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

Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives: Genevieve Jenner’s Brilliant Short Story Collection

British author Genevieve Jenner‘s debut collection of food-related short stories – Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives (Deixis Press, March 2022) – promises a delectable and unusual reading experience for those seeking tales of the intersection of food and life. Jenner offers up 38 stories, some taking as long to read as mixing dry ingredients together, … More Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives: Genevieve Jenner’s Brilliant Short Story Collection

Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

My newest book garnered the following review from Midwest Book Review:* Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens should be in the holdings of any collection strong in culinary biography and history. What began as a search for home and roots evolved into a culinary exploration, as Cynthia D. Bertelsen documents in chapters that … More Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

Saints, Souls, and Haints: Ghoulish Goodies

Check this out — a recent cookbook all about Halloween, for kids young and old: Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More! (Frightful Cookbook), by Sharon Bowers (2009). Eat, drink, and enjoy the creepy yuckiness of Monster Eyeballs, Chocolate Spider Clusters, Buried Alive Cupcakes, and Screaming … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Ghoulish Goodies

Grief and Love Go Hand in Hand: Reflecting on Elizabeth Berg’s “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Mourning, and grieving, take up a lot of space in my head these days. So, floundering around for something new to read, I searched for a list of Elizabeth Berg’s books, which I always enjoy. And I found one, just not what I expected. Last night, I finished reading her new book, I’ll Be Seeing … More Grief and Love Go Hand in Hand: Reflecting on Elizabeth Berg’s “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Maryse Condé’s “Of Morsels and Marvels”: A New Book by a Not-to-be-Missed Writer of Style and Substance

It’s always a marvel when I come upon an intriguing new writer, to me anyway. What’s even more wonderful is when that writer takes up food and cooking as the main topic in their work. And Maryse Condé is one of those writers. Ms. Condé, born in Guadaloupe in the French Caribbean, has been writing … More Maryse Condé’s “Of Morsels and Marvels”: A New Book by a Not-to-be-Missed Writer of Style and Substance

Joy to the World: A Look at the 9th Edition of “Joy of Cooking”

The arrival of a new generation of the Joy of  Cooking feels like seeing a new baby born into the family. Personal and very welcome. First, though, a bit of perspective on the story of this famous and enduring cookbook. * After her husband’s suicide in 1930 during the Great Depression, Irma S. Rombauer – … More Joy to the World: A Look at the 9th Edition of “Joy of Cooking”

Cooking Cuban During El Período Especial Estadounidense

The picadillo at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. That’s where it began, where the seed got planted. I’d just turned 21. To celebrate, several friends treated me to a fancy dinner there. And I ordered the picadillo, sided with a lime dacquiri. I think. I vaguely recall black beans, … More Cooking Cuban During El Período Especial Estadounidense