Since modern photography only came into being around 1816, when Nicéphore Niépc combined camera obscura techniques and paper with photosensitive qualities, the faces of so many people will never be known to us. Those of the rich, the powerful, and the occasional peasant – thanks to artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder – we their […]Read more "Cooks, Kitchens, and Places: Josephine’s Tale"
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Folk proverb Two stories convey the essence of apples to me. The first involves an almost surgical treatment of an apple tree in our front yard: One autumn day, Dad’s boss – Dr. C. S. Holton – appeared at the back door of our rambling old ex-farm house, its […]Read more "Day 8: Apples – Celebrate American Food History"
Blackberries could be made into pies; turned into jam, jelly, or vinegar; and their leaves could be dried, crushed and put into the tea caddy to eke out the tea ration. (The Wartime Kitchen and Garden, p. 165) War, it seems, is the human condition. And war almost always brings terrible hunger. To write of […]Read more "Four Chicken Legs and Two Eggs: Rationing, Cooking, and Eating During Wartime"
If, like me – overwhelmed by the hundreds of possible choices in front of you at the grocery store or local wine shop – you’ve ever stood in front of the endless shelves of stunning wine bottles and felt like just closing your eyes and grabbing a bottle, any bottle (preferably one on the lower […]Read more "Unquenchable: Natalie MacLean’s Terrific New Book on Wine"
About All Souls’ Day (November 2), Sir James George Frazer wrote detailed notes in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology. Notice the mention of marigolds, also common in Mexico. In Lechrain, a district of Southern Bavaria which All Souls in existence along the valley of the Lech from […]Read more "Saints, Souls, and Haints: More Soul Cakes"