Nominees' bios are included in this issue.
Our speaker is Shirley Cherkasky, whose research on the history of birthday cakes is ongoing.
Elisabetta Castleman spoke to the group on "Italian Regional Cuisines."
Refreshments included Tuscan white bean salad brought by Amy Snyder; Stella d'Oro cookies by Francine Berkowitz; "Little Yellow Diamonds," northern Italian cornmeal and pine nut cookies (baker unknown); and Fave Dolci (Sweet Beans), by Felice Caspar who noted that they are traditionally served on All Souls Day in southern Italy, stemming from the ancient custom of offering beans to Proserpine and Pluto the Roman goddess and god of the Underworld.
Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hayes (New York: Miramax Books, 2005. 236 pp. $19.95) has such an intriguing title that one can hardly resist running out to buy it. Most of the text is comprised of recipes from Greenville, Mississippi, families and suggested as suitable for funeral meals.
Vice President - Laura Gilliam has been a CHoW member since 2002 and has served as treasurer for the past two years. She has a broad interest in culinary matters but with a particular emphasis on cookbooks. She also has been responsible for the CHoW Culinary Collection, including supervising its move from the GWU Eckles Library to the National Museum of American History.
Secretary - Claire Cassidy has done research on nutritional and medical anthropology, including projects in Belize and Sri Lanka, as well as teaching at the University of Minnesota, of Maryland, and elsewhere. Later, as a consultant, she was involved in the first nationwide survey of patient attitudes toward and uses of acupuncture care. She is now a licensed acupuncturist and a writer/editor of scholarly publications on nutrition, foods, and medicine.
Treasurer - Katherine Livingston was for many years the book review editor of Science magazine. With an academic background in philosophy, she combines a longtime interest in cooking with interests in social history and the history of science. She served as CHoW treasurer in 2001-03 and has been a director for the past two years.
Director (Shared) - Felice Casper & Bryna Freyer. Felice is Director of Administration for B'nai B'rith. During her 23+ years there, she has worked in: Research and Planning, Leadership Training, Senior Housing, Continuing Jewish Education/Publishing. After graduation from the University of Virginia with majors in English literature and religious studies, she briefly tried her hand at cooking professionally but has been content with cooking as a way to relax.
Bryna, a collector of Victorian silverplate, is interested in how specialized tableware relates to food trends. As a curator at the National Museum of African Art, she also studies African art that is food-related, and is interested in the growing diversity in the Washington Metropolitan area.
Director - Dianne Hennessy King is a television journalist and teacher. This past year she produced a program on "Media and Gender Bias," gave the keynote address for a symposium on "Writing Your Personal History," and taught classes on "Writing a Cookbook." She has served as president and, for the past two years, as vice president of CHoW.
Director - Claudia Kousoulas is an urban planner with Montgomery County and also a freelance food and feature writer, with articles in Washington Woman and Mothering. She reviews (and cooks from) an average of about 60 books annually, interviewing authors and chefs. Her cookbook reviews appear in Cookbook Digest and at Books-for-Cooks.com. She has served as CHoW president for the past two years.