Thinking with Things: Hannah Woolley to Hannah Arendt
Julia Reinhard Lupton
 The Queen-Like Closet, a cookbook and housekeeping guide, was published in 1670 by Hannah Woolley.  To read Woolley for scenes of thought (rather than for lark pie, or pigs stuffed with puddings, or conserves of roses,) may seem perverse, like reading the PMLA for fashion tips. Indeed, in one of my favorite New Yorker essays, Adam Gopnik writes that you can’t think and cook at the same time.  What he means, I think, is that you can’t do higher order thinking – like solving the mind-body problem or understanding your university’s exciting new post-employment policies – while engaging in higher order cooking (which includes any recipe featuring the words “foam,” “emulsion,” “granita,” or “tar tare”).You might, however, be able to do some lower order thinking (such as itemizing the excellence of sabbaticals or the virtues of children without lice) while engaged in some lower order cooking (such as plattering an elegant array of carry-out burritos and left-over pizza on a weary Wednesday eve).
 You are certainly doing some kind of thinking, however, whenever you cook, because cooking does require a kind of thought: what Richard Sennett in The Craftsman calls “tacit knowledge” or “material consciousness,” the routine intimacy with materials and techniques that comes from the practice of a craft. “In the higher stages of skill,” writes Sennett, “there is a constant interplay between tacit knowledge and self-conscious awareness, the tacit knowledge serving as an anchor, the explicit knowledge serving as critique and corrective” (p. 50).  In this essay, I’d like to read Woolley’s compendium for signs of this interplay, a dynamic between hand, eye, mind, and the objects and materials on the table that I will call, following her latter-day namesake Hannah Arendt, judgment. Ever since Kant, of course, judgment has been explicitly allied with taste, though I don’t think he had lettuce pie  or bullock’s cheek in mind.  How do judgments of taste in the higher sense arise out of acts of tasting in the baser sense? How does cooking become a school for thought, and for thought of what sort?
 First, a few words about Woolley. Born around 1622-1623, Hannah likely served in the household of Lady Anne Wroth, to whom she dedicated The Cook’s Guide, or Rare Receipts in 1664. (Her first book, The Ladies directory in choice experiments and curiosities, appeared in 1662.) She ran two boarding schools with her first husband, Benjamin Woolley, whom she married in 1646.  She began writing cookbooks after his death in 1661. She married again briefly, from 1666-1669, and then resumed her publishing career, with The Queen-like Closet appearing in this second phase of widowhood. An omnibus entitled The Gentlewoman’s Companion or, A Guide to the Female Sex came out in 1673, but Woolley disclaimed authorship, and the modern editor of the book, Caterina Albano, doubts that Woolley wrote much of it.  The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet, which brought together in one volume her first two books, was published midway in what we might call “the Hannah Woolley branding story.” By 1670, she had established a name and a bit of a career for herself, enough that publishers would want to capitalize on her reputation, not only publishing more volumes under her name, but also developing her personality and biography in a quasi-fictional direction. The early books featured images of kitchens in use  or no images at all ; The Gentlewoman’s Companion added a (fake) portrait of Woolley herself. Woolley thus anticipates later household writers such as Mrs. Beeton in the nineteenth century and Martha Stewart in the twentieth and twenty-first, women who would yoke their knowledge of household matters to the power of print in order to build a niche genre with increasing mass appeal.
 Woolley’s books can be read as examples of “shelter writing,” a term retooled by Susan Fraiman to describe not only the discourse of housekeeping and interior design, but also, more poignantly and more pointedly, the writings of “those whose smallest domestic endeavors have become urgent and precious in the wake of dislocation, whether as the result of migration, divorce, poverty, or a stigmatized sexuality.” Both widowhood and her own declining health (Woolley suffered from palsie, as she relates in one volume ) seem to have led her to writing as a livelihood. Woolley markets her book as a means of assisting women displaced by the English Civil War: “I find many Gentlewomen forced to serve whose Parents and Friends have been impoverished by the great Calamites, viz. the late Wars, Plague, and Fire and to see what mean places they are forced to be in, because they want accomplishments for better.” In her list of medical accomplishments, she recounts curing a woman “being kicked by a Churlish Husband on her leg,” a brief glimpse into the daily ordeal of domestic violence and the role of women in assisting each other medically.  A series of model letters at the end of the book deliver no shallow exercises in courtesy, but rather micro-narratives of women in distress. In one letter, a “seaman’s wife” informs her absent husband that “our little Boy is dead of the small-pox.” In another, a maidservant updates her mistress on the status of the household accounts, urging that her employer extend patience towards a widow who “hath had great Loss lately.” In another epistle, “a Woman in Prison” writes to her friend for financial assistance, in a missive that begins, “Suppose you have heard how wrongfully I have been dealt with since my husbands departure; how they have accused me of what I was never guilty of and cast me in Prison to my great Discredit, Charge and Detriment to the world.” For such women, literacy, like cookery, is a survival skill. Responding to personal trials, historical crisis, and the challenges of living both with men and without them, Woolley’s books participate in what Fraiman calls “a history of deprivation or difficulty regarding shelter,”  while aiming to ameliorate those deprivations by inculcating habits of frugality, beautification, remedy, and service, which together embed an ethics of care and keeping within the learned techniques of higher housework. Cooking is action as well as activity, unfolding in a social and seasonal scene of nested economies and creaturely vulnerabilities. If a recipe calls for “morning milk,” a cow must be chewing its cud nearby.  A recipe “To make Misers for children to eat in Afternoons in summer” orients the kitchen towards distinct stages of life as well as the rotation of the day and year.  The Bills of Fare appended to the back of the collection provide menus for “Extraordinary Feasts,” “Lesser Feasts,” “Familiar Times,” and “Fish Days and Fast Days,” keyed to winter and summer as well as upper and middle classes.  Bodily care is always also care for the social body in response to built and natural environments. Woolley founds her medical ethos on an experience that extends from household to neighborhood: “I have been Physician and Chirugian in my own House to many, and also to many of my Neighbors, eight or ten miles round.” Such care is “thoughtful”: considered, responsive, attentive, in short, “full of thought,” but always oriented towards scenes of action.
 The title of Woolley’s cookbook borrows some impetus from cognition. The closet metaphor was already common in both cook books and pharmaceutical manuals of the period, the word implying a private study from which secrets might be surreptiously published for the common good, a pantry for the storage of household provisions, and a dressing room designed for beautification.  The frontispiece to The Queen-like Closet is divided into five sections, like compartments in a cabinet or cupboard where things might be stored. Yet what the openings frame is not an inventory of objects so much as a set of scenes of engaged and skilled activity. The graphic resembles the elevation of a house, one in which every room is a kitchen (heaven for some, hell for others – there is certainly fire aplenty!). At left center, the cook is brewing medicinal waters and cordials that require the skilled use of stills, alembics, vials, and other implements shared with science and alchemy. Some of Woolley’s contemporaries preferred to call their recipes “experiments,” and the language of the new science recurs in Woolley as well. The other scenes are more culinary, their technologies including the tripod in front the hearth for cooking stews or preserving fruit in large batches (upper left) and a a vessel set in a basin of water for the exacting arts of confectionary (upper right). In the middle right and lower panels, the cook uses the oven for baking breads, puddings and pies, while the hearth houses spits for roasting meat and cranes for hanging large pots.
 In each of these views, the kitchen appears as what anthropologist Tim Ingold calls a taskscape, a layout defined by the purposeful movement of human and nonhuman actors through its layered terrain of affordances. Woolley’s frontispiece is closer to genre painting than to still life: as a menu or interface announcing the contents of the pages within, the image declares the preeminence of embodied thought to the project that follows. In The Queen-like Closet, like most recipe books of the period, the verb predominates over the noun. The word “Recipe” itself comes from the Latin for “take,” the word that jumpstarts most of Woolley’s recipes. (“Take sweet Almondes blanched …,”  “Take twelve of the fairest Limons,”  “Take lavender flowers stripped from the stalk,”  etc.) The titles of Woolley’s recipes are usually infinitives: “To make a most precious water,” “To take away the signs of small pox,”  “To keep flowers all the year.”  The title of her first book, The Ladies directory, refers not to a list of persons, like a phone directory, but rather to a compendium of directions.  The title page to the Second Part of the Queen-like Closet describes the book as “directing a very true and excellent way for all manner of Cookery” and promises to deliver “Directions for two or three several things in one, not confounding the Brains with multitudes of words.”  The recipe is a kind of script, in both the dramatic and the software sense: the forms of thinking it “directs” are pragmatic, unfolding as a series of what game theorist Ian Bogost calls “unit operations,” consisting of discrete, portable, procedure-based bits of media whose aim is to do things to things in the world.  The unit formed by the recipe can take its place in a number of different procedural systems, such as daily meal preparation, preserving and candying, cosmetics and hygiene, medicines, minor surgery, housekeeping, and banqueting.  Although I will refer to Woolley as the author of her recipes, it is the nature of the cook book itself that formulas be copied from one collection to another, reflecting the repeatability of the recipe as a “procedural artifact,” a crystallized set of iterable commands. Our own age is dominated by celebrity cookbook writers on the one hand (the legacy of Woolley’s early branding efforts) and the infinite google-worthiness of the recipe on the other (which maximizes the operational nature of the recipe as such).
 Words in The Queen-Like Closet that tag the kind of procedural thinking cultivated by cooking include “Experiments,”  “ingenious,” and “Practices.”  Such words indicate the pragmatic, thing- and action-oriented character of the cook’s discourse: pragmata, as Bruno Latour points out, means things, circumstances, or affairs.  They also share shelf and counter space with the new science, whose stills, alembics, vials, and gally pots overlap with those of cooking, especially when medicinals are at stake. The closet harbors secrets in its depths, mysteries that Woolley has dared to publish: “I am blamed by many for divulging these Secrets, and again commended by others for my Love and Charity in so doing.”  Such claims are conventional: her contemporaries William Rabisha and Robert May mount similar defenses of their publishing of secrets. Such apologia serve to establish the professional character of cookery as a “mystery” affiliated with other arts and sciences (“the Astronomer, Navigator, Physician, Chirugion, Faryer, and many hundred more”.)  To be in possession of trade secrets is to be master or mistress of skilled knowledge, and hence steward of a special kind of thinking.
 Although such meta-descriptions demonstrate Woolley’s self-understanding of the cognitive resources cultivated by cooking, I am more interested in the evidence of thought sloughed off in the minimal scripts of the recipes themselves. Woolley’s books assume some familiarity with basic techniques; this tome is no “Blood Puddings for Dummies,” but rather what she calls a “Memorandum,” whose brief notations build upon the considerable skills already commanded by most of her readers: “All you who are knowing already and Vers’d in such things, I beseech you to take it only as a Memorandum.”  Early modern cook books unfold in a hermeneutic circle spun from hands-on training conducted in real kitchens; the resulting recipes are highly laconic, their taciturnity bespeaking the depths of knowledge that the reader brings to the table. (Imagine, for example, making “Pumpion pie” from scratch in exactly fifty words. ) The repetitiveness of the recipes precludes the need for detailed instruction – most roads, it seems lead to either pie or pudding,  thrifty, stalwart receptacles for lesser meats and older fruits in an age when funeral baked meats furnished forth the wedding tables: pragmata in gravy.  Moreover, the details left out of the recipes do not only reside “in” the memories of her readers, like a hard drive, but also in the space of the kitchen itself, whose shelves, surfaces, implements, and heating sources invite their own use. 
 Yet some of the more elaborate recipes, especially those in the demanding art of confectionary, lead Woolley to caution her readers against possible mistakes, in the process developing their culinary judgment. It is this cultivation of judgment as a form of thinking that is based on experience and intuition rather than objective measures or rules that interests me here. A key word for such acts of tact in Woolley’s vocabulary is “enough,” equivalent to modern cookery’s “done”:
“boil [green walnuts] very leisurely until they are enough” 
“when you do perceive [the cornelions] to be very clear, they are enough” 
“and when you judge they [candied angelica] be enough, put them on a Pie-plate, and open them with a little stick …” 
“boil [cordial syrup] till you think it be enough” 
“stir these well together till you think they be enough, over a slow fire” 
“stir [eggs and cream] least [lest] they turn, then when it is almost enough, put in some candied Eringo root, Orange or Limon Pill….” 
“when you think your meat is enough …” 
Sometimes “enough” occurs by itself, a simple directive to the cook to follow her experienced intuition. Often the word is accompanied by words for thinking: “when you think your meat is enough,” “when you do perceive them to be very clear, they are enough,” “when you judge they be enough.” “Enough” often appears as the sweet spot between too little and too much:
“fill them but not too full” 
“bake it, but not too much” 
“keep it stirring over a slow fire till you see it will jelly, but do not let it boil” 
“till the sugar all be melted, but do not let it boil” 
“Bruise ripe Gooseberries with an Apple Beater, but do not beat them too small” 
Cooking appears here as a set of graduated processes that require the cook to know when to stop. Cooks and other lovers call it timing, which is a situated form of judgment, of “knowing when.” Behind each direction that warns against an extreme lies the experience of a failure: a fine currant jelly ruined by boiling the sugar; gooseberries crushed to a molten bloody pulp by an overeager beater; an orange pudding disastrously separated into sodden leavings by careless over-baking in an era before temperature controls. We don’t get the narrative of these failures, but they lurk behind Woolley’s directives, schooling her judgment so that she can school ours. As she works her way through seas of molten sugar and liquid fruit, skillfully navigating  between the Scylla of too little and the Charybdis of too much, Woolley exercises something like the form of anticipatory attention that Richard Sennett attributes to the recipes of Julia Child: “she knows what comes next and where danger lies … sympathy and prehension combine.”  “Prehension” eschews the suffixes that accommodate “apprehension” and “comprehension” within higher orders of thought in order to grasp the anticipatory alliance of hand, eye, mind, tools, and materials achieved in the exercise of craft. 
 When Woolley speaks of perception, visual indicators play a major role, but there is also a clear tactile dimension as well, whether vision is actively supplemented by forms of touch, or one is looking for texture, using the eyes to sense how something feels. The direction, “when you perceive your Apples clear, and Syrup thick, then take them up” bundles transparency and viscosity into a single evaluative snapshot, likely by means of the spoon, an instrument for seeing feelingly.  A directive like “when you see that they [the barberries] are well plumped”  combines a visual word (“see”) with a more tactile description (“well plumped”) that implies manual familiarity with the items at hand. Only rarely does Woolley enlist metaphor to describe a moment in culinary process, which is also a moment for judgment: to make “Syrup of Ale,” boil ale wort “until you do perceive it to be as though it were full of Rags,”  a visual image that maintains a tactile dimension. To make “a most excellent cake,” you must learn to “knead it until it rise under your hand,” a phrase that grasps the living character of yeast and the active collaboration between dough and hand in the baking process.  In a recipe for “the best sort of Harts-horn Jelly to serve in a Banquet,” Woolley musters a range of artefactual and sensory tools in support of an evaluative, action-oriented process of perceiving: “boil it up quick, and when you find by the Spoon you stir it with that it will stick to your mouth, if you do touch it, and that you find the Water to be much wasted, strain it out.” Here the act of judgment coalesces around the relative resistance met by the spoon, the mouth feel of the jelly, and the visual evidence of reduced liquid in the pot. See Merleau-Ponty: “Each contact of an object with part of our objective body is, therefore, in reality a contact with the whole of the present or possible phenomenal body.” 
 Sometimes judgment occurs in conjunction with taste, which is closely allied with touch both etymologically and in practice, as well as with the history of judgment. In a recipe for Almond Ginger-Bread, Woolley invites the reader to add “Ginger and Cinammon finely pearced, so much as by your taste you may judge to be fit.”  Taste is alimentary here, a function of the mouth, but it works in cooperation with judgment, which draws upon personal preference (“sweeten it with sugar according to your taste” ) in response to a normative sense of decorum (what is “fit”). The mouth is also an instrument for judging whether a jelly has reached the right viscosity: “do not let it boil, but when you find it to be very thick in your mouth then put it softly into Glasses.”  Modern tasters might speak here of the “mouth feel” of a food, which bears on texture rather than flavor, and is a crucial component of gustation. 
 Whereas modern cookbooks rely on objective time and temperature measures as supports and sometimes substitutes for judgment, Woolley must instead train her cooks in the exercise of an embodied and situated discretion. Indeed, the body itself becomes a reference point, as when the reader is instructed “to let your water be blood warm” or to make a roll of dough “as big as your Thigh.”  When I am boiling apricots in a skillet “very tender and gently” while “bruising them with the back of a Spoon, till they be like pap,” my tactile thinking does not unfold “inside the mind,” as an interior place and process, or rather somewhere between my hand, the spoon that extends it, the skillet that receives and resists the pressure of my motions, the radiant fruits that tremble and dissolve beneath my able touch, and the embers releasing their deal-changing heat below the tripod. 
 In other words, cooking demonstrates the validity of “distributed cognition,” which emphasizes the interactive, spatial, embodied, and object-driven character of thought.  Alva Noë defines “enactive perception” as “a kind of skillful activity on the part of the animal as a whole” rather than a process that occurs inside the brain, on a simple input-output model.  Bruno Latour emphasizes objects as “actants,” co-agents on the scenes of both thought and action.  My own path into this material has been through affordance theory, developed first in environmental psychology by James J. Gibson and then remastered for modern product design by Donald Norman (and a bunch of guys at Apple). Affordances concern the possible actions that an object or environmental feature solicits in the animal that perceives it.  Affordance theory accounts for how we think with things, not in the broader speculative and reflective sense in which things become models for conceptual relationships,  but in a narrower, more pragmatic and immediate sense. How do the shapes and colors of particular objects (say, the slight dimple on a raised red key) invite pushing when in a state of panic? In the affordance-based thinking that philosopher Eric Reitveld calls “skillful coping,” thought unfolds between the human agent and the objects in her immediate environment. Objects in the taskscape prompt thoughtful action through their particular affordances, indicators that can be enhanced by designers attuned to their cognitive potential.
 Take, for example, the use of the ladle in candying seeds and citrus peel. This art involves the kind of complex apparatus depicted in the upper right compartment of The Closet’s frontispiece: a vessel holding sugar sits in a water bath supported by a tripod above a heap of glowing embers on the hearth. The goal of the confectioner is to keep the sugar melted while not letting it burn, a procedure that requires constant attentiveness mediated by the skillful use of the ladle, which is used both to test the flow of the sugar (“Melt [the sugar] very well until it will stream from the Ladle”) and to cool the water bath through the addition of extra water as needed: “See that you keep your Sugar in the Basin always in good temper, that it burn not in Lumps, and if at any time it be too high boiled, put in a spoonful or two of water, and keep it warily with your Ladle.”  “See that …” is a judgment phrase: seeing is visual, but it is also cognitive, anticipatory, and evaluative, and it involves an engagement with tactility. “To keep it warily with your Ladle” means to join with the ladle in an act of attention, wielding its long-handled bowl in response to changing conditions in the volatile microclimate created by water bath and sugar pot. Like the blind man’s cane, the ladle is an instrument for seeing feelingly and hence a tool for judgment.  The cook thinks with her ladle, using it to make material adjustments that are also mental adjudications, achieved simultaneously and through the very same means and motions. Merleau-Ponty: “tactile experience occurs ‘ahead’ of me, and is not centred in me.”
 “Keep it warily”: this, too, is a judgment phrase. “Keep” means keep watch, by engaging in an expanded, tangible, anticipatory practice of embodied, action-oriented perception. The word “keep” stands at the heart of “housekeeping,” as an art and office of mindful mindlessness, a repertory of forms of environmental attentiveness and curatorial concern embedded within a set of repetitive labors. Judgment, of the limited and situated kind I have been pursuing here, is the turn in the Moebius strip formed by mental and manual life in the tasks of housekeeping. It is not that there are no truths in cooking, but rather that once something is determinable, judgment is no longer required, or at least its exercise becomes more automatic, more like breathing than thinking. “Enough” is always variable, yet not infinitely so; indeed, “enough” eschews infinity for this collop of bacon in sweet meats,  or this fricasse of sheep’s foot, as well as the moodiness of this hearth, oven, or chafing dish.  Moreover, in an oikos defined by the imperatives of conservation, “enough,” the watchword of culinary judgment, becomes both moment and method, an ethic born of exigency.
 How, finally, do we bridge the distance between Hannah Woolley and Hannah Arendt? The first Hannah is fiercely immersed in the domestic sphere, which reveals a public edge only in the more reflective and programmatic apparati of the book. For the second Hannah, the polis names the sphere of the most authentic and achieved human action, while the oikos that makes political action possible is itself the site of privation; in Arendt’s writing, appreciations of domestic labor occurring only sporadically and as if by accident in a project dedicated to public life.  Woolley finds herself at home in the object-lined laboratory of the kitchen, a scene of fabrication, manufacture, and confection, while Arendt pursues the revelation of who we are in public speech, in evanescent scenes of human appearing constituted by the presence of other people. Yet judgment is crucial to both Hannah’s, and may form precisely the bridge between object worlds and political spheres for each writer. Yoking the two Hannah’s together, across the centuries, continents, and genres of their very different spheres of thought and action, creates a double palindrome, an epochal chiasmus. In Woolley, the polis exists at the far edge of the oikos, barely visible from the inward-looking precincts of the kitchen-laboratory; for Arendt, the oikos constitutes the necessary but excluded grounds of the polis, the behind-the-scenes support system for public forms of appearing. Focusing on judgment in both writers may help bring forward the political potential of Woolley’s discourse alongside the resources for domestic thinking in Arendt’s, allowing us to infuse the spheres of making and doing in each other (like folding whipped eggs into cream for a sillibub  or cold soufflé).
Here is Arendt on judgment:
Judgment may be one of the fundamental abilities of man as a political being insofar as it enables him to orient himself in the public realm, in the common world – these are insights that are virtually as old as articulated political experience. The Greeks called this ability Φρόνηοις, or insight, and they considered it the principle virtue or excellence of the statesman in distinction from the wisdom of the philosopher. The difference between this judging insight and speculative thought lies in that the former has its roots in what we usually call common sense, which the latter constantly transcends. Common sense – which the French so suggestively call the ‘good sense,’ le bon sens – discloses to us the nature of the world insofar as it is a common world; we owe to it the fact that our strictly private and ‘subjective’ five senses and their sensory data can adjust themselves to a nonsubjective and ‘objective’ world which we have in common and share with others. Judging is one, if not the most, important activity in which the sharing-of-this-world-with-others comes to pass. 
 Arendt identifies judgment with Aristotle’s phronesis, practical wisdom. She emphasizes the world-building capacity of judgment insofar as it draws on and builds up a horizon of “common sense,” of shared objectives as well as shared objects whose validity is continually tested and reconfirmed through acts that ascertain and evaluate. Her example of a world-building thing is the table: “To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it.”  Shadowing this image is the scene of hospitality, in which the table, product of artisanal work, holds up the fruits of kitchen labor in order to solicit human appearing across its boards. In another passage from The Human Condition, Arendt writes that the freedom bought by the Greeks through slavery harbored a “violent injustice,” not only to the slaves but also to the citizens, who were henceforth deprived of a certain mode of living: “the price for absolute freedom from necessity is, in a sense, life itself” (that is, the life of labor, the life of the oikos).  The good life surfaces here not as that which separates itself from labor but rather as those praxes that draw forms of action and activity together in a variegated yet coherent vitality.  As Victoria Kahn notes, ” Arendt’s defense of a Kantian idea of culture is thus at the same time a defense of the realm of politics … Arendt turns culture from the merely contingent product of historical conditions to the occasion for the critical analysis of society as well as the precondition of politics. ” 
 For both Hannah’s, the exercise of judgment functions to disclose and maintain – to “keep,” if you will — a common world that exists beyond sense impressions and yet is built through them, not passively but through acts of tactical and tactile engagement with tableaux that solicit evaluation, prompt decision, and stimulate fancy. For both, moreover, this common world requires our care, since it has proven vulnerable not only to wear and tear by natural processes, but also to the violent displacements of war. The sphere of praxis delimited by Arendt’s acts of judgment unfurls in a wider, more public circle of objects, activities and conversations, whereas Woolley remains for the most part very close to the trestle table, the chafing dish, and the hearth stone. For Arendt, taste is aesthetic, and for Woolley, alimentary. My point is not to reduce either moment to the other; I want neither to claim the physiology of taste and the drudgery of the oikos as the disavowed corporeal truth of aesthetic ideology and its politics, nor to force Woolley’s frugal cookery to steward arts finer or politics higher than those modest ones that it is in fact capable of cultivating. Yet I think it’s worth calling attention to what these very different scenes of judgment have in common. For both Hannah’s, judgment issues from a subject endowed with senses that are keyed to the capacity for action, an embodied and embedded subject for whom thinking can be a kind of doing. For both Hannah’s, judgment involves a level of uncertainty, a striking out with reference to norms limned by experience in concert with others, but not achieving the consistency of “demonstrable facts or truths proved by argument.”  Between the two Hannah’s, judgment and taste publish their intimacy, as forms of thought that involve the testing, maintenance and transmission of common worlds. For both Woolley and Arendt, moreover, writing is “shelter writing,” in the distinctive sense developed by Susan Fraiman. Her sample letters, too, are recipes – recipes for disaster that instruct Woolley’s readers in the ABCs of succor and survival.
 Arendt engages in a different kind of shelter writing in her essay “Thinking and Moral Considerations”:
We can use the word ‘house’ for a great number of objects – for the mud-hut of a tribe, for the palace of a king, the country home of a city dweller, the apartment house in the town … [‘House’] implies ‘housing somebody’ and being ‘dwelt in’ as no tent could house or serve as a dwelling place which is put up today and taken down tomorrow. … The word ‘house’ is something like a frozen thought which thinking must unfreeze, defrost as it were, whenever it wants to find out its original meaning … This kind of pondering reflection … is entirely without results; it might, however, be that those ….who have pondered the meaning of the word ‘house’ will make their apartments look a little better. 
Arendt tests the word “house” for a sense of place and boundary, of fragile security and provisional endurance. Although hardly autobiographical, Arendt’s disparagement of tents recalls her years of statelessness and even her temporary internment during the summer of 1940 at Gurs, a detention camp in southwestern France.  “Defrosting” the word house, unlike defrosting the refrigerator, accomplishes no task, yet the act of cleaning up one’s mental furniture, Arendt suggests, might well flow into a makeover of one’s living space. This too is “shelter writing” in Fraiman’s strong sense: a discourse about housing that records and repairs “a history of deprivation … regarding shelter.” 
 Occasionally, just occasionally, Woolley moves into something like an aesthetic realm: in a recipe “To preserve Orange or Lemon Pill [peel] in thin slices in Jelly,” she instructs the reader to “Take the most beautiful and thickest Rinds.” “Thickest” helps ground “beautiful” in an objective measure, while the appearance of beauty emphasizes the discerning eye of the cook in the culinary process. In an appendix on the attributes of service, Woolley writes that the successful cook “ought to have a very good Fancy.”  And various recipes invite aesthetic variation: biscuits can be made “into pretty Fancies,”  while dried apples can be “glistered” to “look like Crystal.”  The Queen-like Closet ends with a candyland fantasia: entitled “To make a Rock in Sweet-Meats,” this virtuoso production, assembled in a basket, includes fountains of wine, mountains made of cake and biscuits, colorful plantings of dried fruits and flowers, and a menagerie of “Snakes and Snails and Worms, and of any venemous Creature you can think of,” crafted from sugar plate.  Here the fancy of the cook has truly run wild, creating a whole environment out of sugar, a table top Land of Cockaigne. Whoever holds or beholds this glistering cosmos of sweet meats will, like Timon of Athens, have “the world as [her] confectionary” (Scene 14, 261). Coming at the end of a cookbook ceaselessly moderated by a frugal sense of “enough,” the surplus energy provided by all those glittering calories floats into a distinctly aesthetic realm, playing on the culinary imagination of the reader and writer alike. Modern food and shelter writers would describe this final project as “aspirational,” its extreme instructions intended to inspire and stimulate rather than instruct. These are the extravagant conceits of courtly banqueting, and Woolley represents her creation as a gift made on behalf of a patron “for a Present to a Person of Quality.” Yet it is also a gift from her to us, the circle of “ingenious ladies and gentlewomen”  assembled by the book and initiated into its secrets.
 Adam Gopnik recently published a piece on ambitious desserts, “techno-emotional” productions engineered in kitchen-laboratories as taste and fragrance adventures that boldly criss-cross the sweet/savoury line. Like Woolley’s sugar garden, many of these speculative pastries are modeled on the follies of landscape architecture.  (Example: “A coconut iceberg floats on a sea of lemon gelatin and water ice, with squash confit, mint-and-vanilla ice cream, broken chocolate cookie, and grape syrup oil slick.” ) Chef Adam Stupak confides, “I happen not to like sweets…. It’s an idiosyncrasy of mine. I decided to become a pastry chef because it gave me autonomy. … Pastry is infinitely exciting, because it is less about showing the greatness of nature, and more about transmitting taste and flavor. Desserts are naturally denatured food.” Dessert borrows its autonomy from the work of art and the judgment of taste. Dessert is art and technology, imaginative display and alchemical demonstration, thinking bodied forth in almond paste and rose water and then shaped into tiny peacocks.  It is no accident that most of Woolley’s occasions for judgment occur in the more rarefied, technical, and demanding realm of dessert and cordial cookery, where volatile sugars and temperamental eggs test the intuitions as well as the imagination of the cook. Desserts also belong to the highly ritualized banqueting course, its alimentary function outstripped by medicinal, aspirational, amatory, and theatrical impulses. From kitchen to table, the banquet course is a scene for multiple judgments of taste.
 In the prologue to The Craftsman, Richard Sennett accuses his one-time teacher, Hannah Arendt, of too sharply distinguishing animal laborans from homo faber. Wheareas the laboring animal (cook, milkmaid, janitor, laundress) finds herself mindlessly absorbed in meeting the needs of life, the human maker (blacksmith, potter, painter, poet) engages in “making a life in common” that is always linked to collective discussion and judgment. Contra Arendt, Sennett proposes that “thinking and feeling are contained within the process of making” and that the mastery of a craft builds virtues that are portable to other public spheres.  I have argued here that Woolley’s cookbook offers a phenomenological prospect into the emulsions undergone by thinking, making and doing in the laboratory-studio of the kitchen. I have also suggested that Hannah Arendt was far less oblivious to the fruits of this continuum than Sennett suggests. In the great double palindrome drawn by their names (hannah – hannah), judgment and taste involve the testing, maintenance and transmission of common worlds, against the threats posed by world war, absent husbands, infant mortality, and the ruthless shelters of prison and camp, dramas played out against the daily specters of burnt sugar, fallen puddings and iced appliances. Woolley’s recipes are addressed in print to a broad readership and thus bring the secrets of the oikos into public view. But meals are already in their way a public thing, a res publica designed for common consumption in accordance with the order of courses, the rules of seating, and the seasonal rhythms of feast and fast. “Culture and politics,” writes Arendt, “belong together because it is not knowledge or truth which is at stake, but rather judgment and decision, the judicious exchange of opinion about the sphere of public life and the common world, and the decision what manner of action is to be taken in it, as well as how it is to look henceforth, what kind of things are to appear in it.”  What better place to exchange such judgments than over a fine venison pasty, followed by a “dish of Chickens rosted,” “two or Three dried Tongues,” and a banqueting tray of “Cream Cheeses,” “small Fruit,” “a Dish of Jellies of several colours,” and “some of your fine Drinks, what[ever] may be most pleasing”?  For today at least, I think we can say: enough!
EEBO lists editions in 1670, 1674, 1681, and 1684.
 Adam Gopnik, “Cooked Books: Real Food from Fictional Recipes,” New Yorker (April 9, 2007), 85.
 Philosopher Eric Rietveld, working between cognitive science and phenomenology, speaks similarly of “unreflective skillful action” and “embodied skills” in response to the affordances of objects in the environmentEric Rietveld, “McDowell and Dreyfuss on Unreflective Action.” Inquiry 53.2 (April 2010): 183-207.
 The Closet, 247.
 The Closet, 271.
 Supplement to the Queen-Like Closet, p. 12; Albano, pp. 7-8.
 Woolley disowns authorship of The Gentlewoman’s Companion in the **** edition of the Supplement to the Queen-like Closet. Two other books were likely published under Woolley’s name but without her authorization or significant authorship: The Accomplish’d Ladies Delight, 1675 and The Compleat Servant-Maid, 1677. Caterina Albano discusses the authorship debate in her modern edition of The Gentlewoman’s Companion, 15-16.
 The Ladies Directory and The Closet.
 Cook’s Guide.
 “Shelter Writing: Desperate Housekeeping from Crusoe to Queer Eye,” New Literary History 37.2 (Summer 2006): 37.
 “And for the Palsie, whether Dead or Shaking, I am sure none can give better Remedies, nor know better than I do, having brought my Experience at a dear rate; there is none who have been more afflicted with it than my self, and (I humbly bless God for it) there is no Person more freer from it than my self, nor from any other Disease, and that is very much, I being now in my Two and fiftieth year.” Supplement to the Queen-Like Closet, p. 16.
 The Closet, 348-349. The Accomplish’d Cook, Robert May’s cookbook of 1660, also alludes to the wars, but emphasizes their disruption of the traditions of aristocratic hospitality rather than their displacement of women who must now seek service (A3). He addresses his book to “The Master Cooks, and to such young Practitioners of the Art of Cookery, to whom this Book may be useful,” that is, “to all honest well-intending Men of our Profession” (A4) rather than to “Ladies and gentlewomen.” Although he emphasizes rich and costly dishes “of such high prices, which onely these Noblesse Hospitalities did reach to,” for those with lesser means he has also “descended to their meaner Expenses.” (Preface, two pages in).
 Supplement, 12.
 Supplement, 166.
 Supplement, 166-7.
 Supplement, 165.
 “Shelter Writing,” 344.
 Cook’s Guide, p. 27; cf. p. 29: “Take 3 gallons of milk new from the cow.”
 “A kind of sop made with bread crumbs, etc.” OED; cites Nashe (1594) and Wolley.
 The Closet, p. 94.
 The Closet, pp. 315-28.
 Supplement, “To the reader,” A3 verso.
 Woolley is likely capitalizing on the recent appearance of The Queens Closet Opened, first published in 1662 and presented to Queen Henrietta Maria. Closet-books that emphasize scientific and medical discoveries include Thomas Tymme, A dialogue philosophicall. Wherein natures secret closet is opened (London: Printed by T.S. for Clement Knight, 1612). Queen Elizabeths closset of physical secrets, which includes within it “the Child-bearers Cabinet,” published by “A.M.” in 1656, associates its medical secrets with the intimate space of the queen. See also John Partridge, The treasurie of hidden secrets: commonly called, The good huswives closet of provision for the health of her household (London: Henrye Car., 1586); A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen (London: Arthur Johnson, 1608; anonymous). In Hugh Plat’s 1654 cook book, the closet appears as a physical location associated with the lady’s toilet: Delights for Ladies,to adorn their Persons, Tables, Closets and Distillatories with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes and Waters.
 The author of the 1671 edition of The Queens Closet Opened writes of his offerings that “we shall now rather call [them] Experiments than Receipts” (A4).
 Cook’s Guide, p. 94.
 The Closet, p. 6.
 The Closet, p. 23.
 The Closet, p. 7.
 The Closet, p. 66.
 The Closet, p. 149.
 A directory is “something that serves to direct; a guide; esp. a book of rules or directions (OED, “directory” n. 1, 1543).
 In this minimalist spirit, worthy of Mark Bitten, some recipes end by announcing the portability of their skills: “in this manner you may make Sugar of any Fruit, Flower, or Herb,” Woolley tells us at the conclusion of Recipe Number 215, “To make Rasberry Sugar.”The Closet, p. 116.
 “In systems analysis, an operation is a basic process that takes one or more inputs and performs a transformation on it. An operation is the means by which something executes some purposeful action. … Brewing tea is an operation. Steering a car to avoid a pedestrian is an operation. Falling in love is an operation.” Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 7.
 The title page to The Queens Closet Opened announces the publication of “incomparable secrets in Physick, Chirugery, Preserving and Candying, etc.” The title page to A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen presents “the Art of preserving, Conserving, and Candying. With the manner howe to make divers kinds of Syrups; and all kind of banquetting stuffes. Also divers souveraigne Medicines and Salves, for sundry Diseases.”
 Bogost, xv.
 From “Dedication to all Ladies, Gentlewomen, and to all other of the Female Sex,” The Closet (A2??).
 From “Dedication to all Ladies, Gentlewomen, and to all other of the Female Sex,” The Closet (A2??).
 Bruno Latour, “From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik, or How to Make Things Public,” in Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy, ed. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 23.
 The Closet, p. 341.
 William Rabisha, The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, A4.
 The Closet, p. 314. See Wall on this phrase.
 The Closet, p. 108.
 Or both: see “To make a Steak-Pie with Puddings in it,” The Closet, p. 205.
 See “To make Gravie Broth,” The Closet, p. 191.
 See Tribble, “Distributed Cognition,” for a similar account of the theater as a space for memorization.
 The Closet, p. 73.
 The Closet, p. 95.
 The Closet, p. 98.
 The Closet, p. 106.
 The Closet, p. 63.
 The Closet, p. 152.
 The Closet, p. 199.
 The Closet, p. 144.
 The Closet, p. 46..
 The Closet, p. 63.
 The Closet, p. 35.
 The Closet, p. 50.
 See Tribble on navigation as a primary discourse of distributed cognition. “Distributing Cognition in the Globe,” 135-7. She cites Edward Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild (1995).
 The Craftsman, p. 186.
 “The technical name for movements in which the body anticipates and acts in advance of sense data is prehension… Prehension signals alertness, engagement and risk-taking all in the act of looking ahead.” The Craftsman, 154.
 The Closet, p. 74. See also p. 173: “when you see it very clear and very thick, it is enough” (of marmalade).
 The Closet, p. p. 62.
 The Closet, p. 37.
 The Closet, p. 99-100.
 Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, chapter on “TheThing and the Natural World,” p. 369.
 The Closet, p. 55.
 The Closet, p. 91.
 The Closet, p. 88.
 Gladwell, What the Dog Saw, p. ****.
 The Closet, p. 127.
 “To make Marmalade from Apricocks.” The Closet, 34-35.
 E.g., Alva Noë, Action in Perception; for an application in Shakespeare studies, see Evelyn Tribble, “Distributing Cognition in the Globe.”
 Action in Perception, 2.
 Alva Noë, Action in Perception (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004); Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
 The father of affordance theory is environmental psychologist James J. Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (New York: Taylor and Francis, 1986). For a phenomenologically-oriented reading of Gibson, see Harry Heft, “Affordances, Dynamic Experience, and the Challenge of Reification,” Environmental Ecology 15.2 (2003): 149-80 and Ecological Psychology in Context: James Gibson, Roger Barker, and the Legacy of William James’s Radical Empiricism (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001). For an anthropological use of affordances, see Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill (London: Routledge, 2000). Alva Noë refers frequently to Gibson in the course of developing his account of enactive perception. Eric Rietveld is a philosopher looking at affordances in the context of what he calls skillful coping. Eric Reitveld, “The Skillful Body as a Concernful System of Possible Actions: Phenomena and Neurodynamics,” Theory Psychology 18.341 (2008): 341-63.
 E.g., Esther Pasztory, Thinking with Things: Toward a New Vision of Art (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005). She argues that the purpose of art is “primarily cognitive” (p. 4) and emphasizes the role of things in organizing systems of thought. Woolley is after something more immediate.
 The Closet, p. 138, 139.
 “There is no feeling at the end of the cane, yet it is with the end of the cane that the blind person makes contact with the world.” Noë, Perception in Action, 16.
 Op cit., 369.
 The Closet, 59.
 The Closet, 205.
 This account of Arendt as anti-oikos is arguable; see Lupton, Thinking with Shakespeare (Chicago 2011).
 The Closet, 47-48.
 Arendt, Between Past and Future, 221.
 Human Condition, 53.
 Human Condition, p. 120.
 See Miguel Vatter on the reconciliation of life and politics in Arendt.
 Points of Departure essay, typescript. Add Markell on cutlure / Arendt / common worlds.
 Arendt, Between Past and Future, 222. (True of cooking??)
 Hannah Arendt, Responsibility and Judgment, ed. Jerome Kohn (New York: Schocken Books, 2003), 172. For a brilliant reading of Arendt and architecture, see Patchen Markell, “Arendt’s Work: On the Architecture of The Human Condition.” College Literature Winter 2011.
 Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt, 150-63.
 “Shelter Writing,” 344.
 The Closet, p. 333.
 The Closet, p. 130.
 The Closet, pp. 73-4.
 The Closet, p. 307-11.
 The Closet, title page.
 Adam Gopnik, “Sweet Revolution: The Power of the Pastry Chef.” The New Yorker, January 3, 2011, pp. 48-57.
 Gopnik, “Sweet Revolution,” p. 53.
 The Closet, p. 310..
 Sennett, The Craftsman, 7.
 Arendt, Between Past and Future, 223.
 Menu adapted from “A Bill of Service for extraordinary Feasts in the Summer” and banqueting instructions, The Closet, 315-16 and 348-