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!
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!
New Year’s Day, coming up fast. Planning your menu, are you? There’s a good reason to hesitate, to take your time, because there’s really only one thing to eat that day. Black-eyed peas, a gift from a part of Africa ruled by the French for a long time. They were there as early as 1659 at St. … More Cabbage and Black-Eyed Peas, Oh My! A New Year’s Tradition in the South
It’s parka weather in North Florida now. At the moment, saying “the sweats” refers to pants and hoodies, not the moist high-summer insecty trickle, when walking to the mailbox seems like an audition for a wet T-shirt contest. Colder days and nights invite a certain degree of nostalgia for winter and cold-weather, stick-to-the-ribs types of … More Rendezvousing with a Wooden Spoon and a Cup of Cream: French Cooking
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
Trick-or-treating may well have originated in the old custom of “souling,” as people went from house to house, begging (“mumming”) for “soul cakes,” actually prayers — in sweet form. Sir James George Frazer wrote about this practice in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology, first published in 1890: … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: More Soul Cakes
Some interesting comments from 1845 about All Souls’ Day, by Charles Knight in Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (!), Volume 14, p. 441: To do a Tarentella as it ought to be done requires room, and although the palaces of the nobility and gentry be large (in ninety cases … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Honey Cakes
Jonkheer L. C. van Panhuys, in Proceedings, Vol. 2 (p. 698, 1904), from the Internationaler Amerikanisten-Kongress held in Stuttgart in 1904, said: In the different names [for Halloween] we find also an explanation. The first of November, still called New-Years day on the island of Man, was the new years day on the beginning of … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Still Nuts