Warren Belasco, using tape recordings, gave an informal presentation on "All That Meat and No Potatoes: Reflections on Food in Popular Music." His main theme was how food songs are useful reflections of the social and cultural meanings of food (especially intimate relationships). Another key point was that there seems to have been a decline in the number of pop songs dealing with food, and this may indicate that: a) food is more taken for granted nowadays; b) young people have a more problematic relationship with food; and c) song writers don't need to use food to signify sex anymore since lyrics are far more explicit than formerly when censorship was stricter. But food continues to be eroticized in movies and advertising. Warren distributed texts for the popular songs he used to illustrate his talk. Publication dates ranged from 1929 (Kitchen Man by Bessie Smith) to 1990 (Burger Man by ZZ Top). Others were You're My Dish by Fats Waller (1930s), Kidney Stew by Eddie Vinson (1940s), All That Meat And No Potatoes by Fats Waller (1941), Spoonful by Howlin Wolf (1950s), Jambalaya by Prof. Longhair (n.d.), Suck the Head by the Radiators (1987) and Too Many Dirty Dishes by Albert Collins (1989). In keeping with the theme of popular songs about food, refreshments for the meeting were shortnin' bread, shoofly pie, and apple pan dowdy; no double entendres there.
Born in post-World War II Germany, Brigitte and her parents and siblings escaped from East Germany and, after living for several years in a refugee center in Berlin, came to the U.S. She said that her family was luckier than most; her father was an attorney and found employment more quickly. After teaching school in Georgia, Brigitte joined the U.S. Army and, while stationed in Texas, met and married Bob Magee. They have two sons.
As many of you know, Brigitte was a bread baker. She became interested in food history after her husband, Bob, took a class in Open Hearth Cooking at Gunston Hall (Lorton, VA) and discovered that the instructors there were uncertain about exactly what Hannah Glasse meant when she called for a "penny loaf" in a receipt. Those of you who have heard Brigitte discuss 18th century breads and bread-making practices know that she found the answer to this question and much more. Upon retiring from the army, she became a docent at Gunston, where she served a term as chair of the Open Hearth Cooking Program. Always willing to share her knowledge, she volunteered both to teach and to demonstrate 18th century cooking techniques at such diverse sites in Virginia as Sully Plantation (Centreville), Scotchtown (Ashland), Historic Dumfries, and Stratford Hall (in Virginia's Northern Neck). She also volunteered her bread-making expertise and teaching skills to both Fairfax and Prince William counties' 4th grade classes.
Currently under discussion are plans for an appropriate gift from CHoW in Brigitte's memory.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 am - 4 pm: Oysterfest 2001 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Gina Jenkins invites us to celebrate the great Bay oyster and to learn shucking, tonging and nippering techniques. There will also be children's activities. Dine on raw, steamed, and fried oysters while enjoying the music and boat rides. All activities are included in Museum admission except boat rides and food, for which there is an extra charge. For more information call 410 745-2916; www.cbmm.org.
Sally Waltz has suggested a one-day field trip in January to the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. Farm animals and machinery are exhibited and a wide variety of food is for sale. The show is indoors, free, and will be held during the week of January 7-12.
Food and Cooking In Britain, an English Heritage series. Seven booklets (44 to 52 pp.) beginning with Prehistoric British Cooking and continuing with similarly titled accounts of Roman, medieval, and 16th through 19th century cuisine. Covers food, cooking equipment, and etiquette and includes some modernized recipes and illustrations. Available at L2.95 (1 pound = about $1.44) each from English Heritage, Swindon (www.english-heritage.org.uk).
Alexis Soyer. A Culinary Campaign. Southover Press, East Susses, 1995. L22. A reprinting of the 1857 memoirs of a famous chef sho, during the Crimean War, undertook travel to military hospitals and battlefields to improve the British army's provisions.
Peter Bird. The First Food Empire: A History of J. Lyons & Co. Phillimore, West Sussex, 2000. L25. An account of a company whose teashops and "corner houses" became familiar features of British life.
The Concise Larousse Gastronomique. Hamlyn Octopus, London, 1999 (second edition). The same basic text as the current American edition, with some modernizations, including recipes by "leading contemporary chefs," globalizations such as an entry for tofu, and British intrusions such as toad in the hole. Paperback and lacking illustrations but, with 1436 pages, a good buy at L18.99 (vs. $70).
The last three of these are available from Blackwell's at http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk.
Attention: Potential Book Reviewers! Pickled, Potted and Canned, a history of food preservation by Sue Shepard, is being published by Simon and Schuster in September. They will send us an advance reader's copy if any CHoW member is interested in reviewing it for CHoWLine. Call Shirley for further information. Already in bookstores in England, the book won the Andre Simon Memorial Fund Award, the most prestigious prize in the British food and wine book world.
Andrew Smith's books, Pure Ketchup: A History of America's National Condiment and Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America, have been issued in paperback by the Smithsonian Institution Press. Some of the Press's other food history listings are: Bananas: An American History by CHoW member Virginia Jenkins; Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America by Alison Clarke, both in paperback; and Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power edited by Michael Dietler and Brian Hayden, in hardcover.
The IACP Foundation recently published an article for its members titled "Search On, Search On: The Lure of Culinary Research," by Helen Brody which urges IACP members to search library culinary collections, not only for cookbooks but also menus; advertisements in product pamphlets, consumer magazines, and newspapers; mail-order catalogs; and family papers including journals and diaries, grocery marketing lists, and store ledgers. Art works, photographs, and many resources on the Internet also were recommended.
Meeting notices, Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, May through September 2001.
Meeting notice, Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley, August 2001.
The Food Journal, newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, Fall 2000, Vol. 1, No. 1.
Newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Ontario, Spring 2001, No. 28.
Newsletters, Culinary Historians of Boston, Vol. XXI, No. 5, May 2001; Vol. XXI, no. 6, July 2001.
Flavor & Fortune (2 issues), Winter 2000, Vol. 7, No. 4; Summer 2001, Vol. 8, No. 2.
President - Dianne Hennessy King - firstname.lastname@example.org
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