No, here I’m not celebrating Julian Fellowes’s TV series, “The Gilded Age.” I’ll confess something right off the bat: I watched only a few episodes. Why? The story of that tumultuous time is actually more interesting than fiction. First of all, Mark Twain coined the phrase, “The Gilded Age,” in a satirical novel meant to … More The Gilded Age in Florida: A Few Words about the Flaglers and their Food
There’s a place where I feel free to be me. No, it’s not Paris, although I feel free to be me there, too. It’s the historic district in Savannah, Georgia. A place exuding a vivid sense of the past, which I love. There, Spanish moss hangs like lace curtains on nearly every branch and wire … More The Mysterious Allure of Savannah: Midday in the Garden of Meat and Three
Oil magnate Henry Flagler took his earnings from Standard Oil, which he founded with John D. Rockefeller, and channeled that vast sum – $10-$20 million at the end of the nineteenth century – into Florida hotels and railroads. Essentially one of the so-called “robber barons,” Flagler did much to open up the vastness of Florida … More Land of Sun and Shadows: Florida During the Gilded Age (1)
King Louis XIV did it. M. F. K. Fisher did it. The faceless man in Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks,” did it. Mr. Bean did it, too. And so did I. Daring to eat a proper meal alone in public probably ranks as one of the few acts that cause normally confident people to quiver a … More The Power and the Glories of Eating Alone
Perplexed as to what to serve for New Year’s Eve? Look no further than Scotland’s Hogmanay – or New Year’s Eve – celebration, rich in history (read more HERE), with just the right touch of ancient practices. Raucous, animal-skin dressed revelers call to mind Viking invaders of the 9th and 10th centuries, Hogmanay a substitute … More Happy Hogmanay!
The kulebyaka should be appetizing, shameless in its nakedness, a temptation to sin. ~~ Anton Chekov, “The Siren” Fish dishes abound in Russian cuisine, in large part because of the Russian Orthodox Church’s strict rules on fasting during Lent other times of the year. But we cannot ignore the simple fact that fish thrive in … More From Mother Russia with Love: A Fish in Every Pie
President Benjamin Harrison, being a card-carrying participant of the Gilded Age, and his wife Caroline Scott Harrison served an unusual dinner on Christmas day, 1890. (The menu follows below.) Unusual in one way. Carlsbad Wafers. Huh? The mention of Carlsbad Wafers stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Like a curious cat, whiskers trembling, … More Christmas in the White House: President Benjamin Harrison’s Carlsbad Wafers and His 1890 Christmas Dinner
In Pondicherry, Pondichéry, or Puducherry as it is now called again (since 2006), you still see streets sparkling with old colonial buildings, dating back to a time when passersby heard French spoken daily. Yet, those buildings, policemen’s hats, and a fully functioning French lycée or school, are among the few overt signs that you’ll notice … More East is East and West is West: Pondicherry and French Curry