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CHoWLine - Back Issues





May 2006

Innovators and Innovations in the Last Forty Years: The New American Cooking

Our speaker is Joan Nathan, well-known author of many cookbooks, whos work has appeared regularly in the New York Times and other publications, as well as on several TV series and documentaries. Her recently published book, The New American Cooking, just won the 2006 IACP Award in the American cooking category. In 1994, her Jewish Cooking in America won both the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award.

Agenda: Election of Officers for 2006-2007

Future Meetings

Tentative Dates: September 10, October 8, November 12, and December 10.

Report: April 9 Meeting

The Nominating Committee presented a slate of nominees for all positions on the Board, and asked for nominations from the floor. There being none, brief bios on the Committee's nominees are printed at the end of this issue. The election will take place at the May meeting.

Laura Gilliam brought seven "whatzits" from the CHoW demonstration at the Festival of American Folklife last summer: A green plastic avocado slicer; an egg decapitator made by a German company; a plastic rice paddle and sushi mold; a '30s era grapefruit corer; a '50s Fizznik; and a bacon separator. Some were immediately recognized; others were puzzling. Refreshments were provided by: Catherine Pressler - Mexican Crunchy Fresh Salsa and Blue Corn Tortilla Chips; Pat Reber - Elkridge Huckleberry Pudding (blueberry sponge cake); Amy Riolo - Biscotti di Regina (sesame cookies from Calabria, Italy); and Felice Caspar - Orange Blossoms (mini muffins in orange syrup).

The program "Passing on Culinary Traditions," by four CHoW members deeply engaged in various ways in that endeavor, Catherine Pressler, Elisabeth Nosek, Vera Oye Yaa-Anna, and Pat Reber, was absorbing and sparked a lot of discussion, comments, and questions.

Refreshments Reminder

Please let Felice (fcaspar@bnaibrith.org) or Bryna (bryna@nmafa@si.edu) know if you are planning to bring refreshments for the May 7 meeting.

Old Utensils Offered at May Meeting

Two hundred period utensils, mainly from the '60s and '70s and many of them odd or amusing, left over from the CHoW demonstration at the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be offered to CHoW members on May 7. These will be on display from 2:15 to 2:30 before the meeting and then CHoW members only will be allowed to choose no more than two items in exchange for a small donation. After everyone has had a first opportunity, the rest of the items will be available also. There is great variety: garnishing utensils, a sprouter, chinoise, electric juicer, rice paddle and sushi molds, and a bacon separator and lifter, among others.

News of Our Members

The Winter 2006 issue of Gastronomica (a quarterly journal published by the University of California-Berkeley) contains a long interview-discussion with Diana Kennedy on organic farming in Mexico written by CHoW member L Peat O'Neil, who lives in Mexico City. Diana Kennedy is the author of many cookbooks featuring Mexican regional culinary traditions. Her first, published in 1972, is considered a seminal work.

Mark Your Calendars

The Second Biennial Symposium on American Culinary History, under the auspices of the Longone Center for American Culinary Research at the Clements Library of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is scheduled for May 18-20, 2007. The theme will be "Regional and Ethnic Traditions." Details and registration information will be on the website (www.clements.umich.edu) on or before August 1, 2006. Attendance will be limited to 200, so if you intend to go, submit your registration early. Culinary historians from all over the U.S. and Ontario who attended the last one in May 2005 included CHoW members Laura Gilliam, Joan Nathan, Francine Berkowitz, and Shirley Cherkasky. It was an unforgettable experience.

News From Other Organizations

Historic Green Spring has scheduled two events in August of interest to culinary historians:
Sunday, August 6, "Keeping Cool: Ice Creams and Ices," frozen desserts' history, origins, and recipes.
Sunday, August 20, "Tisanes and Other Cooling Beverages," herbal infusions enjoyed in themselves or mixed with tea, and fruits and vegetables blended into refreshing concoctions. Both programs are at 1 - 3 pm, by prepaid reservation only. 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA. For information: 703-941-7987.

International Directory of Food and Beverage Museums Now on Web

Traveling somewhere this summer and looking for interesting museums to visit? Before you go, visit www.foodhistorynews.com and click on Museum Directory to access information on more than 1200 museums/collections on five continents and in four major categories: I. General (Agriculture, Catering/Restaurants, Culinary History, Gastronomy, or Horticulture); II. Specific Foods (Apples to Vinegar); III. Beverages (Nonalcoholic; or Alcoholic, Brewed, Fermented, or Distilled); IV. Equipment, Tableware, and Containers (from corkscrews to Tupperware).

The museums can be located by city in each country or U.S. state. Information on the museum's mission, street address, telephone and website; and visiting hours also is included. The database was compiled over several years by Shirley Cherkasky and offered on a website so it is accessible to anyone and can be updated easily.

Food In Museums

Winterthur Museum and Country Estate is featuring a special exhibit, "Time for Tea! Selections of Teaware from the Winterthur Collection" through July 10, with several related events:
Most Saturdays through mid-June from 1-2:30 pm, a light cream tea will be served.
Saturdays & Sundays, May 27 to June 18, at 1:30 & 3 pm, "Tea: From Leaf to Cup." Learn how herbs go from seed to leaf to lips. Make your own blend of tea to brew at home and choose a seed packet to grow herbal tea in your own garden.
Advance reservations required for all events. For information: 800-448-3883; www.winterthur.org.

Help Wanted by Our Website Audience

Gina Jenkins, CHoW webmaster, received this appeal at the end of March:
My husband used to have a copy of a book called the Wise Book Encyclopedia of Cookery, published in the 1890s. Would you happen to have heard of this book and know where I may obtain a copy? He is looking for two particular recipes from that book: Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Soup. Any help you can give me on this matter would be most helpful. Thanks. Kristi Reid (tygrwoman@yahoo.com)

CHoW Culinary COllection

The CHoW Culinary Collection, now shelved at the National Museum of American History, continues to have a few books added each month. A new addition will be a complete set of issues of CHoWLine from October 1996 to date, with future issues being added as they become available.

National Botanic Garden

Research by Shirley Cherkasky on each of 33 food plants in the National Botanic Garden's conservatory has been completed. The information for each plant includes its common names; family, genus, and species; where it originated, its physical description; its uses as a food; and its symbolic and/or ceremonial uses. Longterm plans are for the NBG docents to offer tours of some of the food plants to the public, either on a regular basis or to groups by special arrangements.

On The Reading Table

Food History News, FHN 68, Vol. XVII, No. 4
Repast, quarterly publication of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor, Vol. 22, No. 1, Winter 2006.
Meeting e-notice, Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, May 2006.
Meeting notices, Chicago Foodways Roundtable, April 2006

Nominees: 2006-2007 Board of Directors

President - Kari Barrett addresses food policy issues in her work as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Legislation of the Food and Drug Administration. Her interests include U.S. Atlantic Coast and Tidewater foodways, pre-Civil War American food history, and food writing. She has worked in a number of restaurants and currently assists at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda. Kari has served as president for one year and as a director on the CHoW board for two years previous.

Vice President - Laura Gilliam has been a CHoW member since 2002 and was treasurer for two years before serving as vice president for this past year. 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.

Recording 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.

Membership Secretary - Felice Caspar has served as a director for one year. She is Director of Administration for B'nai B'rith, an international Jewish service organization, where she has worked in Research and Planning, Leadership Training, Senior Housing, and 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 relaz.

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, as a director for two years, and again as treasurer for the past year.

Director - Dianne Hennessy King is an associate producer of television. Three recent programs have been on subjects of the American Institute of Wine and Food, on Antartica, and on Charles Goodman's architecture. Dianne also teaches memoir writing and cookbook writing classes. She has served as president, vice president, and has been a director of CHoW this past year.

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 sixty books annually, interviewing authors and chefs. Her cookbook reviews appear in Cookbook Digest and at Books-for-Cooks.com. She served as CHoW president for two years and as a director for 2005-06.