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December 2005

Program: "Traveling Through Turkey's Tea Culture"

Pelin Aylangan, president of the American-Turkish Association, has been researching tea in Turkish culture since 2003 and is working on a book, "Tea Leaves, Tea Lives." Her presentation traces the economic and cultural history of tea in Turkey from the late 1700s to today.

Inclement Weather Plans

If we have sufficient warning about stormy weather of heavy snow, we will send an e-mail to warn of possible cancellation of a meeting, but members are advised to check by phone or e-mail with any Board member.

Future Meetings

January 15: Co-op dinner. Suggested themes below.
February 12: Joan Nathan - "Innovators and Innovations in the Last Forty Years: The New American Cooking"
March 12: Charlotte Hays - "Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral."
April 9: TBA
May 7: TBA

Report: November 13 Meeting

Pierre Laszlo spoke to CHoW about "Daily and Festival Food and Drinks in a French Village, 2005." His talk was followed by a lively period of questions and comments from CHoW members and guests. Refreshments, in keeping with the program's subject, included: Crudites (beetroot and carotte) brought by Claire Cassidy and John Rosine; Frois Gras de Canard du Sud-Ouest and baguettes, by Bryna Freyer; Olive Tapenade and Mini-toasts, by Amy Snyder; Ratatouille and Moroccan Carrot Salad, by Felice Caspar; Gateau Basque, by Claudie Kousoulas; and vin rouge, apple cider, and Calvados, by Francine Berkowitz.

A "whatzit," shown by Angela Saunders, puzzled everyone. Resembling two wooden rolling pins in tandem, it apparently was used for rolling out something. But what: dough? paper? We are still trying to identify it, and would appreciate your ideas.

It's Membership Renewal Time!

Our membership year runs from October 1 through September 30. The new directory will be mailed to members right after January 1, 2006.

January Co-op Dinner Plans

Our annual co-op dinner, will be held on January 15 from 4 - 6 pm, at Alexandria House, 400 Madison Street, Alexandria, Virginia. We will decide on its theme at our December meeting. The five suggestions to date are: The Food Heritage of New Orleans; Winter Holiday in the Caribbean (Caribbean foods); Food of the Depression Era (in spite of shortages and rationing); Virginia's Famous Foods; and America's Disappearing Foods.


< b> Please let Felice (fcaspar@bnaibrith.org) or Bryna (bryna@nmfa@si.edu) know if you are planning to bring refreshments for the Dec. 11 meeting.

News of Our Members

On December 10, Sue Latini will demonstrate the preparation of plum pudding at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore; Pat Reber will be showing Margaret Carroll's recipes at Mount Clare, also in Baltimore; and Sally Waltz will be busy hearth cooking at the Hessian Barracks in Frederick, MD.

Service Area Exhibit at Tudor Place

by Sarah Hill, CHoW member and owner of Curzon Hill Antiques

On November 19, CHoW members took a special tour of Tudor Place, an historic home in Georgetown, Washington DC, led by Ann Steuart, Curator of Collections. Ann is also creator of the new exhibit opening up the service areas of the house. In early 2005, Tudor Place began its preparations to introduce visitors to the butler's pantry, the kitchen, the refrigerator room, and the servants' workroom. To accomplish, it was decided to stage a celebratory meal in honor of the engagement of the last owner of the house, Armistead Peter III, to his future wife. Tudor Place contacted CHoW about re-creating a 1920s dinner. Working with Ann, I prepared the menu for this meal. The menu, which also was used as a guide for the production of the faux food on display, follows at the end of this article.

To prepare the menu, I used actual household grocery and bakery receipts from the time period, so the menu would be as realistic as possible. (The entire Tudor House family kept household records for generations and they have been archived.) I used cookbooks that would have existed at the time of the engagement dinner and selected recipes that utilized the ingredients from the larder. The Peters were wealthy so I focused on cookbooks that catered to more affluent households.

One of the best of those was The Eta Cookbook, published in 1914 by the Boston Alumnae Chapter of the Alpha Phi Fraternity. There I found "Perfection Salad," as the salad course for our meal. Ann tells me that this salad has received extra attention from visitors, especially older ones, while viewing the menu and faux food on exhibit. Many visitors also have their own family versions. Above the recipe in the cookbook is printed: 'The Author of the recipe won a $100 prize in one of our recipe contests," at that time, quite a lot of money.

When setting the table, we stretched the time period to 1931 and used The Art of Cooking and Serving by Sarah Field Splint. This book, with 549 recipes, extensively covers the serving aspects of a fancy dinner of the time period and discusses everything from tableware (complete with photos of different grades of china) to how to serve guests in a servantless household. It also covers "Table Service in a House with a Servant," as was the case for the Peters family, and provided insights into the dining table decor.

If you were unable to join us for the special CHoW tour, I hope that you'll be able to visit Tudor Place to see this wonderful ongoing exhibit.

The Menu: Perfection Salad; Roast Chicken; Stewed Carrots; Spinach with Broiled Tomatoes; Savory Potatoes; Rye Bread; Cake from Rauscher's Bakery; Coffee in the Dining Room.

News from Other Organizations

Historic Green Spring is celebrating January as National Hot Tea Month with the following programs:
January 15 - Cha-No-Yu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony and its history and rituals;
January 22 - Tea from India, with tastings from Assam, Darjeeling, the Nilgiri Hills, and Sikkim.
January 29 - Tea from China, where first used, from delicate greens to smoky Lapsang Souchongs.
All programs are at 1-3 pm, by reservation only and with a nonrefundable prepayment. Call 703-941-7987. At 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, VA 22312

Food and Drink in Museums

November 19 - May 29, 2006: "Freer and Tea: 100 Years of the Book of Tea," 350 Japanese, Korean, and Chinese tea ceremony ceramics that museum founder Charles Lang Freer acquired. At the Freer Gallery on the National Mall, Washington, DC.

CHoW Culinary History Collection

The CHoW Culinary History Collection is now almost entirely catalogued and shelved at the National Museum of American History library. Debbie Warner has visited it and reports that it is necessary to go to the library on the Museum's fifth floor to get a plastic key. Then return to the first floor and, just to the left of the Dibner Library, use the key to enter and go up steps to the mezzanine where the Collection is housed. Contact Chris Cottrill or (202) 633-3859 beforehand to set an appointment.

More Books

Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue, Darra Goldstein & Kathrin Merkle (eds), Council of Europe Publishing ( http://book.coe.int), 2005. 500 pages.

There is nothing trivial about food: the study of culinary culture and its history provides an insight into broad social, political and economic changes in society. This collection of essays reflects many of the important transitions through which 40 European countries have passed, and in this sense, it is a history book. It is also a colorful celebration of an enormously rich part of our cultural heritage. The tastes and smells of a country's traditional table are a meaningful route to an important part of its collective memory, accessible to everyone. Food is also one of the simplest and most direct ways to promote multicultural understanding. This book offers insight into the meaning of food culture and will be of interest to anyone who wishes to explore the diversity of our European cultural heritage.

Berg Publishers is offering, for the first time, free online access to the latest issue of Food, Culture & Society, An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, the official journal of the Association for the Study of Food and Society. It is edited by Warren Belasco of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Anne Murcott of Nottingham University, England. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/fcs

For scholars of food and the senses, The Taste Culture Reader provides a rich range of disciplinary perspectives on the sensory and social dimensions of eating and drinking, from Eve's apple to Proust's madeleine to the recent boom in gastro-tourism. Drawing from anthropoloty, sociology, history, philosophy, and science, this key text lays out the ways in which flavors of food are overlaid with memory, emotion, desire, and aversion. For more information or to order an inspection copy, click on:

Holiday Shopping, 1812

From the Portland Gazette and Maine Advertiser of December 14, 1812.
William Lord, Has just received and now offers for sale at his store, head of Green street, an additional assortment of West India Goods, Groceries, &c. among which are Cogniac Brandy, Holland Gin, American do., Old Jamaica Spirits, St. Croix and Antiqua Rum, N.E. do., Madeira, Sherry, Lisbon, Port, Vidonia & Malaga wines, Anniseed, Cordials, Cider Vinegar, Bottled Cider, Hyson, Young Hyson, Hyson Skin, Souchong & Bohea Teas, Loaf, Lump, India, Havanna white and brown, and West India Sugars, Welch's No. 1 and 2 Chocolate, Chocolate Shells, Rice -- Ground do., Pepper -- Ground do., Ginger -- Pimento, Box Raisens, Caraway seed, Canary do. -- Nutmegs, Cloves -- Cinnamon, Citron -- Cassia, English Mustard, Cayenne -- Oatmeal, Pearl Barly, Currants, Jordan Almonds, Filberts, Catsup, Guave Gelley, Capers -- Olive Oil, Preserves, Windsor and bar Soap, Washballs -- Starch, Mould & Dip't Candles, Spermaceti do., Spermaceti Oil, Table Salt, Entry Mats, Floor Brushes, Brooms -- Sieves, Indigo -- Salt Peter, Ink Powder, Spice Bitters, Powder, Shott and Flints, Log Wood, Red Wood, Fustic -- Allum, Copperass -- Sulpher, Roll Brimstone, Cotton and Wool Cards -- Flour, Clear Pork, Coffee -- Molasses, 4d, 6d, 10d, and 20d nails, Bees Wax, Baberry Tallow, Cotton and Cotton Yarn -- Rock Salt, Rotten Stone, Otter, Stone Jugs, Tumblers, Cheese, White Beans, Fish -- Chalk, Shoe Brushes, Black Ball &c. &c. The above goods are of the first quality and will be sold on reasonable terms.

On The Reading Table

Newsletter, Culinary Historians of New York, Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall 2005.
Culinary Chronicles, Culinary Historians of Ontario, No. 45, Summer 2005.
Repast, Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor, Vol. XXI, No. 4, Fall 2005.
Gravy, newsletter of the Southern Foodways Alliance, No. 19, Fall 2005.
Meeting notice, Culinary Historians of Chicago, December 2005.
Meeting notice, Chicago Foodways Roundtable, November, December 2005.
Meeting e-notice, Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, December 2005.
Meeting e-notice, Foodways Group of Austin, December 2005.
Detailed announcement of Ann Arbor's participatory dinner with the theme of "A Silk Road Journey," with a comprehensive list of sources (including Kay Shaw Nelson) for information and recipes.