I confess: I'm cheating. Our first book is technically not a historical cookbook.
I prefer to think of it as easing into this project. Baby steps.
Barbara M. Walker created The Little House Cookbook after she and her daughter recreated practically every recipe described in Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiographical Little House series. Drawing from period resources, Walker remained as faithful as she could to the original recipes while updating the measurements for twentieth-century use. The book is full of helpful hints about how to make the foods more palatable to our modern tastes--for example, you might want to serve Laura's cornbread (made only of cornmeal, salt, and drippings) with maple syrup. Walker also provides a short quotation from the series with every recipe, filling in the context so we know exactly when Laura might have eaten blackbird pie.
In a way, the historical background and the connection to a beloved literary character make this the perfect book to start off the experiment. It's a link between the past and the present.
So tie on your aprons and let's start cooking!