Civil War Christmases

I beg to present you as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 100 and 50 guns and plenty of ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton. Telegram from William Tecumseh Sherman to Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1864 Many authors write about the austerity of American Christmas celebrations prior to the Civil War (1861 … More Civil War Christmases

The Historic Gastronomist

Like old cookbooks? Like old recipes? Then don’t miss this down-to-earth video, shot by Liza de Guia, entitled “The Historic Gastronomist,” about a 27-year-old Brooklyn woman named Sarah Loman who is resuscitating centuries old recipes from American history. Loman writes a food history blog called “Four Pounds Flour.” Meet Sarah Lohman. She’s not a professional … More The Historic Gastronomist

Lumberjack Culinary Lingo

Unlike cowboy lingo, lumberjack lingo did not add many words to the pantheon of American spoken English.  Nevertheless, this fascinating list of terms — used by lumberjacks to describe food and items associated with food and cooking — proves highly entertaining. Notice the meaning of “pregnant woman pie,” for one. Axle Grease: butter Bait Can: … More Lumberjack Culinary Lingo

Bean Burners and Hash Rasslers: More Logging Camp Food

On a typical day in 1929, cooks at Ritter Company Camps of Dickenson County, Virginia , served the following menus to anywhere from 75 – 100 loggers: BREAKFAST: Cornflakes Oatmeal Stewed or fried apples Canned peaches Fried ham, pork chops, or beef steak, with country gravy Fried potatoes Biscuits Butter, jam, jelly, syrup Coffee, milk … More Bean Burners and Hash Rasslers: More Logging Camp Food

The Appetite of Paul Bunyan

Legends and folklore provide wonderful entrées into cultures. And in the United States we’ve generated a few of these delectable tall tales ourselves. Take the mythical lumberjack Paul Bunyan, who stands heads above the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow and other similar characters. Lumberjacks created Paul and, with each telling, he grew bigger.  And hungrier. … More The Appetite of Paul Bunyan