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

The Natchez Trace: A Journey into the Past (and the Present)

Whatever happened, it happened in extraordinary times, in a season of dreams, and in Natchez, it was the bitterest winter of them all. ~ Eudora Welty, “First Love” Hernando de Soto and Meriwether Lewis and Aaron Burr trudged its red dirt paths, knew its mysteries and its misfortunes, canebrakes and swamps coupled with a river … More The Natchez Trace: A Journey into the Past (and the Present)

“Take a Goose or Duck” Now Available!

Take a Goose or a Duck is full of culinary stories about old friends like Markham and Mrs. Beeton and essays that give fresh insight. It proves that British food is intriguing and wonderful. It will be my favourite bedtime reading for the foreseeable future. ~ Regula Ysewijn, author of Pride and Pudding and The Official Downton Abbey Christmas … More “Take a Goose or Duck” Now Available!

Nika Standen Hazelton: Remembering a Food Writer Chronicling a Lost World

It’s hard not to admire Nika Standen Hazelton, an outspoken and opinionated food writer who, despite the 30 or so cookbooks she wrote, quipped that “… cookbooks are mostly bought as escape literature, not to cook from … .”  Very much a prophetess! Born in Rome in 1908, to a German diplomat father and Italian … More Nika Standen Hazelton: Remembering a Food Writer Chronicling a Lost World

Mulacolong, from Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife:

With a name like that, of course, I couldn’t resist the recipe. “Mulacolong.” What on earth did that mean? It seems that no one else knew either, thanks to a Google search and more. So I decided to split up the word, to look at components rather the whole. One tantalizing bit of information kept … More Mulacolong, from Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife:

What’s That You Say??? Medieval Culinary Terminology Unmasked*

If you’ve ever tried to read Chaucer in the original language, you know what you’re up against when you tackle a recipe dating from the poet’s time period. Actually, when you read The Canterbury Tales, you have it fairly easy, for there’s a multitude of resources to help you as you plunge through Chaucer’s Middle … More What’s That You Say??? Medieval Culinary Terminology Unmasked*

Keep on Feasting! For Lovers of “Game of Thrones”

Fans of the popular TV series “Game of Thrones” must be feeling bereft. And why shouldn’t they? The curtain finally fell on the last episode of that long-running megahit. Unless they love reruns, that’s it for those fans. I, on the other hand, have barely made it through the first episode so far, “Winter is … More Keep on Feasting! For Lovers of “Game of Thrones”