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CHoWLine - Back Issues





September 2005

Program: From Sea Biscuits to Sally Lunn: The Evolution of Virginia's Famous Foods

Our speaker is CiCi WIlliamson, the author of 6 cookbooks and more than 1,500 articles in newspapers and magazines. Her latest book is The Best of Virginia Farms, a cookbook, tour book, and history reference.

Future Meetings

October 9: Sandra Sherman - "Fresh from the ast: Recipes and Revelations from Moll Flanders Kitchen"
November 13: Pierre Laszlo - "Daily and Festival Foods and Drinks in a French Village, 2005"
December 11: Program To Be Announced

Report: May 1 Meeting

At our annual meeting, the primary focus was on the election of a new Board for the 2005-2006 membership year. Elected:
President - Kari Barrett addresses food policy issues in her work as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Legislation of the U.S. 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 a director on the CHoW board for the past two years.

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.

Shirley Cherkasky presented her paper on "The Mediterranean's Colorful Contributions to American Confectionery." Because so much other material needed to be included in this issues, the text of her talk will appear in the October CHoWLine. Allison Carazo, one of our new members, contributed the cake that we had with our coffee. Sue Latini was the unnamed donor of the "Little Yellow Diamonds" at our April meeting.

News of Our Members

Member Sarah Hill, owner of Curzon Hill Antiques, an Alexandria antique linen store and repair service, was featured in the May Washingtonian.


Please let Felice Caspar (fcaspar@bnaibrith.org) or Bryna Freyer (bryna@nmafa.si.edu) know if you are planning to bring refreshments for the September 11 meeting.

Sandy Bosworth reports that the Peacock Harper CUlinary COllection at the Newman Library of Virginia Tech is seeking soncervators for old books. Contact Sandy: 540-951-7227; or sandy605@i-plus.net.

Collectors Press is looking for home cooks, students, and food lovers across the country to help test recipes for a new cookbook, The Good Home Cookbook, to be published in 2006. Participants will be asked to test specific recipes from the book, offer comments, questions, and evaluation. Their feedback will be incorporated into the book and given credit. Anyone testing five or more recipes will receive a free copy of the book. Email recipetester@collectorspress.com if you are interested.

News from Other Organizations

Saturday, September 10: CHoW member Vera Oye Yaa-Anna's "A Benefit Evening for Tajuo, the Liberian Children of War." The event will feature delicious refreshments, and a roster of diverse Washington- based performing artists lending their support to Oye, a Liberian-born artist and children's advocate who has been providing financial support, and sending medical, art, and educational supplies to the children of Liberia. 7:30 pm, Market 5 Gallery at Eastern Market, 7th St. & North Carolina Ave, S.E., Washington, DC. $20 in advance; $25 at the door; $10/ age 12 & under. Call 202 773-5446; or Oyepalaver11@verizon.net.

Wednesday, September 14: "Full Circle: Food's Journey - An Evening of Food, COnversation and Reflection," sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food (Baltimore Chapter) and the Center for a Livable Future at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Panelists with diverse perspectives (business, medicine, and the food industry) will discuss food choice, sustainable agriculture, local foods, and public policies that affect our food's journey from farm to table. The program will be accompanied by local foods from area farmers and chefs, and organically-produced wines. 6-9 pm, Center State Pearlstone Theatre, Baltimore. Reservations: $25. Call AIWF: 410 224-0044; or aiwfbaltimore@yahoo.com.

The department of American Studies of the University of Maryland, College Park, has announced that Dr. Psyche Williams-FOrson will be joining their permanent faculty as Assistant Professor this fall. Psyche, a former CHoW member who gave a program to CHoW about her research on Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: African Americans and the Politics of Food (forthcoming, University of North Carolina Press, 2006), is currently at work on another project examining African American women, food service, and the traditions and practices of railroad hucksters and vendors.

October 1 & 2: Join the hearth cooks of Gunston Hall Plantation for a one-day exploration of 18th-century cooking techniques. Adults with all levels of cooking skills are welcome. participants will make and enjoy a meal together in the reconstructed outbuilding kitchen. 10:30 am - 3:30 pm. $99 fee includes tuition and all materials. Call: 703 550=9220.

November 18 & 19: Annual Oyster Bash at the Old Ebbitt Grill. Tickets on sale Sept. 6. Jack Warner advises oyster lovers to get their tickets early.

Kitchen Gadgets at the Folklife Festival

The October issue of CHoWLine will bring you Laura GIlliam's account of the two-week CHoW demonstration of kitchen gadgets at the Folklife Festival in June and July.

CHoW Culinary Collection

The CHoW Culinary History Collection at the National Museum of American History has been catalogued. Twelve more books were added in late August. Laura Gilliam will give us a full report when she recovers from organizing CHoW's "Kitchen Gadgets" effort at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival.

NACHO Formed

On May 13-15 in Ann Arbor, during the first Clements Symposium on the University of Michigan campus, the North American Culinary Historians Organization was formed by representatives from culinary historians groups from all over the U.S., as well as Ontario. NACHO will serve as a communication network among those groups already in existence and new groups as they get organized. The Food History News website (www.food-history-news.com/nacho) will carry current information, and Sandy Oliver will keep us up-to-date on what is happening everywhere.

Historic Foodways Guild of Maryland

We welcome a new culinary history group that had its first meeting in July at Historic London Town in Edgewater, MD. The organization is open to anyone with a strong interest in Maryland foodways. Its next meeting will be on October 17. Joyce White, who is also a CHoW member, has further information: 410 267-8350; jwhite01@comcast.net.

Food on the Bookshelf

Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance (Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2005) has been reviewed for us by Karen Cathey.

The book contains two sections: "The Essays" and "The Recipes." To explain how Thomas Jefferson's delight in French cuisine only complemented his love of American ingredients, editor Damon Lee Fowler says, "Clearly, he relished the best from both sides of the Atlantic." Women ran the household, and Jefferson hired Europeans to train his slaves in gardening. Slave James Hemings trained with chefs in Paris, and Hemings, in turn, trained cooks at Monticello. As President, Jefferson set the standard for entertaining in Washington.

Throughout his life, Jefferson paid careful attention to the acquisition of a huge variety of interesting foods, including over 300 types of vegetables. He toured the vineyards of France and also made tasting notes on Italian wines, Madeira, and Sherry. Historical explanations accompany all the recipes, which are attributed to relatives or to Jefferson himself. Beef Soup Monticello draws from "Observations on Soup," Jefferson's recording of classic French techniques. More French-inspired dishes include Braised Artichokes with Fine Herbs, Asparagus with Herb Vinaigrette, Beef a la Mode, and Blancmange. Catfish Soup, Okra Soup, Baked Virginia Ham, Broiled Shad, Apple Fritters, and Pepper Vinegar made with Texas Bird Peppers reveal American influences. Dining at Monticello is a beautifully designed and fascinating way to learn history -- "A feast of reason," as granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph would say.

Food in Museums

"In Service and Beyond: Domestic Work and Life in a Gilded Age Mansion," an exhibition that opened in late May at the Maymount House Museum, examines the workplace and work of the "belowstairs" staff that did the cooking, serving, and maintenance in one of Richmond's most opulent mansions during its heyday. Maymount House Museum in at 1700 Hampton St., Richmond. Open Tuesday - Sunday, noon-5 pm.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has two exhibits: "Toast of New Orleans," celebrating the beverages of New Orleans," on display at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave.; and "Tout de Sweet," the story of sugar in Louisiana, at the Riverwalk Marketplace on the Mississippi River.

The Museum has just been given a collection of cookbooks and related works belonging to Jeanette Keyser Maygarden. It will form the core collection of the museum's research library, and will be available to the public when the cataloging process has been completed.

Virtual Gastronomy at Boston University

An online graduate course, "Culture and Cuisine: France" is being offered by Boston University, beginning October 31, 2005. It is a 7-week, 4-credit online course investigating the culinary history, traditions, and techniques of France, and taught by Jacques Pepin and Kyri Claflin. Credit earned may be applied toward the Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy at BU. For details: 617 353-9852; gastrmla@bu.edu; www.bu.edu/met/gastronomy.

Slow Food University

"Slow Down and Smell the Garlic," by Francis X. Rocco
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, 8/5/2005

On The Reading Table

Meeting notices, Culinary Historians of Chicago, May, June, July, August & September 2005.
Meeting notice, Culinary Historians of New York, June, September 2005.
Radcliffe Culinary Times, Vol. XV, No. 1, Spring 2005.
The Food Journal, Culinary Historians of Southern California, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 2005.
Culinary Chronicles, Culinary Historians of Ontario, No. 44, Spring 2005.
Food History News, No. 65, Vol. XVII, No. 4.
Meeting e-notices, Culinary Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, June, July, August, September 2005.