Gunslingers. Buffalo. Cowboys. Horses. Native Americans in war paint. Women clad in petticoats and not much else. Clergymen and priests clutching bibles, swinging crucifixes. Wide open spaces, land for the taking. The images keep coming. An icon of the American story, the myth of the West provided Hollywood with fodder for decades. And before that, … More Seeking the Old West
Soon summer will again bless the Virginia mountains. Once the tall oaks leaf out, that is. And I’m already thinking of my old garden, Mary Randolph’s cookbook, and Hernando de Soto’s feral pigs. All ingredients, more or less, in my dealings with one of the three American culinary sisters: corn, beans, and squash. A tale woven from the … More Feral Pigs & Yellow Squash: A Tale Woven in a New World Kitchen
Daddy always told me about being born in Miami. Yet it took me years to realize he wasn’t talking about Miami, Florida. Rather, he meant Miami, Arizona, near Globe, where my grandmother Winnie Gibson grew up, where she lived among Native Americans, miners, ranchers. Where all sorts of drifters came and went. Where one such … More Tucson: The Gastronomic City
In my 16-year-old mind, the 4-mile trail to Ozette might as well have been the 2500-mile-long Route 66. My thoughts pivoted between the stone-heavy backpack slamming against my hips and the sweat running into my eyes, blinding me with salt and transforming me into a bull’s eye for scores of kamikaze deer flies. Finally, I … More Velveeta and Wonder Bread: Cooking at the Pompeii of America
The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. ― Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda ___________________________________ I am a stickler for the truth. Or at least as much as any truth … More Truth versus Belief
I turn the calendar page and the tiny print at the bottom of the little square reminds me: Thanksgiving, November 26, 2020. After nearly a year of increasing horrors, many deaths, travel restrictions, and just plain fear of a still-mysterious virus, I find myself wondering just what Thanksgiving means to me now. This year, it … More Thanksgiving, in the Time of COVID-19
I walk in my neighborhood every day, twice a day. After breakfast, which for me usually takes place around 6:30 a.m. And after dinner, so I am out on the road when most people will be fixing dinner, close to 12 hours after my breakfast time. Dogs bark, cats scurry under beauty-berry bushes, people wave … More Do You Smell Anything Cooking?