Culinary Historians
of Washington, D.C.



Calls For Papers


Coming Events






Reading List

Related Sites

To Join

Contact Us



CHoWLine - Back Issues





March 2003

March Meeting Program:"Three Perspectives on the Future of Food"

Our speaker, Warren Belasco, teaches American Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is author of Americans on the Road (1979) and Appetite for Change: How The Counterculture Took On The Food Industry (1993), as well as co-author of Food Nations: Selling Taste In Consumer Societies. His current book project is "Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food." He is on the editorial boards of Food and Foodways, Gastronomica, and the forthcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.

Future Meetings

Apr. 13: Susan McCreary - Strawberries

May 18: Anne Bower - Reading Community Cookbooks

Report: February 9 Meeting

"Whatzits" were passed around at the beginning of the meeting for possible identification. Laura Gilliam's syllabub maker, and Willis and Carter Van Devanter's antigue egg separator were quickly labeled by Bryna Freyer had to tell us what her contribution was: individual asparagus tongs.

President Dianne King announced that the nominating committee will consist of Kay Shaw Nelson, Sally Epskamp, and herself. The committee will present a slate of nominees for 2003-04 officers at our April meeting, to be elected at our May meeting. Current officeholders outlined the responsibilities of their positions. According to our bylaws, none of the current office holders may fill the same positions next year, and Dianne made a plea for anyone willing to serve to let the nominating committee know.

There seems to be work going on in the Eckles Library's Culinary Collection to get more books on the shelves. The Les Dames' Library Committee chairman will be contacted again to find out how CHoW can help.

Pre-meeting refreshments were a response to the topic of tippling and included several things from Philadelphia's City Tavern Cookbook: Rosemary Bread and Peppered Smoked Salmon brought by Francine Berkowitz, and Almond-Lemon Bread prepared by Felice Caspar. Felice also brought Gingerbread Muffins with Pecans, with a recipe from another source. Sophie Frederickson used Mary Randolph's recipe for Cherry Shrub; Bob Magee brought excellent cheese and crackers, and Sally Epskamp brought those other drinkers' favorites, peanuts in the shell and popcorn. Also appearing on the table were bottles of sherry and Madeira, provided by generous donors.

Gina Jenkins introduced Joshua Silver who spoke to us about "The Tippler's Guide to Philadelphia." His text appears in this issue of CHoWLine.

News From Other Organizations

March 28 and March 29, 2 to 3 pm: The U.S. Botanic Garden is sponsoring a series of public programs related to their current exhibition on tea: "Traditions in Elegance: 100 Teapots from the Norwich Castle Museum," on view through March 30. For the first two programs, "A Proper Afternoon Tea" on March 7 and "A History of Tea with Presidential Families" on March 14, registration is filled, but for the third on March 28 and 29, "The History of Tea" by Stephen Twining, assistant director of the family tea company established by Thomas Twining in 1706, you may still register: Tel (202) 226-4082; Fax (202) 225-1561 (name, address, daytime phone, Program Code FL032803 for March 28 and FL032903 for March 29); www.usbg.gov.

The Culinary Historians of Chicago have responded to our request for an exchange of newsletters. They have a very active program and among their plans for the coming year, during which they will celebrate their tenth anniversary, is the establishment of a scholarship fund for culinary history students. They have a lively web site (www.culinaryhistorians.org).

The 2003 Symposium for Professional Food Writers still has a few spaces available, with sessions designed to improve writing skills, provide insight into writing for various media, and enhance career opportunities. No dates were provided in the e-mail message. For further information: (304) 536-7857; www.greenbrier.com/foodwriters.

Mary Randolph Revisited

Barbara King of the Parks and History Association, the book buyer for the Custis-Lee Mansion shop at Arlington National Cemetery, has promised to restock Mary Randolph's The Virginia Housewife in the shop. Mrs. Randolph was the first person buried at Arlington, before it became the national cemetery, and her grave near the Mansion is encircled by a brick wall marked with a plaque telling of her life but not mentioning that she was the author of the first regional American cookbook. Our next project?

On The Bookshelf

For those interested in the history of salt who may have read Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, or Pierre Laszlo's Salt: Grain of Life, there is another account of salt's role in history in what would seem to be an unlikely source: Roy Moxham's The Great Hedge of India (hardcover, 2001), an account of the author's recent obsessive search for vestiges of a peculiar barrier across 19th-century India. Moxham discovered that it was designed to deter salt smuggling and avoidance of the British-imposed tax on salt that raised millions of pounds for the British in colonial India and placed an overwhelming burden on India's peoples until it finally ended in 1947.

The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, and introduced in February, 2003, is a three-volume, 1,800-page, A-Z reference work of 600 articles covering all aspects of food in human culture and society, from Stone Age nutrition to the future of food. Edited by Solomon H. Katz and William Woys Weaver, the Encyclopedia features articles by food historians, anthropologists, chefs and nutritionists, farmers and horticulturists, food stylists, and specialists in the culinary arts. One or more articles by CHoW members appear in the encyclopedia.

The Book Forager

Several cookbooks were contributed to the Eckles Library's Culinary Collection by Kathleen Boswell.

On The Reading Table

Meeting e-notice, Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, March 2003.

Newsletter, Culinary Historians of Ontario, Winter 2003, No. 35.

Meeting notices, Culinary Historians of Southern California, February and March 2003

Meeting e-notices, Culinary Historians of Chicago, January & February 2003

Chesapeake Bay Region Recipes

Here's a late addition from Corinne Hayward:

Spinach Casserole

2 10-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 Tbls. milk
2 c. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, cream cheese, milk and onion. Mix well. Spoon into ovenproof pan (about 1 1/2 qts) and bake 20 minutes. Can be microwaved on high for 6-7 minutes.

A Tippler's Guide To Philadelphia by Joshua Silver

Web Sites

Food History News: www.foodhistorynews.com
Slow Food: www.slowfoodusa.org
Culinary Historians of Chicago: www.culinaryhistorians.org