Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

pres·ent·ism /ˈprezenˌtizəm/ noun uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. Many years ago, David Hackett Fischer published Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. Despite the many years since its publication – 1970 – and the now somewhat dated examples he provides … More Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

Deep in William Faulkner’s South: Myth, Reality, and Cooking

I’ve always wanted to make my way, to make a pilgrimage if you please, to Oxford, Mississippi, to worship at a shrine there. It’s not your ordinary saint’s tomb nor is it a grand cathedral bathed in a kaleidoscope of light when early morning sunlight blazes through stained glass. No, I journeyed many miles just … More Deep in William Faulkner’s South: Myth, Reality, and Cooking

The Natchez Trace: A Journey into the Past (and the Present)

Whatever happened, it happened in extraordinary times, in a season of dreams, and in Natchez, it was the bitterest winter of them all. ~ Eudora Welty, “First Love” Hernando de Soto and Meriwether Lewis and Aaron Burr trudged its red dirt paths, knew its mysteries and its misfortunes, canebrakes and swamps coupled with a river … More The Natchez Trace: A Journey into the Past (and the Present)

Good News in Dark Times: “Stoves & Suitcases” to Win a Medal: Addendum – “Meatballs & Lefse” a Winner, Too

I have been notified that I am a finalist in the General Nonfiction centegory by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association for Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens. And I have just learned that Meatballs & Lefse: Recipes and Memories from a Scandinavian-American Kitchen has also been named a finalist in … More Good News in Dark Times: “Stoves & Suitcases” to Win a Medal: Addendum – “Meatballs & Lefse” a Winner, Too

“Take a Goose or Duck” Now Available!

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!

Flying Kites, Rara Bands, and Poisson Gros Sel: Easter Season in Haiti

Easter traditions in Haiti include kite flying, rara bands, and food. Soaring in the wind, simple, colorful kites express the longing to transcend the quotidian. And rara brings music, tapped out on metal instruments, many rough and angular, hewn from scraps of metal and old oil drums. As for food, Haitian Poisson gros sel (Rock … More Flying Kites, Rara Bands, and Poisson Gros Sel: Easter Season in Haiti