How to Be a Good Housekeeper, Circa 500

March 25, 2017

Housekeeping books seem to be all the rage. Just look at the furious popularity of Marie Kondo’s, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

But this is really nothing new.  Back in the fourth or fifth century (nobody knows when the Roman cookery writer, Apicius actually penned his tome), the author was already offering his readers advice on keeping a happy home. Want to turn that red wine white? Apicius is on the case!

Apicius, who’s best known for his manifesto-length recipes featuring ingredients like  liquamin, sea urchin, flamingo, sheep’s bladder, and healthy heaps of fresh frankincense, devoted an entire section of  De Re Coquinaria (sometimes translated  as “On the Subject of Cooking”) to the household arts. When he wasn’t busy inventing lasagna, it seems Apicius was puttering about the house.

 Here are a few of his more entertaining tips.

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