Some Recent Writings, December 2016

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The Delightfully Disturbing Holiday Displays of Yesteryear: Complete with murder Santa!

Watching Someone Get Hit in the Nuts Has Always United Humanity: On the history of bloopers and books with “boner” in the title.

A Friendly Reminder to Pay for the Things You Care About: The problem with free*

Why Are Thanksgiving Leftovers the Only Acceptable Leftovers? With a reminder of how soulless Dagwood’s eyes are.

16th Century Meat Carvers Were Way Ahead of Your Uncle Walter: A history of men and meat carving.



The World’s Worst Wedding Cake, Old Diet Fads, and The Dish


I have a new piece up on Table Matters about old diet fads (and how they’re not that different from the new ones). The picture you see above is supposed to be a wedding cake. Really.

Also, this piece was featured on The Dish!

After Dinner Mint Pulled Teeth, Menstrual Tonics, and Holiday Self-Loathing



I have two new pieces of writing…ON THE INTERNET!

A Spoonful of Sugar
A Halloweeny article that ended up being published in December about an awesome early 1900s booklet that juxtaposes candy recipes with testimonials for a tonic that cured all menstrual ills. Plus — recipes for after dinner mint pulled teeth and fig eyes!

5 Reasons Why Self-Loathing Is the Key to Low-Stress Holidays
I used to get anxious during holiday season, dealing with all the joy and bustle, but now I just relax and hate myself instead! Learn the amazing secrets to how you can too.

Coal Milk, Beef Tea, and Other Turn-of-the-Century Sick Foods


My newest Forgotten Foods column for Table Matters is about toast water, coal milk, beef tea, and other hideous (or occasionally amazing) foods served to invalids around the turn of the century. Read it here!

Image from Hygiene for the Worker, 1912