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February 2004

Program:"Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America"

Helen Tangires is Administrator of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. Her book is an examination of the role of the public marketplace as a key site where shared values of the community were defined.

In case of bad weather, please check with a Board Member to be sure that the meeting will take place. This is especially important for those without e-mail.

Important Information about Parking on Campus:

No parking is permitted in the circle in front of the Library or on the Quad. You may par in metered spaces (no charge on Sunday) in the parking lot on the right inside the W Street entrance, or in the campus metered parking garage off Whitehaven ($1.50/hour). Parking on W Street is not encouraged.

Future Meetings

March 14: Cooperative Dinner, theme to be decided at our February meeting. Suggestions to date:
(1) recipes from community cookbooks (to follow up on our May 2003 program by Anne Bower);
(2) prize winning recipes from American competitive events such as the Pillsbury Bake-Off, or county or state fairs, etc.;
(3) recipes using a secret or surprise ingredient.

March 27: Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Woodrow Wilson House for Culinary Historians. Please call or email Claudia Kousoulas to make a reservation. See below for a description of the tour which requres a minimum of 25 participants. The $15 tour fee will be paid at the tour site on March 27.

April 4: "Washington Area Farm Markets: The Future of Local Food," by Ann Yonkers, Tom Tyler, and Robin Shuster.

May 2: Annual Meeting. Program" Sustainable Seas" by Carole Baldwin, research zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History.

May 23: Excursion to Sally and John Waltz's farm near Smithsburg, MD

Report: January 11 Meeting

"Korean Food Traditions" An array of Korean food illustrated the program's theme: Sweet Rice Fruit Cake and Vegetable Wrapped Rice, brought by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall; Sun Dae (Korean sausage) by Katherine Livingston; several kinds of kimchi (black bean, seaweed, fried tofu, and a root vegetable) and radish salad by Klaudia Kousoulas; sauteed bok choy and snap peas by Dianne King; and sesame seed cookies and candied ginger by Shirley Cherkasky. Claudia Kousoulas announced that the theme for the March cooperative dinner will be decided at our February meeting. Willis and Carter VanDevanter once again produced an appropriate "whatzit." Resembling a German springerle mold, the handcarved wooden object was identified as a device for pressing designs into Korean rice cakes by our speaker, Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall.

Behind-the-Scenes at Woodrow Wilson House

On March 27 Frank J. Aucella, the museum's executive director, will lead us on an "upstairs- downstairs" tour. Beginning in the spacioius fourth-floor laundry where still in place are earthenware wash tubs, a gas-fired stove for heating six flatirons, and a gas heated-air clothes dryer -- "a solution for questionable Monday weather" -- we will see the workings of an early 20th century service area in an Embassy Row home.

Down the rubber-treaded service stairs to enter the functionally designed butler's pantry situated in the front of the house, where a huge "German silver" zinc alloy sink overlooks busy "S" Street. In glass-fronted, ceiling-high china closets are the many china services, crystal stemware, and assorted serving dishes used by the Wilsons. Various call boxes and intercom systems are also located in this area. Adjacent is the serving pantry, the receiving area for food delivered from the kitchen on a dumbwaiter which was then plated on fine china and, if needed, transferred to a warming oven. Beyond a heavily padded door is the formal dining room, scene of many festive dinners and celebrations.

A final descent to street level leads to the period kitchen, which documents the changes in domestic design during and after World War I. The original large, cast-iron combination coal-gas stove takes up an entire wall. Strategically placed around it are conveniently located work areas. Two heavy earthenware sinks, for washing vegetables and for washing pots and utilitarian dishes, are at the back of the room. A variety of well-worn cooking utensils rest on the original island, period pots and pans hang from the pot rack and, side by side, close to the breakfast table are both stove-top and early electric toasters. To the right of the door is a wooden four-compartment icebox. A separate pantry holds colorful containers of food and household products available in the early 20th century. The kitchen china cabinet holds an entire set of over 100 pieces of English-made "Flow Blue China." Here, where the actual cooking took place, the tour will end with a short discussion of foods typical of the period that would have been served to the Wilsons and their guests.

News from Other Organizations

February 12 & 22, 2004: Programs on "Herbal and Fruit Tisaines," and "Essence of Tea" in the "All about Tea Series" at Green Spring Gardens. Each includes brewing techniques, tea tasting, and history, followed by an English tea. Reservations required. Call (703) 941-7987.

February 21, 2004: "The Archaeology of Culinary History," a day-long symposium co-sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Ontario and montgomery's Inn. At Montgomery's Inn, 4709 Dundas St. West, Toronto, Ontario. For further information: e-mail rwagner@toronto.ca; (416) 394-8113.

March 26, 2004: "A Few Favorite Things: Pleasures and Pastimes in Early America, 1750-1850," a symposium co-sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the George Mason University History Department at GMU in Fairfax, VA. Presentations focus on music, sweets and confections, toys and playthings, pets and pet paraphernalia. Of interest to culinary historians will be the presentation on sweets by Wendy Woloson of the Library Company of Philadelphia and author of a book on the history of sweets. Registration fee. For information: email susan.clark@fairfaxcounty.gov; (703) 631-1429.

"Bringing It All Back Home: An Educational Series on Locally Grown Food and Home Town Economics," a monthly series on Feb. 18, Mar. 17, April 21 and May 19, organized by the Fresh and Local CSA serving Northern Virginia and NE Washington. Free. For information www.freshandlocalcsa.com.

Tea Utensils at the Freer

"The Tea Ceremony as Melting Pot," an exhibition at the Freer Gallery from January 31 - July 18, 2004, presents a variety of utensils used in tea ceremonies, as well as copies made by Japanese potters.

Tupperware on TV

On February 9, at 9 pm, PBS's American Experience will tell the story of Tupperware, its inventor, Earl Tupper, and how the Tupperware party changed American merchandising (archival footage included).

Food Writers' Workshop

"Eat Your Words: Writing about Food in Cookbooks and Other Venues," 6 sessions, on Mondays (7:30 - 10 pm) beginning February 2 at the Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda, MD 20815. Instructor - Barbara A. Hill. Tuition - $128; $113/members. Maximum enrollment of 14. The workshop, devoted to a wide range of food writing: cookbooks, newspaper and magazine articles, and reflective personal essays, will provide a series of assignments in a variety of formats, with the main focus on the participant's own writing, supplemented by examples from contemporary and classical sources. For information: email Postmaster@writer.org; (301) 654-8664.

The Book Forager

Katherine Livingston spied these books on display at the recent meeting in Washington of the American Historical Association:

Beecher, Catherine, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman's Home. Reprint with introduction by Nicole Tonkovich. Rutgers University Press. Paperback.

Bottero, Jean, The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia. (Translation) University of Chicago Press. Forthcoming.

Guy, Kolleen M, When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hatchett, Louis, Duncan Hines: The Man Behind the Cake Mix. Mercer University Press.

Hines, Duncan, Adventures in Good Eating and the Art of Carving in the Home. Edited by Louis Hatchett. Mercer University Press. Facsimile reprint of a 1939 collection of recipes from restaurants recommended by Hines.

Levenstain, Harvey, Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet. University of California Press. Paperback.

Manring, M.M., Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima. University of Virginia Press, Paperback. A 1998 work focused more generally on the cultural image of the black "mammy" but discusses the marketing of the mixes and related issues.

Neuhaus, Jessamyn, Manly Meals and Mon's Home Cooking: Cookbooks and Gender in Modern America. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Pinedo, Encarnacion, Encarnacion's Kitchen: Mexican Recipes from Nineteenth-Century California. Edited and translated by Dan Strehl. University of California Press.

Rutherford, Janice Williams, Selling Mrs. Consumer: Christine Frederick and the Rise of Household Efficiency. University of Georgia Press. Paperback.

Salinger, Sharon V., Taverns and Drinking in Early America. Johns Hopkins University Press, Forthcoming in paperback.

Theophano, Janet, Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives Through the Cookbooks They Wrote . Macmillan. Paperback.

Wilson, C. Anne, Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century. (1973 and 1991; paperback reprint. Academy Chicago.

Wylie, Diane, Starving on a Full Stomach: Hunger and the Triumph of Cultural Racism in Modern South Africa. University of Virginia Press. Paperback.

Yee, Alfred, Shopping at Giant Foods: Chinese American Supermarkets in Northern California. University of Washington Press.

On The Reading Table (February Meeting)

Meeting e-notices, Culinary Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, February 2004.
Newsletter, Culinary Historians of Boston, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, January 2004.
The Food Journal, newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, Vol. 4, No. 1, Winter 2004.
Meeting e-notice, Foodways Group of Austin, February 2004.