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
Now Christmas comes, ‘tis fit that we Should feast and sing, and merry be; Keep open house, let fiddlers play, A fig for cold, sing care away; And may they who thereat repine, On brown bread and small beer dine. Virginia Almanack 1766 To paraphrase former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld: There’s the Williamsburg Christmas … More Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! For more vintage Thanksgiving postcards, see my post about them from last year: Vintage Thanksgiving Postcards.
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
Boarding houses, a slice of the folkloric American food story … American food icon James Beard grew up in an Oregon boarding house operated by his mother. And New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne cut his teeth in his mother’s Mississippi boarding house kitchen. In a way, we’re still feeling the impact of those … More Boarding Houses, Fodder for Popular Culture
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
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
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