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 …
Take a girl with an iffy start in life. Mix in wanderlust and cooking. And lots of books. Add a dollop of yearning for home and belonging. Knead in a pinch of self-discovery. Let rise and ripen. The result is Cynthia D. Bertelsen’s Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens, a reflective … More “Stoves & Suitcases” Book Trailer!
The lobster just wouldn’t die. Neat black-and-white drawings in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking fail to tell the whole story. Nothing there about squirming bodies, queasy stomachs, and misplaced stabs to crustacean heads. “While professionals simply cut up the lobsters with never a qualm nor a preliminary, you may find this difficult.” … More Cordon Bleu, Paris
About All Souls’ Day (November 2), Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology: The day of the dead or of All Souls, and other as we call it, is commonly the second of November. Thus in Lower Brittany the souls of the departed … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Cider and Curds
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”
Paleography refers to the situation in which an historic cookbook is studied,* and perhaps converted to script that a modern reader can understand. The process is highly complicated and experts spend years, even whole careers, devoted to just this subject. So the following discussion is more like a scratch on a grain of sand, small … More Culinary Manuscripts, or, Deciphering the Code
In my latest book, “A Hastiness of Cooks”, I deliberately skimmed over France and her culinary heritage. Not because I thought her culinary heritage not worth acknowledging, but because I wanted to savor that heritage in a different medium or venue. With that sentiment in mind, I pulled Terence Scully’s treatise – The Vivendier – … More Pignagoscé sur chapons (Pignagoscé on Capons), Plus Some Words on Paleography
Nine years ago, I decided to poke a toe into the world of food blogging. I settled on the name, “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” based on a painting by Luis Meléndez, a tribute to the period of history known as “The Age of Exploration.” Faced with a blank screen demanding something, anything, the first words that … More 9 Years of Writing about History … A Celebration!