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CHoWLine - Back Issues





March 2006

Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral

Charlotte Hays is the co-author of a book by the same title and a native of Greenville, MS. She is a senior editor at the Independent Women's Forum; and her work has been published in the New Republic, Town and Country, New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Mirabella.

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

April 9: A panel of CHoW members - "Passing on Culinary Traditions"
May 7: Joan Nathan - "Innovators and Innovations in the Last Forty Years"
(Rescheduled from snow-canceled February 12 meeting)

CHoW By-Laws Proposed Amendments

The CHoW Board of Directors determined that the organization's by-laws should be reviewed to ensure that they still best serve the organization, which was founded in October 1996. A By-Laws Committee presented its recommendations to the Board, which has endorsed the proposals.

The changes to the composition of the Board are recommended to facilitate CHoW's outreach to members and to place more emphasis on CHoW's communication vehicles -- the newsletter and website -- in keeping with CHoW's purpose stated in Article II: "to promote and support interest and research in the history of foods, cuisines, and culinary customs." To this end, it is recommended that CHoW elect a Membership Secretary, and that the appointed Newsletter Editor and Web Master be voting members of the Board. Additionally, proposed amendments provide, in case of a vacancy in the office of President, a procedure to fill the vacancy and, for continuity, to permit the Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Membership Secretary to serve up to four consecutive one-year terms. Other amendments are proposed to simplify and streamline the procedure for amending CHoW's by-laws.

Please read and consider the proposed amendments prior to our March meeting. The suggested changes are highlighted in the review copy posted on www.chowdc.org. Comments or questions regarding the proposals also can be sent to fcaspar@bnaibrith.org.

Voting on all amendments will take place at our March 12 meeting. An absentee ballot is included at the end of this issue of CHoWLine for use by those who cannot attend the meeting. If you sent your absentee ballot for the February meeting, please do not send another for this meeting.

News of Our Members

Hee Soo Shin Hepinstall was featured in a long article in "Sunday Source" of the Washington Post on February 19. She will be demonstrating Korean cooking at 11 am, 2 and 4 pm, on March 4 at H Mart; 10780 Lee Hwy., Fairfax, and also will be doing a book signing from 10 am to 6 pm.

News from Other Organizations

March 24, 2006: "Before You Can Cook: Acquiring Foodstuffs and Kitchenware in Early America," a symposium on American social history and material culture, sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the George Mason University History Department.

The symposium will explore the great variety of foods available in Early American homes and the many different methods of acquiring them. Presentations will examine kitchen utensils and cooking technology, heritage and wild plants and animals, their processing, and purchased provisions.

Presenters will be: Gary Brumfield, Frank Clark, and Carrie MacDougall, all of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Martha Katz-Hyman, independent consultant; Steve Miller, Landis Valley Museum; Justin Sarafin and Gaye Wilson of Monticello; and Joyce White, Anne Arundel Community College (and CHoW member). Advance registration is required by March 15. Cost: $65. E-mail: susan.clark@fairfaxcounty.gov. Phone: Historic Collections (703) 631-1429.

Friday, March 31, 6 pm: Hanka Sawka, author of At Hanka's Table, a memoir/cookbook, will share her experiences of life in communist Poland as the wife of the internationally respected Polish artist, Jan Sawka, their journey to Paris and then New York City, and her own development as a culinary expert. At Stratford University, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church. Stratford student chefs will prepare a buffet dinner using her recipes. Ample parking available (you may ignore the "tenant only" signs). Sponsored by the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, D.C. Cost: $21 payable to PAAA must be received by March 11. Send to Eva Vorndran, 10105 Spring Hollow Lane, Great Falls, VA 22066-2827.

Saturday, April 1, 5:30 pm: Hanka will speak at the Polish Embassy, 2640 16th St. N.W., Washington, D.C., and the Embassy chef will prepare the buffet using her recipes. Polish liquors will be included. Limited street parking; Columbia Heights Metro stop on the Green Line. Cost: $40 payable to PAAA must be received by March 17. Send to Eva Vorndran (see above). Copies of At Hanka's Table, (illustrated by her husband) will be available at both events for $20. For information: www.paaa.us/sawka.htm or www.paaa.us/sawkaembassy.htm.

April 8: "Camp Athens: An Edible Education in Oilcloth and White Linen," sponsored by the Southern Foodways Alliance. Meals and lectures will pay homage to the traditional meat-and-three cooking of the American South. To register for this $75 expedition: sfamail@olemiss.edu; 662-915-5993.

Call for Entries

Culinary Historians of New York announces the call for entries for the second annual Amelia Scholar's Grant, named after Amelia Simmons, the author of American Cookery, the first cookbook written in America. The grant is designed to promote research and scholarship in the field of culinary history and is intended to fund one student or scholar whose engaging, well-developed project demonstrates commitment to the field of culinary history. One grant of $1,000 will be awarded to help support ongoing scholarship for research, books, papers, articles, conferences, or related projects. For details and application requirements, visit: www.culinaryhistoriansny.org.

Applications should include a 500-word essay detailing the project for which the Amelia Scholar's Grant is sought and must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2006. It is anticipated that the recipient will be the featured speaker at a Culinary Historians of New York meeting during the 2007-2008 season to share the fruits of the funded research.

Help Wanted

Thaddeus Squire, Artistic Executive Director of Peregrine Arts, Inc. in Philadelphia, is looking for an "innovative and adventurous chef in the Philadelphia area who might be interested in designing and preparing a bill of fare for an event" planned for June 10 and 11. His theatrical company is mounting a world premiere work of contemporary theater at the historic Ryers Museum and Library in North Philadelphia. The piece is based on the French proto-Surrealist novel Locus Solus (1914) by Raymond Roussel. The artist would like to build the performance around the menu to be served prior to/during the performance to an audience of 50 to 60 persons in the intimate space available. The menu doesn't have to be strictly of the period but should be something unusual to fit the proto-Surrealist tenor of the work. Any suggestions? Tel: 1-215-760-1634; Fax: 1-215-684-3817 tsquire@peregrinearts.org.

From Our Website Audience

Our webmaster, Gina Jenkins, received this email:
I'm Jacques Vanraes from Belgium. I walked through your website ... and find it fantastic. Of course I live too far to visit or to be member. IF you are looking for further historical facts, reasons, recipes ... I'm at your service at any time. You have only to ask ... (especially French and Flanders cuisine).
Best regards, Jacques

From the 2/22/06 New York Times

Where There's Poetry on the Plate
by Mary Ellen Carroll & Donna Wingate
Food offers such elemental pleasures that it might seem an incongruous topic for an academic conference. But an international group of humanities scholars who share an interest in the artistic approaches to food suggest otherwise. These academics will gather [February 23-25] for the fourth conference on "Food Representation in Literature, Film and the Other Arts" at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The organizer of the conference, Santiago Daydi-Tolson, a professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Texas at San Antonio, describes himself as a glutton.

The first meeting, in February 2000, evolved from Professor Daydi-Tolson's desire to pair his love of literature with his love of eating. An enthusiastic response to a call for papers he placed in scholarly journals on the topic of food made him realize there were others in academia who shared his passion. He envisioned the symposium as "a pleasant gathering of food enthusiasts enjoying what they like best -- food and scholarship."

Other food related conferences throughout the world serve specific purposes, in ways one might easily deduce from their names. "The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery," held annually in England, is an international conference on "food history as a serious topic of research" according to its mission statement. Past Oxford symposiums have focused on such topics as eggs, fat, or even "The Meal." In Germany, "The Fresenius Conference on Genetically Modified Crops and Foods" clearly declares its broad-reaching corporate and industrial objectives, as well as its coverage of European Union and international policy ("Commercial Plant Breeding: What is the Biotech Pipeline?")

The San Antonio conference will cross disciplines, cultures and languages, with 20 panel topice, including "The Fried Egg in Spanish Literature and Painting," which will be given in Spanish, and "Lexical Conflation and Edible Iconicity: Their Mnenomic Power in Vernacular Dicussions of Food." Most of those attending the conference will be academics, but the sessions are open to the public. Information is online at flan.utsa.edu/foodconf/.

A performance art panel will explore the Soho culinary scene in the early 1970s. WHen artists, writers, actors, musicians and dancers colonized the largely abandoned industrial neighborhood south of Houston Street, they needed a place to eat. The panel will pay particular attention to one of the first restaurants to emerge: Food, which was founded by a group including the dancer Caroline Goodden and the artist Gordon Matta-Clark. With its Pop Art-inspired name, Food served community, performance and exotic cookery, and employed such luminaries in the downtown scene as the artists Robert Rauschenberg and Joan Joans and the composer Philip Glass.

Another panel will be devoted to the writer Emilia Pardo Bazan, who died in 1921. Although she is little known in the English-speaking world, Bazan's work occupies an esteemed place on the kitchen bookshelves of most Spanish-speaking cooks. A writer of novels, short stories and literary criticism, she was an early feminist who created a women's library in Spain. In an effort to improve th elot of women from within, she wrote the cookbook La Cocina Espanola Antiqua.

Not so incidentally, the campus is also home to the Laurie Gruenbeck Mexican Cookbook Collection, housed in the library's Special Collections and Archives department. The collection of Ms. Gruenbeck, a retired librarian of the City of San Antonio, includes more than 500 cookbooks, books and posters about food in Mexico, Texas and the Southwest.

And for those who find cookbooks a bit dry, there is the Friday morning film panel, including a session titled "Who Says Cannibalism Can't Be Fun? One Serving of Cuban Cinema."