Speaking of France …

You’re not supposed to begin a piece of writing with a question. Why not? No idea, except that the “experts” seem to think that it’s an easy way out. “You can do better,” they say. So what was my question? Oh yes. Why is traditional French food so terribly unpopular at the moment? Many authors … More Speaking of France …

The Gilded Age in Florida: A Few Words about the Flaglers and their Food

No, here I’m not celebrating Julian Fellowes’s TV series, “The Gilded Age.” I’ll confess something right off the bat: I watched only a few episodes. Why? The story of that tumultuous time is actually more interesting than fiction. First of all, Mark Twain coined the phrase, “The Gilded Age,” in a satirical novel meant to … More The Gilded Age in Florida: A Few Words about the Flaglers and their Food

And it’s a Win (Times Two): Seeing Silver

I am thrilled to announce that two of my books won awards this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Authors and Publishers Association awarded a silver medal to Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens in the General Nonfiction category. Meatballs & Lefse: Recipes and Memories from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life … More And it’s a Win (Times Two): Seeing Silver

Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

pres·ent·ism /ˈprezenˌtizəm/ noun uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. Many years ago, David Hackett Fischer published Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. Despite the many years since its publication – 1970 – and the now somewhat dated examples he provides … More Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

Deep in William Faulkner’s South: Myth, Reality, and Cooking

I’ve always wanted to make my way, to make a pilgrimage if you please, to Oxford, Mississippi, to worship at a shrine there. It’s not your ordinary saint’s tomb nor is it a grand cathedral bathed in a kaleidoscope of light when early morning sunlight blazes through stained glass. No, I journeyed many miles just … More Deep in William Faulkner’s South: Myth, Reality, and Cooking