The Spectacle of Nature: Hieronymus Bock’s Kreütterbuch
Today we return to one of the “Three Founders of Botany” Hieronymus Bock and his Kreütterbuch. Hieronymus Bock was born in Heidelsheim or Heidersbach, Germany in 1498 and died in 1554. As mentioned in our previous post, the first edition of Kreütterbuch was unillustrated and printed in Strasburg by Wendel Rihel in 1539. Illustrated versions started appearing in 1546 and contained many woodcuts based on the illustrations found in the herbals of Otto Brunfels and Leonhart Fuchs, along with roughly 100 original illustrations by the Strasbourg artist David Kandel who is also responsible for the portrait of Bock.
This past summer I examined and took photographs of UW-Madison’s hand-colored edition of Kreütterbuch from 1577 printed by Josias Rihel in Strasburg. What is extra exciting about UW-Madison's copy is that it contains pressed plant specimens. It’s hard to say if they are as old as the book, but it is exciting to think about! This edition also incorporates Bock’s Teutsche Speiszkammer, a gallery of food and drink preparations. One illustration included here depicts a man taking eggs from a chicken coop and a woman carrying a duck away, presumably to eat.
Like other herbals from the period, Hieronymus Bock's Kreütterbuch contains illustrations of animals in addition to those of plants. I especially love the mythical creatures including a unicorn and the illustration of rooster chasing a demon (or devil) with faces on its kneecaps.
View more posts about the “Three Founders of Botany” in the West.
View more posts in the serie The Spectacle of Nature.
–Sarah, Special Collections Senior Graduate Intern
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Joey’s Super Epic Poggers Butternut Squash Soup (ft. dubious ingredients and haphazard measurements)
1 Butternut Squash - cubed
3 large Sweet Potatoes - cubed
3 large White Onions - eighthed
7-10 halved Garlic Cloves (I know that sounds like a lot but please trust me)
4-5 medium Carrots - sliced
3tsp of minced or sliced Ginger
Enough chicken or vegetable stock/broth to fill the pot above the veg
60ml Double Cream
1tbsp Butter (optional)
1/3 tsp Paprika
1/3 tsp Turmeric
Salt and Pepper to taste
Coriander (Cilantro) Sprigs
1. First up, you’re gonna wanna cut up all them vegetables. Have that done first. The squash took my entire sharting life but trust me it’ll be worth it. Put the pan on the stove but don’t light it yet, and wack all the vegetables in there.
2. Next up, you gotta boil up that broth. I prefer the flavour chicken stock gives, but if you wanna make this veggie/vegan friendly, just use vegetable stock.
Fill up the pot above the vegetables and turn the heat on, high. Make sure you’re putting the lid on or the broth is gonna evaporate into the Heavyside Layer.
Let that mf bubble and boil away for 15-20 minutes OR until you can stab a fork really smoothly through the largest chunks of squash.
3. Okay, this part is fun but you gotta make sure you don’t scold yourself so be careful when you use the hand blender. If you’re not sure how to use one, google is your friend.
So!! If you’re veg is all nice and soft, turn the heat off the stove and move the pot carefully to a stable, flat surface. Then, take out your hand blender and blitz the ever loving cock out of it until it’s smooth and consistent all the way through.
4. Here, we add in the cream, the turmeric, paprika, butter if you want it, and if you wanna be brave and do it right away, the salt and pepper. If it’s too runny, just let it boil away some more without the lid on until it reduces down. Now you’re good to go!
Get that shit bowled up, add a lil drizzle of cream to make it look pretty, and smack those coriander sprigs on there so it looks proper fuckin’ fancy-like.
And there u go! I’ve made this a couple of times now and while no one in my house likes butternut squash, I’m fuckin’ ride or die for this recipe.
If you want somethin’ to go with it, tiger bread absolutely fucks with this.
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