This is the longest post I’ve written in the nine years I’ve been blogging here. So be prepared! Grab a cup of coffee, sit in a comfortable spot, and enjoy. Then read the book for yourself. Florida’s almost-tropical summer heat reminds me of many places that used to be under the yoke of empire. Like […]Read more "Lizzie Collingham’s The Hungry [British] Empire"
Powered by the mythology that has grown up around Southern food over the last several years, many voices claim ownership, hurling harsh accusations of cultural appropriation, and silencing and shaming contrary opinions. The argument is not easy to prove, as it remains hampered by a lack of statistics, contemporary documentation, and clear evidence of outright […]Read more "A Juneteenth Commentary: Edna Lewis and the Myths Behind Southern Cooking"
Note: My point here, and elsewhere, on my blog and in my work, is to present information in as truthful a manner as I can, in order to raise questions and, hence, awareness. The truth is that there are more than ways than one to look at issues. Blindly accepting points of view only serves […]Read more "Thinking About Rice in America: The Black Rice Theory – Mysteries, Myths, and Misconceptions"
I’ll admit it, I spend a lot of time compiling bibliographies. For me, there’s something inherently satisfying about seeing a list of references all lined up, like bunches of beautiful flowers waiting to be picked. For my latest project – reflecting on the influence of English cooking on American cuisine, I’ve augmented a previous bibliography of cookbooks […]Read more "Uncovering the Myths of the “Founding Mother” Cuisine: A Few Words About England, Africa, and a Bibliography"
Not too long ago, before the snow fell and kept falling, I drove down to Critz, Virginia, the homeplace of Virginia tobacco baron, J. R. Reynolds. Reynolds’s parents, Hardin Reynolds and Nancy Jane Cox Reynolds, owned several hundred slaves, who worked the 717-acre Rock Spring plantation. One of these slaves went by the name of […]Read more "* “We raise the wheat, they give us the corn” : a reflection on life in antebellum Virginia"