This past month has been very busy for the Capturing Campus Cuisine project! Susan Kooiman and myself have been working hard on writing up the information for each of the pages and working with the Campus Archaeology Program on planning the meal reconstruction event which is slated for later this month! This event will encompass the information gathered from Susan and I’s research at the MSU Archives, her research into cookbooks at the MSU Special Collections, and my faunal (animal) bone analysis. We have also been working the the chefs at MSU to create an small event that will include recipes and food items from the Early Period of MSU’s history (1855-1870).
One of my main focuses for the past month has been on completing the animal bone analysis that will be integrated into the website and the meal reconstruction event. In order to complete this section of the project, I requested several comparative collection fish skeletons from the Field Museum in Chicago. These arrived late last week, and I have since confirmed that the fish bones found in the Saint’s Rest privy, the toilet associated with MSU’s first dormitory on campus, are in fact walleye, which will now be one of the main entrees included in our meal reconstruction event! If you would like to learn more about this, please check out my blog post on the Campus Archaeology Program website, which will be posted on April 6th.
Now that I have completed the identification of the fish remains, I am going to switch my focus on the remainder of the animal bones, which include cow, pig, and sheep/goat. One of my main goals will be to determine, if possible, the types of cut marks present on the bone (i.e. short loin, brisket), and if they match with any purchasing records from the Early Period on campus.
In addition to gathering the data that will be integrated into the website pages. I will continue coding the website, including updating the logos in the footer, and entering the text that Susan and I continue to work on.
If you have any questions about this project, or suggestions for what you would like included please leave a comment below! My next post will be announcing the launch of the website and I can’t wait to receive feedback from visitors!