections better than the curators, and they’ll know the weird paths to access manuscripts. I’m planning to do a bit of legwork myself before going to the curators, as I want to demonstrate that I know how to search, but want to cover all my bases.
  • Ask for recommendations. My advisor’s interested in the notebooks of Sir Hugh Plat (of science and Delightes for Ladies fame), and suggested I might find interesting tidbits in them as well.
  • Be open to serendipity. Although I know Margaret Cavendish’s household recipe book would be the centerpiece of my dissertation, it doesn’t exist (I live in hope). I’ve constructed my project so that it doesn’t depend on a single text or fixed set of texts, but rather a wide variety of manuscripts and recipe books. This way, I can read with a plan but still be open to the random text or two that the curators suggest or I find through searching. On the other hand, I’m not so committed to my list of manuscripts that I can’t follow my nose if something seems interesting.

Snow in Summer

I was very excited to see that Cooking the Archive made snow cream this week (Mary Hookes, 1680). I’ve previously thought about the similarities between Hannah Woolley’s recipe and Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World, so it was great to see what snow cream actually looks like–and to learn about similar recipes!

I’ll be keeping an eye out for snow cream/ice cream recipes when I’m in London.

Kitchen Fancies on the Road


I’ve known for quite some time that I wanted to work intensely with early modern manuscript recipes in all their quirky, eel-based, scribbly glory. Since January, I’ve been building a dissertation prospectus that included a chapter on recipes. In the process of studying for my qualifying exam I realized that they were an even bigger part of the project than I’d planned. And just in time to answer my committee’s “where will you begin?” question, I received a fellowship to go study manuscript recipes at the Wellcome & British Libraries in London.

For two weeks this August, I’ll be nosing around the archives, exploring the Wellcome & British Library’s extensive collections and reading as many manuscripts as possible. I’ll be writing about my findings and travels here on the blog, from the strange remedies I come across to the appearances of experimental science to how the RSC stages the poison scenes in Cymbeline. This means the blog is taking a little turn, from cooking recipes and thinking about mediated texts to dealing with them hands-on. (Although I like the idea of cooking something up in my little flat.)





Pumpion Pie: A Study in Colonial Encounters

Welcome back, dear readers! Now that comps are over and it’s the holiday season, it’s time for some Christmas baking. The folks at Cooking the Archive have already done “gengerbread” and are cooking up something with candied citrus, so that left me one holiday dessert to tackle: pumpkin pie.

This recipe appears in Hannah Woolley’s 1672 The Exact Cook, bound together with The Ladies Delight in the EEBO edition I’m using. Prior to finding this receipt, I hadn’t thought squash was a part of the early modern diet–Woolley’s recipe is the first I have seen for anything to do with pumpkins, so it was interesting to see it cooked into a form we recognize today. {I’d be very interested to hear if others have run across pumpkin things in early modern receipt collections!} However, pumpkins are thought to have come to Europe with Columbus, so they likely wouldn’t have been new foods in the way that chocolate or tea were new to 17th-century cooks. And in the ultimate proof of “was it in early modern England?”, pumpkins appear in Shakespeare: Mistress Ford calls Falstaff a “gross watery pumpion” in Merry Wives of Windsor (3.3).


To make a Pumpion Pye

Fry it in thin slices with sweet herbs and Eggs, in Butter, till it be tender; then put it into a Pye, with Butter, Raisons, Currans, Sugar, and Sack, with some sharp apples: when it is baked, put in some beaten butter.

The first thing to notice about this recipe is that the cooking method is different: frying slices of pumpkin instead of making a spiced puree. What this recipe leaves out, of course, is the considerable work of slicing pumpkin (even with a good knife this is a tough job–squashes do not want to be thinly sliced), frying it in small batches, and then peeling the rind off each piece of fried pumpkin.


The ingredients are different too: instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and the usual cadre of early modern spices, Woolley’s recipe calls for the pumpkin to be flavored with “sweet herbs” and sugar. These herbs likely would have been sweet cicely, thyme, or other small, fragrant garden herbs. But since it’s hard to find sweet cicely at Whole Foods, I’ve decided to use fennel to mimic the licorice flavor of sweet cicely.

Combining a pumpkin, a marker of colonial ventures and expansion, with native English “sweet herbs,” produces a hybrid, inventive dish. Does it highlight the exotic ingredient(s) or nationalize them? Gitanjali Shahani asks this question in her article “The Spiced Indian Air in Early Modern England,” and concludes that many early modern cookbooks that dealt with colonial/foreign ingredients displayed a set of contradicting attitudes regarding the housewife’s ability to manage the ingestion of non-English (and therefore potentially dangerous) ingredients. On one hand, bringing exotic ingredients into England threatened to corrupt the English national constitution, but on the other–maybe if an English housewife cooked English dishes with them, they wouldn’t be so bad. Hence the pumpkin pie here: a strange New World squash, combined with herbs from the backyard, effectively managed and placed into a cookbook in between recipes for lobsters and lamb.


My recipe:


1 1/4 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c (1 stick) butter, chilled and cubed

2-4 tablespoons ice water (I used 3.5)


1 pie pumpkin, cleaned and sliced thinly

Fennel fronds, roughly chopped

Brown sugar



Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor. Then scatter the cubed butter over the top and pulse 20-23 times until the mixture resembles cornmeal or crumbs. Add a tbsp of water at a time, pulsing 4 times in between, until the dough holds together when you squeeze a little bit in your hand. Then shape into a thick disk (touch it as little as possible) and chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll it out and put into a pie tin (or if you’re a grad student and don’t have a pie tin, a tiny skillet). Chill again for 30 minutes, and then blind-bake if you like. (15 minutes at 425 F, then lower to 350 for the actual baking.) Fill the pie and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 F.


Results: There’s a reason we put spices in our pumpkin pie today. Pumpkins by themselves have an earthy, slightly musty smell and taste that isn’t appealing even when fried within an inch of their life and covered in sugar and raisins. The texture of the fruit was very interesting–more like a well-made apple pie–and the crust was perfect, but the actual taste of the pie was almost overpowered by the taste of the crust, and the pumpkin was sort of sad and squashy. When nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon show up all over early modern food, even in places where they shouldn’t be, it’s strange to see something that really should be spiced (and has made it to our contemporary tables loaded with spice) missing those flavors. For this recipe, I’d like a little more New World innovation.

Works Cited

Shahani, Gitanjali. “The Spiced Air in Early Modern England.” Shakespeare Studies 42 (2014), 122-137.

Being Anachronistic: Chicken Soup

To cure a colde that hath lingered

Take onyon, garlick, and carrott and chop very fine; frye in butter until they be cleare and soft, then putt to it broth to 3 quarters of your pot, add noodles and as much pulled chicken as you see fit with salt, pepper, oregano, and basill. Boil until all be cooked; drink of this until ye be cured.


After a long day of teaching sick, I arrived home today desperately wanting chicken soup. I’d never made it before, but it seemed the kind of recipe that everyone should know, and know by heart. Some quick googling gave me an easy recipe, and while dinner simmered on the stove I thought about how chicken soup is a modern instantiation of the recipe/remedy so familiar to early modern cooks.

I wondered what the chicken soup recipe would look like if it were in an early modern receipt book, and I was so pleased with the result that I wanted to share it with you, readers. And do you know what? Making chicken soup seems so easy now, whereas the modern recipe was unwieldy and hard to manage. Maybe there’s something to the form of an early modern receipt that enables memorization?

Cavendish Tart

My interest in early modern domesticity and science began last year when I read Margaret Cavendish’s Poems and Fancies and noticed that some of Cavendish’s poems bore a remarkable resemblance to recipes. One of the most interesting is her poem “A Tart” (read here), which is what started the whole thing for me. Since it’s a good idea to go back to the beginning occasionally, I decided to try and create a tart from Cavendish’s poem. Can it be done? Are poems reliable sources for cookery? Should we next look out for William Carlos Williams’ plum compote? Read on, Macduff.

“A Tart” and “A Posset for Nature’s Breakfast” are the two poems in the kitchen fancies that most resemble workable recipes. I’ve had trouble with possets in the past, so although the posset poem has a more detailed method, the tart leaves me more room to compare with contemporary recipes and develop one of my own. Here’s the poem:

A Tart.
Life took some Floure made of Complexions white,
Churnd Butter, by Nourishment; as cleane as might:
And kneads it well, then on a Board it laies,
And roules it oft, and so a Pye did raise.
Then did she take some Cherry Lips that’s red,
And Sloe-black Eyes from a Faire Virgins Head.
And Strawbery Teats from high Banks of white Breast,
And Juice from Raspes Fingers ends did presse.
These put into a Pye, which soone did bake,
Within a Heart, which she strait hot did make;
Then drew it out with Reasons Peele, and sends
It up to Nature, she it much commends.

Katherine Capshaw Smith has written about the decidedly disturbing cannibalistic overtones in Cavendish’s poem, in her article “‘Bisket of Love, which crumbles all away’: The Failure of Domestic Metaphor in Margaret Cavendish’s Poetic Fancies.” (Domestic Arrangements in Early Modern England, Duquesne UP, 2002). The fruits come from violence against women, and the “raspes from fingers ends” line also conjures up the violence within the kitchen. It’s an odd sort of blazon in that it literalizes the violence of taking apart a woman to praise her; it also shows us the consequences of doing so. (Elizabeth Scott-Baumann’s “’Bake’d in the Oven of Applause’: The blazon and the body in Margaret Cavendish’s Fancies” is a lovely exploration of this.)

On the culinary side, it’s interesting to see a cooked-fruit tart, when a lot of today’s berry tarts I ran across in my research are fresh. Although Cavendish’s poem is titled “A Tart,” what Life produces is more like a pie; so in deciding how faithful to the recipe I was going to be (after mostly disregarding it) I started thinking about fruit presentation in early modern England. Fresh fruit and vegetable eating certainly wasn’t alien to the early modern palate–the new fashion for sallets testifies to that–nor would it have been too desirable to the early modern housewife to bake in the summer when berries were seasonal. But since this “recipoem” appears in Cavendish, I wonder if upper-class eating preferences also influence why this Tart is baked and not fresh. Was eating raw food considered more common than eating cooked/baked food? Most of Hannah Woolley’s tart recipes are cooked–apricot, custard, lemon; and Markham’s similarly so. I’ll be interested to see if further cookbooks and recipe books of aristocratic ladies confirm this.

Since Life adds the fruit before putting it in the oven, I think this is what we’d call today a mixed berry pie, containing cherries, blackberries or blueberries (because you can’t get good organic virgin’s eyes in stores), strawberries, and raspberries. I’m taking a little culinary liberty and transforming it into a summer berry tart, to avoid using my oven and to display the fruit-conceits. Although it was tempting to cheat and use premade puff pastry dough, I “took some Floure” and made my own. I’ve also decided against a cream base, in the spirit of making this tart more closely resemble a pie. (Adapted from the kitchn’s recipe).

tart 4


1 1/2 c flour (unbleached, although Cavendish asks for only the whitest complexions)

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

4 tbsp ice water, more as needed

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor; then add lemon zest and butter (gradually) until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water until clumps form that barely hold together. (Or if you’re operating a graduate student/early modern kitchen, finger-mix together in a bowl.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form a ball. Put the ball on plastic wrap and press into a disk 1/2 inch (a finger width) thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour-4 days.

My grad-student version of a food processor.

My grad-student version of a food processor.

tart 2

Preheat oven to 400 F. Take dough out of fridge and let rest for 10 minutes before rolling out into an 11-inch circle. If you have a tart pan, press dough into pan and use baking beans when you bake. If not, make a free-form circle on a baking tray. (You may want to make the edges slightly thicker in this case.) In either case, freeze for 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes or until crust begins to darken. Keep an eye on it.

tart 3


1/2 c sugar (adjust depending on sweetness of berries)

1/4 c cornstarch

3 c berries

1 tsp lemon zest

Mix together sugar and cornstarch. Add 2 c of berries and zest, smashing so that some of the berries mix into the sugar. (“And Juice from Raspes Fingers Endes did Presse”?) Put into tart shell and top with remaining berries. Bake until fruit is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. If it starts to brown too soon, cover loosely with foil.

Tasting notes: Excellent. I was surprised at how closely the methods in the modern recipe and in Cavendish’s poem matched up, and this version turned out splendidly. The crust isn’t too sweet (and would be even better in a tart pan where it didn’t burn) and the lemon brightens the berries nicely. I forgot to poke the crust with a fork beforehand, though, so the juice didn’t seep into the crust as much as I’d hoped. I’ll definitely make this again, hopefully with a tart pan!

Of Knowledge, Labors Lost, and Lemmon Cream

Recently I’ve been reading Natasha Korda’s 2011 Labors Lost, which focuses on identifying the work of women that went into maintaining and legitimizing the early modern English theater. Korda writes that often the record of women’s work comes to us through tiny, seemingly insignificant material or archival traces: “Deciphering these scattered traces often requires laboriously collecting many shards or fragments of evidence that would remain, when viewed in isolation, indecipherable” (3). Furthermore, this invisible labor did not happen naturally: it was produced by a number of intersecting cultural factors, which all lead up to what we now see as a pretty systematic historical invisibility of all kinds of women’s work, from the theater to the work of experimental observation to domestic labor.

A driving question for me (and many others before me) has been: how do we see and access that work, and what happens when we do? I am by no means the first one to realize this (which is why I reference the people who were), but I’m learning that a very different type of data and understanding can be gained from performing and practicing these recipes than we can access from reading them. Both are valuable sorts of knowledge, but the knowledge available through practicing these recipes is constituted in an intriguing way, and a way I don’t think we’re used to thinking of knowledge.

The kind of knowledge one needs to successfully replicate one of these recipes is certainly practical, tangible, and sensory, but it is also a certain relationship to time and memory: one must remember what came before (as in how a recipe ‘ought’ to turn out) as well as think laterally (how does this ingredient interact with others; how did I use this ingredient in other recipes?). It’s also a kind of knowledge that cannot easily be archived for transmission, as Korda and others argue–that’s one part of the reason we see far fewer records of women’s labor in the early modern archive than we would wish. In some sense, the knowledge the recipe imparts can only be accessed by doing it.

Wendy Wall explains it far better than I do in her article “Literacy and the Domestic Arts,” and she also argues that we need to redefine our concept of literacy to include kitchen and artisanal practices.

Once we’ve defined these practices as knowledge (something one can be literate in), we must also think about what their nature is, or how they’re constituted as knowledge. Very often, the methods and knowledge behind the printed recipes are framed through a clear set of absences. What we do not know from reading these recipes points us precisely to what early modern women did know. In other words: where the text assumes familiarity with the reader is where the vectors of practice, memory, and the absent archive intersect. In this way, although the archive resists our desires to access, locate, and understand early modern women’s work, it also makes it visible by leaving knowledge-shaped holes. Unlike other types of archival absences or elisions, the gaps in early modern recipes are productive; they are themselves sources of knowledge. They tell us what we no longer know (but what was once known) by highlighting our own lack of knowledge.

Which brings me to this recipe from Hannah Woolley’s The Cooks Guide. Characteristically, its directions are minimal, except for one very interesting system of measurement:

To make Lemmon Cream

Take a quart of Cream, keep it stirring on the fire till it be blood warm; then take the meat of three Lemmons sweetened well with sugar, and a little Orange flower water, sweeten them so well that they may not turn the Cream; then stir them into the Cream over the fire, with the yolkes of six Eggs; be sure to keep it stirring, and assoon as you see it be thick, take it off, and pour it into a dish, and serve it in cold.

“Until it be blood warm” struck me as a very clever unit of measurement in its ubiquity and simplicity–put your finger on your wrist to feel your body temperature. “Blood warm” is not-quite-boiling, which we know because our blood doesn’t boil in us, but it’s warm enough that in some cases blood steams. It seemed nearly failsafe, and when I was cooking this dish I actually compared the cream to my wrist.

My own labors in recreating this have been lost along with the use of the body as a temperature scale. The cream turned out terribly, unphotographably congealed. I think it’s because I didn’t get the cream hot enough before adding other ingredients. Unlike an early modern housewife, I have no familiarity with blood in the kitchen–my best guesses of “blood warmth” are from general knowledge and approximation, whereas it’s likely someone in an early modern household would have had frequent reminders what temperature blood was. So what I thought was a failsafe, intuitive measurement turned out to be quite tricky as it referenced something not in my kitchen “vocabulary.” In terms of memory, I also had no idea what exactly constituted “thick”–nothing in my repertoire resembled this, and so I had no standard to work toward. My best guess is that this recipe is supposed to produce something in between custard and sauce, because the recipe specifically reminds the cook that the acid in the lemons is not supposed to curdle the cream (as it would in a posset). I think I’ll try this recipe again, although certainly with a thermometer.

Works Cited

Korda, Natasha. Labors Lost: Women’s Work and the Early Modern English Stage. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Wall, Wendy. “Literacy and the Domestic Arts.” Huntington Library Quarterly 73.3 (2010).

An Abundance of Kumquats

The idea of picking citrus fruit off a tree whenever I wish is still something of a marvel to me–growing up in the Midwest, citrus was something you ordered by the box in the winter and paid exorbitant amounts for the other three seasons. I still think of clementines as Christmas oranges (because I’m apparently a Dickens character?)  So when I was invited, recently, to take all the kumquats I wanted, I found myself feeling a little guilty as I filled up a large bowl.

kumquat 2

Never mind that I hadn’t actually ever tasted a kumquat. They were free, and I’m a graduate student, plus it gave me the opportunity to work with a new ingredient.

First I tried it with chicken, on the premise that you can roast chicken with lemon or orange, so why not the spicy tartness of kumquats? A coat of curry spice helped deepen and balance the flavors, and when I took it out of the oven it was wonderfully fragrant. The kumquats lent a slight bergamot-y spice to the curry, and although you couldn’t really taste any tartness the smell was amazing.

kumquat 1

The internet seems to suggest primarily turning kumquats into marmalade, but I’m not a huge fan of marmalade. I am, however, familiar with the endless early modern recipes for candying or preserving fruits: “To Preserve Damsons Whole,” “To Candy Lemmons,” etc., and this seemed a way of testing the waters of preservation while reducing the painful sourness of the fruits.

Candied Kumquats

1 pint kumquats, washed

1 1/2 c sugar

Cut kumquats in half lengthwise and remove pits. Put in saucepan with enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Drain and repeat three more times.

Place sugar and 1 c water in a saucepan and bring to a boil (you’re essentially making simple syrup). Add kumquats, bring heat to low, and simmer for 40-45 minutes until translucent. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

kumquat 3

They turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt! (The recipe I used produces a syrup as well as candied fruit, with the idea that you can add kumquat syrup to cocktails or drinks). It’s actually a little too sugary, so I think I may reduce the sugar next time I make this, to allow the tartness to cut back through. So far, it’s been a great addition to cranberry juice, and I’m told you can also make a whiskey sour with the syrup.

Transmutating Substances: Egg Alchemy

“With her fire going, woman becomes a sorceress; by a simple movement, as in beating eggs, or through the magic of fire, she effects the transmutation of substances: matter becomes food. There is enchantment in these alchemies, there is poetry in making preserves; the housewife has caught duration in the snare of sugar, she has enclosed life in jars. Cooking is revelation and creation; and a woman can find special satisfaction in a successful cake or a flaky pastry, for not everyone can do it: one must have the gift.”

–Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1952), 453.

How surprised I was to find this passage right in the middle of de Beauvoir’s analysis of the contemporary state of women’s housework and social situation. For de Beauvoir, the daily tasks of women are in themselves productive, creative work–but work that is not afforded any honor, rights, or recognition, and this is particularly evident in the work of the home.

Sixty years later, it’s a reminder that attending to women’s work and its material manifestations opens our eyes to a whole world of wonder–chemical transformations, life preserved, emotions awakened and deftly managed through food. The kitchen is a way to know nature, as myself and many other scholars are beginning to argue and as the farm-to-table enterprises are promoting.

I’ve been thinking about transmutating substances lately; in particular the transmutation of one substance: the egg. Infinitely adaptable under just slight environmental changes, and yet we’re still working out its chemistry–for example, Hervé This’s 65 C egg.

I recently found out about the crispy egg (via Smitten Kitchen) and was instantly fascinated. It produces a shock of egg flavor and texture, and it’s an uneggspected (yup, went there) type of egg to add to dishes–it’s the poached egg’s younger, hipper cousin. What intrigued me most was not that the egg instantly soufflés when it hits the pan, but that you have to cook the top by spooning hot oil over it, and the reaction produces large, paper-thin bubbles of egg meat.

2015-06-29 19.12.27

It made me think of Velazquez’s Old Woman Frying Eggs, and how some techniques don’t change over time. For all our sous-videing and whirlpooling of eggs, some things remain simple and still slightly mysterious, like the simple transformations that occur when an egg is beaten or heated.


Another egg-related mystery is the poached egg, and its fragile existence (ha) in a very short temporal window. I’ve yet to attempt “true” poaching in water, but recently a friend sent me these poaching cups as a surprise. It took a while to figure out what they were, but I’ve now begun my poaching adventures. The cup makes a perfect little egg flotilla and prevents the utter disintegration of egg white that usually happens, and as long as you don’t forget to put the lid on the pot–as I did–the egg will cook in minutes. That’s one thing Hannah Woolley doesn’t have advice on–how to gracefully poach an egg.

2015-07-18 11.21.07