Happy Thanksgiving

No matter what your feelings about the origins of Thanksgiving –  it did NOT really start with the Massachusetts Pilgrims post-1620 – and the impact of the English settlers in North America or Sarah Josepha Hale’s influence on Abraham Lincoln, today’s holiday has more to do with re-enforcing family ties and culinary traditions often far…

Lefse, and Giving Thanks via a Food of Immigration, Poverty, and Oppression

Term: lefse (food) Definition: thin, unleavened bread of Norwegian origin, traditionally made of a potato-based dough and baked on a griddle [Source: Dictionary of American Regional English] Thanksgiving is a day when Americans recall the myths of their founding, usually associated with the English Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620, ignoring the Jamestown settlers who arrived…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! For more vintage Thanksgiving postcards, see my post about them from last year: Vintage Thanksgiving Postcards.

To the Cooks, Prosit! Part II

He turns the spit who never tasted a morsel from it. Proverbes en Rimes, no. 117. Continuing our salute to cooks this holiday season (Thanksgiving), today’s post includes some depictions of male cooks, as well as female cooks. Medieval opinions of cooks, mostly men, tended to reflect the lowly status accorded to people who worked…

To the Cooks, Prosit! Part I

Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516), in delineating what would make an ideal society, said: .. all vyle service, all slaverie and drudgerye, with all the laboursome toyle and busines, is done by bondmen. But the women of every famelie by course have the office and charge of cokerye … and orderyng al thinges…

Feasting in State: Obama’s First Real State Dinner

In the next week, we will see real-time examples of a few of the different types of feasts common to American culture: Thanksgiving — essentially a harvest feast tinged with overtones of cultural identity — and President Barack Obama’s first true State Dinner, to be held on November 24, 2009 for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan…

The Feat of Feasting

One cannot both feast and become rich. Ashanti Proverb “Feasting,” for all practical purposes, appears to be the antonym of “hunger.” And yet, feasting is rife (ripe?) with teeming contradictions and ritualistic conventions. For some, feasting implies hunger. Ambrose Bierce defined feasting in a rather limiting manner in his irreverent Devil’s Dictionary: FEAST, n. A…

Hunger, Starvation, Famine and the Sweep of Human History

When it comers to food, we humans live in a paradox these days. In the West, there’s too much food — as long as one has money with which to buy it — and because of that excess, we begin to look like the Michelin Man or the Pillsbury Doughboy. And on the flip side …