The final essay should be approximately 8-pages long It should include a title page and citation page in MLA format. It also should conform to the general guidelines for writing listed below. It must be turned in by March 2 at 5 p.m. unless you have arranged for an extension in advance. It must be carefully researched and written.
Community cookbooks were written by civic and church groups, often as fundraisers, and usually contain signed recipes from members of the community. Often the introductions, recipes, and pictures tell a story about a community and its population, although it can be difficult to discover that story. The McCain Library and Archive has collected nearly two-thousand community cookbooks from Mississippi and surrounding states and they are available for your project. Many of these are available online (Links to an external site.).
Throughout this class, you have looked at how the British and the French negotiated ethnic and migrant communities through food. But the British and the French were also immigrants and for this assignment you will consider how British, French, and other European cultures were integrated into America’s culinary culture. Select at least three cookbooks (you may need to look through more, but start with three) and search for recipes that reflect the influence of British, French and other European immigrants. This may be challenging because the recipes will not necessarily be marked as British or French, but look for clues in the titles and be patient. Then investigate the origins of some of these recipes (using online resources or other cookbooks available by visiting the Southern Miss archive). Consider how these recipes are different when presented in a local, American cookbook. Have the ingredients changed to reflect local custom or available resources? Do their meanings change when presented in a local Mississippi cookbook? What can you tell by looking at other recipes in the cookbook about how these recipes were viewed? What can you say about these recipes by considering the communities in which the cookbook was created? The final paper should discuss at least three European recipes found in at least two different cookbooks, but you may consider more.
You will need to submit a project proposal—200-to-250 words—by February 2. The proposal should briefly state what recipes you have discovered so far and it should demonstrate that the project is doable by discussing why you chose these recipes and these cookbooks. It should also propose a hypothesis, even if the hypothesis is very speculative. The hypothesis might discuss the role of food in immigrant lives or the reasons that Americans embraced French, British and other European recipes, but it should relate to the recipes you are exploring and offer an informed argument about those recipes.
(I attached my initial project proposal to give you an idea of what direction I was headed in and the chosen cook books. I also have the feedback from my professor provided below for the assignment).
Hey Benjamin! I like this as a starting point! I think you’re going to have to think a lot about how French -> Cajun/Creole however. One question, for instance, that you’ll confront, is that while there is *no doubt* about the influence of the French, Cajun and Creole foods are, perhaps, less French than they may appear (as they have incorporated other cuisines like Spanish). All this is not to say don’t look for French influence! Just make sure you’re tracking what your argument is, and also make sure you’re relating it back to the idea of cosmopolitanism within Mississippi in the areas you’re looking at.
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