About TheHistoricFoodie & Thistle Dew Books

TheHistoricFoodie preparing a French meal from the mid-18th century



The Historic Foodie, sometimes known as Victoria Rumble, has written several books and a host of magazine articles about the joys of food and cooking in earlier times. She collects antique cookware from the U.S. and Europe and her interests include food preservation and preparation as well as all aspects of 18th century material culture.

When she noticed as many people were buying her books as a guide to a self-sustainable lifestyle as for their strictly historic content she began to tailor her lectures toward their needs and share her knowledge with those who don’t want to be wholly dependent on modern technology. In these uncertain economic times more and more people want to learn the skills of former years in order to provide for themselves and their families and Victoria’s books are a handy comprehensive guide for doing just that.

Victoria and Martin live in the Appalachian foothills and are in the final stages of updating a home they purchased in 2014 and developing the property into a sustainable mini-farm. She would like the place to look similar to the one she grew up on in South Central Tennessee.

Improving the property is a never-ending journey that will see them through, and past, retirement, rehabbing an old barn, rebuilding fences, thinning out trees, adding garden plots and fruit trees, etc., and they have plans to build an 18th century style cabin on the property from which they can immerse themselves fully in a less stressful but sustainable way of life. They share the place with a slowly growing number of farm animals (Orpington and Ameracauna chickens, bourbon red turkeys, Pekin and Rouen ducks, Chinese geese, Pearl and Jumbo French guineas), a few undesirable critters such as an occasional field rat or chicken snake, bug-eating lizards and toads, and a crazy rat terrier named Pepper who keeps them all on their toes.

Martin and Pepper having a look at pomegranate blooms.

They plan to grow more heirloom vegetables, grain, and herbs which find their way into Victoria’s meals and cooking demonstrations, and they constantly research a wide variety of historic and self-sufficiency topics much of which turns up in articles at thehistoricfoodie.wordpress.com. They figure as long as they work together there is no task they can’t finish successfully!

The Historic Foodie has traveled throughout the U.S. and Scotland demonstrating open hearth cooking techniques, signing books, and meeting lots of people who share her passion for food and cooking. She has appeared on live television, both local and national venues, such as WGN Chicago, preparing foods and/or discussing the origins of foods and the virtues of healthy home-cooked meals. The news staff at WGN finished off her cheese soup and even wiped the pot clean with a crust of bread! Her articles have appeared in such illustrious magazines as Early American Life.

She has lectured at numerous living history museums, national parks, historical conferences, heirloom farmer’s markets, the Champlain Valley Exposition, Gettysburg Meets the Arts, home school associations, civic organizations, historical and genealogical societies, etc.

Martin, a retired Marine, has been involved in historical interpretation for some 30 years, having set up demonstrations and programs for scouts and for the public, sometimes in some pretty odd locations such as Okinawa, Japan. After he retired from the Marine Corps, he owned and operated a store in Pennsylvania called Brady’s Faithful Reproductions prior to moving South. They discovered when two historians combine households their reference book collection takes on a life of its own!

They can be reached at thistledewbooks @ yahoo.com.

TheHistoricFoodie training museum volunteers in period food preparation at Tipton-Haynes State Historical site.


On the set at WGN Chicago just before a live cooking segment, Aug. 2010.

Feel welcome to subscribe to TheHistoricFoodie blog and join the fun!

Blissful meals, yall!


8 thoughts on “About TheHistoricFoodie & Thistle Dew Books”

  1. Chris Revelle said:


    I’m writing on behalf of MIT Press. We think that you and your readers will be interested in our newest podcast inspired by the latest issue of The New England Quarterly. The podcast is an interview we’ve recorded between Rebecca Federman of the New York Public Library and the Cooked Books blog and Paul Freedman, author of Out of the East and Food: The History of Taste. In the interview, Freedman discusses 19th-century American restaurant dining as it is explored in his article “American Restaurants and Cuisine in the Mid–Nineteenth Century”. The interview covers such topics as the most popular dishes of the time and which dishes could possibly make a modern-day comeback. We hope you and your readers will enjoy it!

    We also think, given that your blog features some very delicious-looking recipes, your readers would be interested in any of the three historic recipes that we have posted on the podcast page; in particular, the recipe for Apple Fritters seems like it might be an excellent fit for your readership. We suggest that you try making the dish yourself and including it in a post with a link to our podcast page. If you choose to do this, we will tweet your post to our 13,000 twitter followers and 12,000 Facebook fans.

    We’re very excited to have both the interview and the historic recipes up on our site and we hope you enjoy them! Please click the link below to see the podcast webpage and to listen to the podcast, and please let me know if you have any questions.


    Chris Revelle
    MIT Press

    • thehistoricfoodie said:

      Chris – this sounds like great fun, and I will look forward to doing so just as soon
      as there is a free minute. I’ll post photos and discuss further with you after I do my post.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your interest. thehistoricfoodie.wordpress.com

  2. Life Takes Lemons said:

    Hi Victoria,

    I really enjoy your blog and wanted to give you recognition for a job well done. So, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can see the details on my most recent post here: http://lifetakeslemons.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  3. I just found this blog & it is very interesting:) I am giving a talk on the food culture of the War Between the States to the Sons of the Confederate Veterans… thank you for all the information:) too bad you don’t live closer.. I would love have a cup of coffee with you and discuss historical food:) The more research I do the more interesting it becomes> you are so right about the Chef’s of today recycling old recipes:) Have a great evening:)

  4. What a great find your blog is!

  5. You might enjoy http://18thccuisine.blogspot.com/ as well.

  6. A fellow foodie with fabulous material and knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

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