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CHoWLine - Back Issues





January 2003

January Meeting Program: Annual Cooperative Dinner: Food of the Chesapeake Region

If you need suggestions for what to bring, please refer to the November issue of CHoWLine which listed the following Native American favorites: seafood (oysters, crabs, fish), corn, sweet potatoes, melons, squash, beans, strawberries, blackberries, persimmons, acorns, hickory nuts, black walnuts, deer, turkey, small game. European and African contributions: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, grains, fruits, and vegetables, fried chicken with cream gravy, peanuts, black-eyed peas, okra, watermelon, sweet potato biscuits, corn pudding, spoon bread or batter bread, unsweetened white corn bread, hominy grits, sweet potato and pumpkin pies, white potato pie, Brunswick stew, Smithfield ham, stuffed ham, scrapple, fried oysters, oyster stew, scalloped oysters, oyster fritters, ham and oyster pie, crab cakes, crab soups, deviled crab, Crab Imperial, Crab Norfolk, crab salad, rockfish, stewed tomatoes; salt fish cooked with potatoes, onions and salt pork; bean soup, hot biscuits, fry bread and molasses; stewed chicken or dried lima bean soup with slick dumplings or cornmeal dumplings; muskrat, venison, duck, goose, sauerkraut, sauerkraut salad, coleslaw, sauerbraten; beer-braised meats/cabbage/sausages/sauerkraut; rice, bread or cracker pudding, Jell-O, custard pie, chess pie, peach cobbler, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Kossuth Cake, Lady Baltimore Cake, Lord Baltimore Cake, Smith Island seven-layer chocolate-frosted cake.

Plates, cups, eating utensils, and napkins will be provided but please bring any utensils needed for serving your contribution to the feast, as well as any appropriate anecdotal or historical information that you may have.

Future Meetings

Feb. 9: Joshua Silver - The Tippler's Guide to Philadelphia

Mar. 9: Warren Belasco - Three Perspectives on the Future of Food

Apr. 13: Susan McCreary - Strawberries

May 18: Anne Bower - Reading Community Cookbooks

Report: December 8 Meeting

Bryna Freyer's "whatzit" was a molded glass dish for which no one was able to think of a really plausible purpose and Bryna promised to try to find an answer and report back on it. She repeated her plea for suggestions of speakers on Moroccan and Ethiopian foods to accompany two exhibitions opening at the National Museum of African Art. (See December CHoWLine for more details.) The public programs probably will be scheduled on weekends from April through September 2003.

Those at the meeting had to contend with a chilly meeting room warmed by space heaters, which unintentionally added the correct atmosphere for enjoyment of the hot coffee and tea and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts brought by Sally Epskamp and Corinne Hayward. Francine Berkowitz's doughnut sandwiches also were enjoyed, and everyone soon was sporting a Krispy Kreme doughnut server's paper hat that Sally reported was provided by the long-established KK shop on Route 1, south of Alexandria. Our speaker, David Shayt, said he felt as if he were speaking to a KK employees' convention. He was undaunted when the slide projector's need for electricity in addition to the space heaters' needs blew a fuse, but that was soon remedied and the show went on. See Food-Based Collections at the Smithsonian by David H. Shayt, Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.


Gina Jenkins is still looking for additions to the culinary history reading list she has posted on the CHoW web site and has asked that CHoW members give her suggestions of recently published books. (virginiajenkins@earthlink.net)

News Of Our Members

As of December 31 we have 123 members and subscribers for the 2002-2003 membership year. The membership directory will be mailed to members.

News From Other Organizations

January 26 at 1 pm: Slow Food is sponsoring a program by tea master Brian J. Wright, proprietor of Shan Shui Teas in Washington, DC. The hands-on tasting will feature several 2002 oolong teas from Taiwan. Participants will compare the diverse range of flavors found among oolong teas and experience brewing them gongfu-style, using a small, unglazed teapot. The geography of Taiwanese teas, nuances of seasonal variations, and basics of tea processing also will be discussed. Attendance is limited: $20 for nonmembers of Slow Food. For further information on reservations, location, etc.: ContentMaven@IronicDelights.com.

On February 6-8, 2003, Copia: the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (in the Napa Valley) will host a "Symposium on the Culture of Cuisine: Food as Power." For more information, visit www.copia.org.

May 2-4, 2003: "Brillat-Savarin Revisited: An Exploration of the Emergence of Gastronomy in 19th-Century France," a conference at Boston University, co-sponsored by the International History Insitute and the Institute for Medieval History, will draw upon the academic resources and culinary history expertise of the Boston University Department of History, the Culinary Historians of Boston, the B.U. Masters in Gastronomy program, the French Library, and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College. Registration is $175 per person and included continental breakfasts, lunches and banquet. For information about fees and registration, please contact Beth Forrest at bforrest@bu.edu, 617-358-0226, or on the web at www.bu.edu/history.

Call For Papers

The Southern Food Alliance is seeking unpublished and previously published contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for Cornbread Nation 2, to be edited by Lois Eric Elie. Barbecue will be central to the text. For further information: sfamail@olemiss.edu.

Help! Help!

We've had a request from Slow Food New Orleans and the Newcomb Culinary Research Group at Tulane. They are gathering information on where and by whom culinary research is being done, with the goal of sharing that information on a web site that will be accessible to the general public as well as the scholarly community. They have also requested that we forward the survey to anyone who might be interested in the project. Below is a list of the items in the survey. Please send your response to: poppyt@bellsouth.net.

Culinary Survey

Name of Organization/Individual Researcher
Telephone / Fax / E-mail / Web Site
Department Head
Organizational Sub-Groups
Does your facility maintain regular hours of operation when the collections are available for public research?
Does your collection include:

Oral or written history and format such as:
newspaper clippings

Do you host events? If so please tell us if your events take place at regular times annually and give us some examples of the topics explored and formats such as workshops, lectures, or exhibits.

Food In Museums

The Museum of the City of New York has installed an exhibition on Automats that will be on view until March 16, 2003, according to Randy Schwartz, newsletter editor for the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor.

The U.S. Botanic Garden and the Botany Department of the National Museum of Natural History are teaming up to offer more public programs about plants. The first joint public show is planned for this month at the Botanic Garden and will feature the history and cultural significance of tea.

"Tea in the Floating World," an exhibition at the Freer Gallery that opened December 8 and will remain until May 26, 2003, features tea ceremony paraphernalia representing the less familiar side of tea-drinking customs in Japan's Edo period (1615-1868).

"Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop" is the current exhibition at the Atlanta History Center. Created by the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland last summer to bring to light the history, art and technology of American ice cream, the exhibition will remain in Atlanta until May 26, 2003. For more information: www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.

"What's Cookin' in Cape Fear" at the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, NC, an interactive exhibit that explores the development of the region's foodways during the 19th century, focuses on the role of the Cape Fear River and Wilmington's port. For more information: 910 341-4350.


Have you ever noticed how many of the "news of the weird" items that newspapers publish at the end of the year are concerned with food?

No further news on the Drexel University degree-granting program in food history. Anyone interested in learning more about it immediately my email Will Weaver ( W3Food@aol.com).

On The Bookshelf

Katherine Livingston has corrected CHoWLine's December report: The Best of Southern Food Writing is the subtitle for Cornbread Nation I.

She also reports that aficionados of Gosford Park will be interested in an article in the December-January issue of In Britain, the magazine of the British Tourist Authority. Under the title, "House Keepers," Pat Moore "goes beyond the green baize door" to discuss arrangements for servants in British historic houses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She includes a listing of over 20 such houses where servants' and kitchens may be toured. The article is not available on-line, but information about the magazine can be obtained from www.inbritain.co.uk.

Also from Katherine: The October 2002 issue of the journal Technology and Culture includes a set of articles (originally presented at a conference at the Hagley Museum in November 2000 that some of us attended) on "how commercially driven design and mass-produced technologies settled into the kitchens of the United States in the twentieth century." The set begins with a general introduction by Joy Parr, who discusses, among other issues, how housing -- and particularly, kitchen -- design was a reflection of and vehicle for social policy on both sides of the Atlantic in the early part of the century. Next, Abigail A. Van Slyck describes cooking and serving arrangements at American summer camps between 1890 and 1950, examining how the evolution from self-reliance on the part of the campers to professionalized food services was related to ideas about class and gender. Then Shelley Nickles recounts the market surveys and other strategies by which refrigerator manufacturers made these once-elite appliances available and appealing to the middle-class housewife. Finally, Amy Sue Bix discusses training in home economics from 1920 to 1980 (specifically at Iowa State College) and the emphasis places on scientific and technical understanding of the equipment enthusiastically espoused by the home economists. The same issue includes two other related articles, an account by Susan Strasser, with extensive bibliography, of the recent development of a "field" of consumption history, by no means limited to food, and a consideration by Robert Friedel of food preparation as an example of technology.

From an annual compilation of recommendations by the Librarians' Assembly of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries as one of the "Books We Liked": Dalby, Andres. Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. "A cultural history of the spice trade from ancient times. Answers the question about why my favorite cookies have nutmeg in them."

From Bullrakes to Clambakes: The Occupational Folklife of the Narragansett Bay Shellfishery, by Michael Bell, a Rhode Island folklorist and writer, is a paperback published in 2002 by the Heritage Harbor Museum in Providence. It adds another dimension to the programs we've had on Saltwater Foodways by Sandy Oliver and the Chesapeake Bay fishery by Gina Jenkins.

On The Reading Table

Meeting notices, Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, January 2003.
Meeting notice, Culinary Historians of Southern California, January 2003.
Meeting notice, Culinary Historans of Boston, December 2002.
Gravy, newsletter of the Southern Foodways Alliance. No. 9, Winter 2002. Editors are Thomas Head (The Washingtonian), Krista Reese, and Jeff Siegel.
Repast, newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, Fall 2002.
Radcliffe Culinary Times, Vol. XII, No. 2, Autumn 2002.
Food History News, Vol. XIV, No. II, FHN 54.