On Thanksgiving, early in the morning, for such is the time of day it’s done, I bake a pumpkin pie. I think of England while prepping everything, because the spicing – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger – dates to medieval times in England and beyond. Sure, you find that flavor pattern in many European dishes, a […]Read more "The British Were in the Kitchen, Too: A List of Books on Food History"
The frost descended on the pumpkin the other night and in the early morning light, as I drove around the curving roads of rural Virginia, a dozen cows stood silhouetted and blanketed in thick white fog. Eerily outlined against the fading green of the sparse grass they munched, for some reason those cows reminded me […]Read more "The Harvest Months"
Folklore or fakelore, the general consensus seems to be that the Irish who came to America brought their custom of carving turnips for All Hallows Eve. They must grow large turnips in the sod over there! Lacking a turnip, rutabagas, beets, or gourds would also do. Delicious legend, that’s what started the practice of carving […]Read more "What’s A Turnip Got to Do with Halloween? Or Rutabagas, Beets, and Gourds, for That Matter?"
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye, What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie? ~ John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Pumpkin,” 1850 Some people moan and descend straight into mourning with the first frost. Not me. You’ll find me in my kitchen, with clanging pans and steaming windows, eager to put […]Read more "Ode to the Great Pumpkin [Pie]: Speak, Memory*"
Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling, When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling! When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin, Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!** Every October, a nearby farm family celebrates the harvest by opening up their land to the surrounding community. Hundreds of cars […]Read more "‘Tis now the very witching time of night*: Lessons from a Rotting Pumpkin"