Food: A Cultural Culinary History [TTC Video]

Food: A Cultural Culinary History [TTC Video]
Food: A Cultural Culinary History [TTC Video] by Ken Albala
Course No 9180 | MP4, AVC, 720x404 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 10.94GB

Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."

In fact, civilization itself began in the quest for food. Humanity's transition to agriculture was not only the greatest social revolution in history, but it directly produced the structures and institutions we call "civilization."

In every era, the unfolding of history has been intimately tied to the need for food, the production of food, and the culture of food. In all major religions, food choice has been an integral part of religious identity. The quest for spices and exotic foodstuffs led to the European discovery of the New World, as well as to the connecting of the entire globe through trade. In 1840s Ireland a single food—the potato—changed the course of history. Modern warfare, from Napoleon's conquests to World War II, was made possible by advances in food technology.

In our own times, more people worldwide now recognize the McDonald's "golden arches" than the Christian cross. Beyond feeding our bodies, food choices and ideologies express social distinctions, as well as our values, concerns, and aspirations. For all of these reasons, food offers a deeply insightful lens on human history, shedding new light on the evolution of social and political systems, on cultural interactions, economic empires, human migrations, and more. Through food culture, we see how primary biological needs have shaped all human lives through the ages. The history of food is the history of human life at its most elemental, its most intimate, its most essential. It's also a story of ingenuity, creativity, and remarkable human behavior to rival any other aspect of culture.

In Food: A Cultural Culinary History, award-winning Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific puts this extraordinary subject on the table, taking you on an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food. With this innovative course, you'll travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras—as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Incorporating extensive study of historical recipes, food preparation techniques from around the world, and activities you can try at home, these 36 colorful lectures take you through the entire spectrum of food history, from the cuisine of ancient Egypt to the great flowering of European cookery in the Middle Ages, and from the celebrity chefs of 18th-century France to our own Zagat- and Michelin-rated restaurant culture. Along the way, you learn in depth about food production and technology in each era; the social, economic, and political factors surrounding food culture; and thinking on diet and eating through the centuries. The result is a compelling inquiry that will change the way you look at both history and food itself.

Food as a Driver of Human History

As context for exploring humanity's remarkable food cultures, you observe the integral role of food in the unfolding of civilization. From prehistory to our own era, your study includes these seminal subjects:

  • The revolutions of agriculture: Learn how agriculture arose in the prehistoric world and how it spurred the development of urban organization, political systems, social classes, militaries, and trade.
  • Food and faith: Grasp how food practices became core expressions of religious faith in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as in the Eastern traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.
  • 1492 and food globalization: Track the great trading empires of the Venetians, Portuguese, and Spanish, and the "Columbian exchange," where plants and animals from five continents were transplanted across the world.
  • Coffee, tea, sugar, and slaves: Discover how the trade in a group of superfluous luxury items in the era of European colonialism altered the focus of the global economy.
  • Eating in the Industrial Revolution: Learn how capital-intensive, mass food production in the Industrial Revolution forever changed human diet and nutrition.
  • Big business and food imperialism: Observe the vast industrialization of food production in the late 19th and 20th centuries; its economic and human consequences; and the ideologies, movements, and practices that arose to oppose it.

A Global Richness of Culinary Cultures

At the heart of the course, you delve deeply into classic food traditions around the world. Among civilizations of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, your inquiry highlights these traditions:

  • Status and ritual in ancient Rome: Learn how Roman food reflected social rank, wealth, and sophistication, and investigate the dining habits of the upwardly mobile as well as the gastronomic eccentricities of the emperor Heliogabalus.
  • The exquisite flavors of medieval Islamic cuisine: In a culture with no injunction against pleasure, learn how the medieval Muslims' sensual dishes—richly spiced, colored, or perfumed—reflected visions of a paradise on earth.
  • Aztec food culture: In this unique New World tradition, discover the Aztec way of life—the indigenous foodstuffs, eating rituals, and "signature" foods, from chilies to chocolate.
  • Sumptuous dining in the Renaissance: Study the sophistication and complexity of Renaissance-era food culture in the writings of Platina, Ficino, and Messisbugo, and witness the extravagance of banquets at the court of Ferrara.
  • The genesis of French haute cuisine: Grasp the aesthetics of French 17th-century cookery, based in refinement and pureness of flavors and study four Gallic cookbooks that revolutionized culinary history.
  • "Scientific" cooking in the 21st century: In our own diverse era, encounter the phenomenon of "molecular gastronomy"—technology-enhanced food creations designed to titillate and amaze the palate.

A Colorful and Diverse Learning Experience

Expanding on the lectures and in-studio demonstrations of food preparation techniques, the course guidebook presents a series of 39 hands-on activities—where you can learn how to make everything from Egyptian beer to Elizabethan "Chickin Pye"—that give you direct experience of how people cooked, ate, and thought about food in past eras. You also practice medieval eating rituals, track the rich evocation of food in art, and immerse yourself in the poetic ambiance of classic Japanese dining.

Across the span of the centuries you sample important food writing from many cultures, from the world’s first surviving recipes written in cuneiform to the lavish dishes of Apicius of Rome, and from the classic medieval cookbooks of Taillevent and Chiquart to the 19th-century Guide Culinaire by Escoffier.

And, throughout the series, the lectures pulsate with surprising and intriguing details of the human adventure with food:

  • Dinner knives with rounded tips were developed to reduce the threat of violence at the table.
  • The English word "dinner," from the Latin disjejunare, literally means "break-fast."
  • The banana, which we know as a single fruit, actually exists in hundreds of diverse varieties.
  • The world's first restaurant-based food culture was Edo-era Japan.
  • The separation of sweet and savory flavors that we know today is relatively recent historically. Before the 16th century, meat and fish were often cooked with sugar, fruit, and syrups.
  • The Middle Ages produced some of history's most outlandish and theatrical presentations of food, such as gilded boars' heads; "invented" creatures, mixing parts of different animals; and cooked peacocks spewing flames.

Food: A Cultural Culinary History offers you an insightful and startlingly different view of our civilization that you won't find anywhere else, revealing the development of societies and cultures through the single factor that has driven human life more than any other. In the process, you discover the stunning richness of world cultures as seen in their distinctive food traditions, and greatly broaden your own enjoyment of fine food.

Food: A Cultural Culinary History [TTC Video]

How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone [TTC Video]

How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone [TTC Video]
How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone [TTC Video] by Melinda Myers
Course No. 9721 | M4V, AVC, 640x360 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.41GB

Can you imagine walking out your back door to snip a few fresh chives for your baked potato? Or the satisfaction from growing that potato in the first place? Or how about plucking blueberries for your morning cereal from a container on your balcony or deck?

Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding things you can do. While starting a garden may sound intimidating to some, nearly everyone can grow a few herbs, fruits, or vegetables. And as gardening pros know, nothing beats the freshness of a crisp vegetable right off the vine, a sweet fruit plucked from the tree, or a savory herb from your window box. When you grow your own food, not only do you get the freshest food and most delicious flavor, you also get a lower grocery bill and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Best of all, gardening is something you can get started on right away:

  • Grow micro-greens and sprouts year-round in a matter of weeks.
  • Start growing oyster mushrooms—in your basement!
  • Jump-start your local growing season by planting seeds indoors.

Whether you live on rural acreage or a city lot, virtually anyone can grow a simple garden—regardless of your skill level and busy schedule. How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone is a practical guide for cultivating fresh produce from seed to harvest. Taught by renowned horticulturalist Melinda Myers, these 12 hands-on lessons are chock full of tips and tricks for novice gardeners and green thumbs alike. Here, you’ll discover everything from materials and preparation to maintenance and harvesting, giving you all the practical knowledge you need to:

  • Enjoy windowsill herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, dill, and thyme.
  • Harvest garden staples such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins, and potatoes.
  • Learn to grow nutritious and beautiful vegetables, including kale, Swiss chard, and rhubarb.
  • Cultivate fruits from strawberries and raspberries to pears and plum trees.

Ms. Myers shows you the ins and outs of designing a beautiful garden to fit your space, and shares a wealth of examples to give you an idea of just what’s possible. For example, if you just want a few plants on your patio, consider the “thriller, filler, spiller” method of container gardening. Or if you live somewhere with a shorter growing season, consider planting seeds indoors and transplanting them outside when the weather warms.

Prepare Any Space for a Lush Garden

Whether you’re growing indoors or outside, preparation is the key. Ms. Myers walks you through every step of the process, including:

  • Soil preparation
  • Sunlight requirements
  • Proper watering
  • Spacing
  • Pruning
  • Harvesting

You’ll discover how to repair damaged soil, convert grass to a garden, build raised beds, or simply boost the nutritional value of your growing space. She shows you eco-friendly methods for fighting pests such as hornworms, beetles, aphids, and other bugs that might munch on your fruits and veggies. Also, see how to prevent plant diseases through good watering habits and proper airflow.

Once you have your space prepared, it’s time to decide which plants to cultivate! Whether you’re interested in growing from seeds or selecting young plants from your local garden center, you’ll find out all the do’s and don’ts to maximize your garden’s productivity. You’ll get a comprehensive guide to:

  • Topsoil and mulch
  • Fertilizers and pest management
  • Composting and other sustainable gardening practices
  • Water wise gardening strategies
  • Row covers, cold frames, and greenhouses to extend the season

Throughout the course, you’ll unpack key terms you need to know, including “indeterminate” versus “determinate,” “heirloom,” and more. Ms. Myers also provides a dazzling array of creative solutions to build the ideal garden for your space—including ways to tap into a neighborhood co-op or community garden.

Practical Tips and Hands-on Tricks

As she guides you through the process, Ms. Myers offers enthusiastic, can’t-go-wrong advice to get novice gardeners started—as well as professional tips and tricks that will surprise and inspire experienced gardeners. For instance, everyone will appreciate her time-saving tips, like a five-minute plan for weeding, to keep gardening fun rather than a chore.

Along the way, she gives you the case study of her own garden, filmed on location in Wisconsin. As an added bonus, she brings some of her projects right into the studio. You’ll see demonstrations of planting micro-greens, learn to build a worm composter, and more. In keeping with the practical, workshop nature of these lessons, the course guidebook is a handy resource you can take into the field to help with your own gardening efforts.

In no time at all, you’ll experience the myriad benefits of gardening, which feed your body and soul. Whether you simply want to grow herbs for your homemade spaghetti sauce or you dream of cultivating a dazzling orchard, How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone offers everything you need to grow fresh food right outside—or inside—your home.

How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone [TTC Video]

How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques [TTC Video]

How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques [TTC Video]
How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques [TTC Video] by Melinda Myers
Course No 9716 | WMV, WMV3, 640x360 | WMA, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 6x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.56GB

Most of us don’t have the time, space, or energy to design and cultivate a large outdoor garden. So what should we do if we’re craving some homegrown fruits, vegetables, or herbs, or looking to add a colorful splash of flowers to a back deck or front porch? The answer is simple: container gardening.

Growing your own plants in containers is the perfect way to liven up a living space without much of the hassle associated with traditional gardening. With container gardens, you can

  • control and manage plants and flowers with ease,
  • add bursts of color and interest almost anywhere you like,
  • easily extend the planting season beyond your usual growing season, and
  • create warm and friendly environments that match specific occasions and events.

Perhaps the best part is that you can still plant anything in a container that you would in an in-ground garden: perennials, annuals, grasses, vegetables, fruits, and even trees. All it takes is an understanding of the essentials of container gardening, as well as access to some of the same design tips, tricks, and techniques that trained gardeners and landscape artists use to create unforgettable natural displays.

And all of this you can find in the six lessons of How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips and Techniques. Delivered by award-winning horticulturalist and master gardening educator Melinda Myers, this series gives you the essentials of container gardening and the expert know-how to grow practically anything you want in as small a space as you have available. In every lesson, you’ll be immersed in real situations that reveal ideas and solutions that will work for your container garden throughout the year.

Everything You Need for Great Container Gardens

Enjoyable, economical, inspiring, and a pleasure to watch, Container Gardening Tips and Techniques is perfect for gardeners at all levels of experience. Seasoned pros will find creative ideas for designing and planting container arrangements, and novices will get everything they need to know about this form of gardening.

Throughout these six lessons, you’ll learn the fundamentals of successful container gardening, including

  • the advantages of different containers (such as concrete, plastic, and glass) and how to make each of them work to your advantage;
  • the specific soil, light, and water requirements for some of the most common plants and flowers planted in containers; and
  • solutions to common problems and pitfalls related to container gardening, including the potting mix, pests, and shaded areas.

In each instance, you’ll learn how to create your own unique container gardens to fit a range of settings and space constraints, including patios, balconies, decks, and large lots. You’ll also see how container gardens can be used to create natural privacy barriers, liven up empty corners of interior spaces, and complement the theme of a party or special occasion.

Design Tips and Tricks from an Expert

Container Gardening Tips and Techniques comes packed with advice and tricks you’ll learn alongside a friendly expert. Here is just some of the insider information you’ll get with these lessons.

  • One easy way to design a container garden is the “thriller, spiller, and filler” technique. The “thriller” is your vertical accent, which creates a focal point in the garden. The “spiller” is a plant that cascades over the pot and anchors it to the container. And the “filler” ties both together to create a more professional look and feel.
  • To find out when it’s time to water your container garden, your finger is the best tool. Push it into the soil several inches; if the soil has the slightly moist consistency of a damp sponge, it’s time to water (cacti and drought-tolerant plants, of course, are allowed to go a bit drier).
  • What happens to your container gardens when winter comes? If you live in a mild climate, you can leave your containers out all winter long (just make sure to water thoroughly when the soil is dry). For those in colder areas, you can leave containers outdoors as long as they’re weather proof and can tolerate the freezing/thawing of the soil, and your plants are at least one to two climate zones hardier than the area you’re growing them in.

Whether taking you to homes to show you container gardening in action, guiding you through a popular garden center, or explaining the secrets of container gardens from our gardening studio, Ms. Myers elevates this course high above do-it-yourself gardening. With more than 300 kinds of plants shown or referred to, you’ll have an encyclopedic visual reference for countless ways to experience container gardening.

What’s more: Every minute of these engaging lessons, you’re in the hands of a master gardening educator. With more than 30 years of experience as a college professor, popular television and radio host, and prolific writer, Ms. Myers knows how to make container gardening fascinating and fun. You’ll quickly discover why she’s earned a wealth of recognition for her knowledge and teaching abilities, including the Garden Communicator of the Year Award from the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the American Horticultural Society’s B. Y. Morrison Communication Award.

Spring, summer, fall, winter—with How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips and Techniques you’ll have the skills, tips, and tricks you need to add a vibrant natural touch to any season.

How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques [TTC Video]

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